bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Stoneleigh 2005

Lots of goodies at today's BBKA Spring Convention at Stoneleigh (the one-day exhibition with lecture programme). Well over 2000 beekeepers poured into the Agricultural Showground to snap up bargains, hear the latest news and gossip!

A good lecture programme as usual, but what a pity Brenda Ball's talk on fungi to combat varroa was held in the smaller of the lecture theatres -- lots of us were turned away at the 100+ venue filled up 15 minutes before the lecture started. So I'm afraid I didn't hear the latest.

Some excellent new books for sale. Like Pollen: the Hidden Sexuality of Flowers, a sumptuous coffee-table style book but with incredible electron microscope colour images of pollen grains. It's not cheap, but the reproductions are beautiful.

There's also a new Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland -- all 23 of them. Compact, clear and desirable!

The Irish were there in force -- with a musical trio to boot -- promoting the forthcoming Apimondia in Dublin. Nice brochure, but rumour has it you'd be better off making your own accommodation arrangements as the agency linked to Apimondia doesn't seem to have negotiated the best possible deal for delegates.

We can expect to see more of biological treatment for wax moth -- and less parabichlorobenzene in honey, I hope. Vita (Europe) Ltd has acquired Swarm SAS and with it B401 (Certan) which it will now market globally. Previously B401 was not easy to find.

A new start-up caught my eye -- a company based at Rothamsted developing a bee-sniffer system. Inscentinel Ltd claims it can train bees in 20 minutes to recognise and react to specific indicator scents. The technology is very compact and they are investigating health, anti-smuggling and food quality applications. Sensing TB infections is relatively simple, cancers are proving more difficult. Watch this space!



Post a Comment

<< Home