Answering Your Questions
The National Bee Improvement Programme is one of the most radical proposals ever put to beekeepers in our part of the world. We can only improve our bees if we understand them. Much of the teaching, especially of beginners, is based on imported bees, so there may need to be some modification in teaching and what has already been learnt. This will bring many questions, which this webinar has been set up to answer.
During the previous 8 webinars we will try to cover much of what beekeepers may ask. There will be time at the end of each session for questions, but inevitably there will be more. Make your notes and please ask questions that aren’t previously answered by completing this form.
Please be clear and concise.
Grace McCormackProfessor in Zoology at NUI Galway
Grace McCormack is a Professor in Zoology at NUI Galway. Her interests lie in evolutionary biology and particularly in using molecular data to understand how organisms are related to each other and the impacts this may have on conservation and on the evolution of organismal traits. The interaction between animals and their parasites/pathogens over evolutionary time is also of interest as is the use of molecular information in applied science such as biodiscovery (marine sponges) and apiculture (bees). Grace has published over 60 research papers and book chapters and currently has a team of three PhD students and a research assistant. Grace has been beekeeping for about 7 years and currently manages 15 colonies. She became interested in free-living colonies in 2015 and has been investigating their survival, diversity and distribution since. She is interested both in conservation of Apis mellifera mellifera and resilience of untreated bees to varroa and other challenges introduced by humans.
Roger PattersonDeputy Chair of BIBBA
Roger was brought up on a farm in West Sussex and started beekeeping in 1963. He has travelled widely, speaking on and demonstrating practical beekeeping, where his down to earth approach gained by observation, lateral thinking and being taught by many colonies of honey bees for over 50 years is appreciated. He is privileged to have seen different bees being kept in different conditions, which, together with removing several hundred wild/feral colonies has formed his opinion of what bees are best suited to our fickle climate.
Roger encourages beekeepers to use simple management techniques and keep good tempered, healthy and productive bees that suit their locality. He has not bought an imported queen for well over 50 years, preferring to rear his own from the best of those that have survived locally.
He is a prolific writer and owns and manages Dave Cushman’s website www.dave-cushman.net, that is accepted as one of the world’s most comprehensive beekeeping websites.
In his three webinars, Roger will attempt to cover some points the other speakers may have omitted. He will address some of the issues that face beekeeping and some the previous speakers may have raised. Apart from a few short spells, honey bees have been imported on a fairly large scale for over 100 years. Importation doesn’t seem to have solved anything, other than to weaken the stock that is already here for short term gain.