Epsom Downs Evening Townswomens Guild
June 2010 meeting
Last Wednesday, Mrs. M. Bonard, who is Chair of Epsom Beekeepers Association, gave us a view into the heirarchy in the life of the Bee with the Queen at the top downwards. The Queen is much bigger than the rest of the colony and is served by 15 to 20 Drones, attracted by her feremones, 50/60 feet in the air, resulting in about 2000 eggs, each the size of a pin-prick, laid in the base of the hive. The Drones end up by living a charmed life, being fed and looked after by the other Bees.
'Scouts' are sent out and on return give a 'wiggle dance' in a figure of eight, which intimates the angle of the sun and where there is a goodly supply of flowers, which can be anywhere up to 3 miles away. Among the plants they particularly favour are the dandelion, sunflower, foxglove,
bean and mint.
All the effort made by a single Bee results in only a teaspoon of honey, which shows how many hundreds there must be in a colony to produce a sizeable quantity. We were surprised at there being so many types of Bees having their function in the hive, namely - Cuckoo Bee, Honey Bee, Solitary Bee and Wax Builder etc.
Where people ask for help to collect a swarm from their garden, Mrs. Bonard has a unique dome-shaped straw device in which she collects the swarm and returns them to the hive. They are usually very docile, if unprovoked, at this time.
The World would be a very different place if the Bee population was diminished so much by the parasite mite, varroa destructor, and Mrs. Bonard is making efforts to persuade the Government to give extra funding for research. Bees are all part of our ecology and pollination of plants,flowers etc, and also give us honey and Beeswax in return.
Our Guild meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 8 o'clock, at St. Marks Church Hall, Great Tattenham. We have a guest Speaker each month, Drama, Scrabble, Whist Clubs, and visits to interesting places arranged. Please contact 0208 642 1231. All are welcome.
The Guild meets on the first Wednesday of each month at St. Marks Church Hall, Great Tattenhams at 8.00pm. There is usually a guest speaker which on 3rd March will be Mr. Jim Buttress who will be giving a talk on London Parks and Gardens
All are welcome and bring a friend.