‘Buy More Honey, support bee keepers and save the bees’ is the message visitors will be taking away with them from this year’s Country Life Fair.
Those potentially interested in bee-keeping, attracting bees to their garden, or just trying new honey on their toast in the morning will be interested to hear that third generation apiarist and 2013 ‘London bee keeper of the year’ James Hamill will be sharing his expertise and explaining the importance of bee keeping as one of the experts at the Country Life Fair this month.
As the Bee keepers Association has frequently said, bees are vital to the food chain as pollinators. In the UK, around 70 types of crop are pollinated by bees, with a value of £400 million to the British economy. These perfect pollinators are in danger of disappearing due to modern farming practices and the threat posed by the varroa mite disease which has already caused many UK wild honey bee colonies to die out.
James said: ‘I am delighted to speak about the plight of the honeybee at the up coming County Life Fair. It’s not just about the honey. It’s vital that we all try and do what we can to help protect and nurture these wonderful little creatures that do so much for us behind the scenes’.
The role of the bee keeper – whether commercial or a hobbyist – is of vital importance to keeping colonies healthy and by monitoring bee populations. Would-be apiarists will be given advice on how to get started from James, who is not only the Master Beekeeper of the Hive Honey Shop, maintaining over 50 hives at his Surrey farm, but who was awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Scholarship in 1995 to study apiculture.
James adds: ‘I plan to share a few simple tips with the audience that they can take away and put into action to help. Of course I will be bringing a vast collection of my English honeys to try as well’.
James will also give tips to ‘armchair apiarists’ on how to encourage bees by growing bee-friendly plants and flowers in their outside space. A simpler way that visitors can help bees is by making honey their daily spread – more demand means more supply which will in turn encourage more and more people to take up beekeeping and help increase bee populations.
So, be sure to make a bee-line for James’s talks at the Country Life Fair!