A buzz at the WI
The June meeting of Stanhoe and Barwick WI was an exciting time as 26 members were accompanied by a glass case containing 20,000 honey bees, to hear Stuart Grant of Heacham Honey speak about his fascinating hobby of being a beekeeper.
This is a very important role as 90 percent of our flowering fruit trees are pollinated by bees, and 85 percent of all plants too.
photos: Rosemary Brown
The structure of the standard hive was explained as having a queen (whose body contains enough eggs to lay in her lifetime of about five years); several drones (who live for six months); and a large number of workers (who live for 18 weeks.) As was the fact that the bees themselves secrete the wax and build up their own geometric honeycomb cells which they fill with honey after drinking in nectar from flowers. There will be 70–80,000 bees in a normal hive.
The flavour of the honey produced depends on the flowers nearby, as well as the bees being given a winter feed of a strong sugar solution by the beekeeper.
It was a most interesting talk and Mr Grant was warmly thanked before members rushed to taste the Heacham Honey and purchase jars to take home.
The WI Business was short and outlined future events organised for members, and featured a report on The Norfolk Federation AGM held recently, where the fun part was Esme Young of The Great British Sewing Bee relive her younger life and career in fashion culminating in a very popular TV series.
We all went home feeling cheerful on a rather chilly and windy June day.