Rossendale Free Press
CENTRAL METHODIST LADIES FELLOWSHIP
THE ladies welcomed Christine Balshaw, a member of Bacup beekeepers to their recent meeting.
Christine is an enthusiastic keeper and very knowledgeable on the life and importance of the bee. The hive consists of one Queen bee, female worker bees and male drones.
The Queen is bigger than the rest and is the main force of the hive. The bees collect pollen as food for the colony and also pollinate the plants.
The Queen mates with several drones on her flight from the hive, the workers activate the hive which becomes frantic and very busy, whilst the drones which are twice the size of the workers don’t forage for pollen, don’t do any work and are unable to sting.
They have no function only to mate with the Queen.
There are different types of hives, some more expensive than others.
Christine brought stackable trays, each one lifted out as she described the function of each layer, and passed illustrations around each time.
She was dressed in protective clothing, gloves, hooded jacket with a pull down veil face covering, and wellingtons. She had suffered stings on her ankles at some stage.
A sting on the face causes pain and swelling, but on the hand the sting can be pulled out to ease the amount of venom.
Beeswax is a natural wax made from the honeycomb of the honey bee, and for each pound of beeswax the bee has to
visit millions of flowers. This wax can be used for candles, polish or cosmetics.
Bees produce honey from secretions of plants and store it in honeycombs – it is a natural healing product for hay fever, skin complaints and also as a spread, or in drinks, and is very healthy.
There are different types of honey depending on the floral nectar.
The ladies were asked to try the various samples of honey to see which they preferred.
Christine gave a very interesting talk and the ladies were much more knowledgeable about the life and care of the bees by the end of the meeting.