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Bees still buzzing near Chase Farm

Bees, Allotments

As the UK honeybee is declining alarmingly, an allotment near Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield is buzzing with activity.

Six new beehives have been placed at the allotment with the help of Enfield Council and the Enfield and District Bee Keeping Association.

Almost a fifth of the country’s honeybees died last winter, according to the British Beekeepers’ Association, and colonies are struggling after a 30 per cent loss the year before.

Nearly all the UK’s species are in decline and bees are suffering viruses, a parasitic mite and changes in the weather and habitat.

Experts are warning that sustaining the bee population is essential to ensuring the survival of Britain’s plants and crops.

The Enfield and District Bee Keeping Association keeps hives or apiaries on allotments in the borough and is trying to encourage new beekeepers.

John Wilkinson, show secretary, said: “Bees have been kept by people throughout history for their honey and wax.

“They are very important for pollination which helps our flowers and crops reproduce. An allotment is an ideal place for an apiary as there is such a good supply of flowers and plants for the bees to pollinate.”

The association currently has 40 members and is always looking for new people to get into beekeeping.

An Enfield Council spokeswoman said: “It doesn’t matter if you do not know anything about the craft as you will learn all about it from more experienced members and get your own apiary to look after in one of the allotment sites in Enfield which currently houses hives.”

The plight of the honey bee has been a topic of discussion at WI meetings in Broxbourne borough in recent months where local beekeeper Roy Cropley told members bees pollinate a third of all we eat and provide 50 per cent of pollination of wild plants producing fruit and seeds on which birds and wild mammals depend.

Members at Wormley and Upper Nazeing WIs were among those who voted for their groups’ resolutions requesting more Government support should go forward to the National Federation of Women’s Institutes AGM in June at which the national resolution ‘SOS honey bees’ was passed.

Source: The Hertfordshire Mercury

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