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These difficult times are also times of change, time when we consider why do we need bees - or any insects.

We have an opportunity to review where we are as a society and where we are going. Many of us who have managed to get out will have been amazed at the intense blue of the sky and the enhanced bird song. Perhaps now is a time to consider our work life balance - our work and the life of the planet

Those of us who are beekeepers know how important bees are. But not all the people who look at this site are beekeepers - as I found when I received an email from Sarah's father.

Bee on yellow flower
Bee on yellow flower by sebastian rosset.

Sarah, like many students, is studying from home and she came across this particular site on the importance of bees as pollinators and she asked that I place a link to it on the links page and this I am happy to do.

That got me thinking and I have found more suitable links which I am also going to add to the links pages.

Friends of the Earth have a useful page on bees of all sorts and their importance as pollinators.

The BBC has a section on the importance of the bees as pollinators. It includes a video with Chris Packham who is always worth listening to.

One of my favourite sites at the moment is which has lectures on all sorts of subjects from politics to maths and all stops in between. They have a whole section on why we need bees and I am watching one of those talks as I type up this blog.

Woodland Trust also have a very good page on the importance of bees and they also describe the threats to the bees including the Asian Hornet which is such a worry to us as beekeepers.

There are plenty more suitable sites out there but hopefully this sample will get you started. I hope that some of you who are not beekeepers will have a look at some of the links and learn a bit more about why insects, and especially bees, are so important.

My thanks to Sarah for drawing my attention to something more we can be doing for the planet.

The Asian Hornet threat has not gone away - it is still a threat and we are all hoping that it is not building nests in the forests we are not visiting during the lockdown. BBKA now have an AHAT volunteer exercise.

As part of the process of educating as many people as possible the BBKA has several pages of information. One of those, the map page of Asian Hornet Action Team (AHAT) vounteers, has a link to an exercise for the AHAT volunteers. If you want to test your knowledge of the Asian Hornet there is a link there as well. It is not a difficult test but will see if you know what an AHAT volunteer needs to know. If you want more background information on the Asian Hornet then is a good source of information.

We also have a lot of information on our own site - both true information and examples of false information.

To do the exercise you will need your BBKA membership number. If you have forgotten what it is then dig out your receipt for you BBKA membership of your local association and the number should be on there. I did search the BBKA web site but was unable to find my number even after I had logged in - just telling you so you do not waste time looking.

Look Out!

When you next go out to check your bees you may find:

  • Flying insects as big as mice
  • Your bees have all been decapitated and eaten by Asian Hornets
  • You are at risk of being killed by a single sting from an Asian Hornet.

And you thought we had enough problems with the current lock down. Fortunately the threats suggested above are not real because they are Asian Hornet Myths. They are what we see in the papers. Fake news is not restricted to 5G masts and politics.

A new page I have added today is an attempt to start to set the record straight by debunking Asian Hornet myths that are floating about out there.

A lot of the myths are spread on social media. If you are a user of any of these can I ask that you search for Asian Hornet on your favourite social media sites and if you see the Giant Asian Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) labelled as Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) then ask for it to be removed as being false and add your own comment to say what it really is.

We need the help of the public to keep on top of the Asian Hornet but they will not be able to do that if they are looking for the Giant Asian Hornet.