The South West Natural Bee Convention 2015

Gladstone Solomon from Trinidad
prepares log hive  at the convention
I was privileged to be able to speak about Tree Hive beekeeping at the wonderful South West Natural Bee Convention organised by Bryony Huntley from The Westfield farm natural beekeeping group and supported by the North Somerset Sustainable Bee group.

Over 16 speakers and demonstrators generously shared their skills and time . Particular highlights included:

Matt Somerville - The tree log hive project. Over 15 log hives will be installed in trees and naturally populated by bees. Some logs are already completed and another was finished at the convention. One of the first logs to be installed was populated by a swarm after being up for just 10 days.

John Haverson from the Hampshire Natural Beekeeping group  discussed a project tracking the health of over 80 wild hives within 10 miles of Andover. The good news was that they were surviving better than managed hives ... no surprise there.

Matt & John's - Modified Lazutin hive. A beautiful hive, thoughtfully designed with the needs of the bee coming first.

Kwame from Bees for Development- The sting-less bee of Ghana. They may be sting-less but they know how to protect themselves  - by 'swarming' into the face of any intruder.

Nicola Bradbear  from Bees for Development and their inspiring work to assist beekeepers living in poor and remote areas of the world.

Heather Moore - from Bee the Change and her bee discovery work with children in Bristol. Heather is currently traveling around Europe visiting beekeepers. One of the first stops will be to the Polish Tree Beekpeers from the Bartnic2 project, so I'm looking forward to tracking her progress on her facebook page.

Brock - Skep making using his hand scythed and threshed rye from his bio-dynamic farm in Somerset. His next skep course at the farm is September 2015.

It was heartening to hear so much interest in wild bee colonies as well as tree and log hives. Supporting the natural preferences of the bee was a strong theme.

Westfield farm will be organizing  a tree hive event in April 2016 and a second convention in 2017. I look forward to going to going to both those events.

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