Welcome to Black's cornish bees

A Cornish bee project

Select links on the left of the page to find out about all our plans and activities.
The Project.

Bob Black is a local beekeeper who works with other local beekeepers to sustain the population of Native Black bees and who hope to help them develop and maintain their natural resistance to mites and diseases through a careful and sustainable program of breeding and management.
On the sites in West Cornwall bees will be introduced and managed that will be treated with ecologically friendly and alternative methods of mite control and disease treatment. (Largely based on self grooming and Essential oils, Thyme based remedies and plant extracts, proven to be efficacious).
The project will work closely with Cornwall beekeepers , other local beekeepers and the Cornwall Bee Improvement Program and is developing links with University of Bradford beekeepers looking at the use of ecological, non chemical disease and mite control.
The project also aims eventually to set up a workshop to offer employment opportunities to young people with learning difficulties on a small scale, producing polishes and cosmetics based on beeswax and honey.
We will soon be able to offer honey produced on sites from bees foraging the flora in the immediate area .
For further information on the project and bee improvement in Cornwall contact: Bob Black bob.black@talktalk.net
It must be said that occasionally we receive bees or rescue colonies and swarms from unknown sources' Occasionally we inherit hives made from timber from unknown sources, we don't waste resources nor do we cull bee colonies. These bees and this equipment is absorbed into our stock and used as any sensible person would, to avoid waste or create an unnatural demand for resources. Bee colonies are occasionally requeened from known local stock, to help towards our wider aims and objectives. We avoid sugar feeding but do feed both sugar and nectar to supplement poor forage and ensure the build up and health of our colonies, this is not extracted for use in our Honey products.

dark bees

 

 

 

 

 

 

The British Black Bee

We're stuck with our climate. So are the bees.The native British Black Bee evolved here with a very similar climate -short, damp and relatively cold summers and relatively mild winters. The Black Bee has thick hair covering its body. It forms smaller, tighter winter clusters than its more southerly or easterly neighbours.The native bee was "chosen" by natural selection for the climate of North West Europe. It flies and gathers honey when the Italians are stuck in the hive. Its improved ability to conserve heat means it needs smaller winter colonies with a much lower food consumption than the sugar fed carniolians.

THE CORNISH VARIANT OF AMM HAS SIGNIFICANT QUALITIES and is at the forefront of beating the decline in bee colonies:

 

Significant winter hardiness- low tendency to swarm -defensive against invaders such as wasps-careful, measured maritime brood cycle - strong drive to collect pollen-high longevity of the worker bees and queen-excellent flight strength even in cold weather-possibly hardiness against varroa.