Blacks Cornish Bee Project.
The project is now 10 years old and we manage 3 apiary sites in West Cornwall. One close to Coverack on the Lizard , one at National Trust Godolphin near Helston, the newest is on a site in Treluswell , managed along with 16 allotment plots. Blacks Cornish Bees is a 'not for profit' Community Interst CompanyThe project is keen to conserve and protect the native population of bees and raise awareness of the positive atributes and outcomes of working with the Cornish variant of AMM bees in colaboration with all the groups and individual beekeepers sharing this vision. Bob is a director of the B4 Project and a secretary at the Cornwall Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Group, a contributer to Bee Improvent progam for Cornwall and a member of the West Cornwall Beekeepers Group.
For further information on the project and bee improvement in Cornwall follow our links and contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
In September a group of local beekeepers came together to launch the Native bee haven status at National Trust Godolphin , we hope the first of many. This followed the installation of two remote hive sensoring devices on the site in collaboration with Pollenize in Plymouth. Part of over 200 monitoring systems that will feed information on our bees into a central feed to enable researchers, acedemics and conservation groups to do valuable work conserving and protecting honey bees.
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
From left : Maggie Freegard ( B4 ) Robert Shepperd( BipCo ) Claire North and Juliet Turner ( National Trust ) and Bob Black at the installation of new signage for Godolphin.
The Duchy of Cornwall is supporting a project to save the Cornish remnants of the native Black Honey Bee.
At one time the Black Honey Bee was the only sub-species to be found in Cornwall. However, the combined impact of Isle of Wight disease in the 1920s and an increasing reliance on Southern European varieties of bee has led to the gene pool being diluted to the point where a relatively pure Black Bee now represents as little as one per cent of the British bee population, which is itself declining at an alarming rate.
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.
Our Godolphin Native bees make the front page of the BIBBA journal.
Our DNA results make front page of the National Trust newsletter
Bob Black is a Director of the B4 project, membership secretary of CBIBBG and a contributor to both BipCo and BIBBA
Adopt a Cornish bee's hive and support the project to add another colony of bees. An Ideal way to help the environment and learn about the fascinating life of bees without the time commitment. A perfect gift for anybody with an interest in the environment, ecology and sustainable husbandry in Cornwall.
You'll receive a newsletter by email full of information about the project, the care of your adopted bees and information about the progress of the apiary where your adopted hive is located. This is a great opportunity to get involved in a sustainable and eco friendly project from the comfort of your own home. The money is used to create one more colony of Cornish bees which can help to maintain and develop the indigenous bee population. Without a sustainable program of beekeeping the diversity and maintenance of the countries flora and food supplies is at risk.