“Thousands of rare forest honeybees that appear to be the last wild descendants of Britain’s native honeybees have been discovered in the ancient woodlands of Blenheim Palace. These bees appear to be resistant to the varroa mite. “The bees are very relaxed, and he (the beekeeper) does not need to wear any protective equipment” …“I can put my hand in the nest. They are very calm”… This finding is being taken very seriously, with DNA and cubital index (wing vein patterns) investigations proceeding. You can read this very interesting article, published in The Guardian, in full using the link;
Let us hope that there will be some very sensitive and unobtrusive management of these wild bees and that they are not ruthlesly exploited in the interest of commercially motivated beekeepers. It does not auger well that they have already been exposed in the national media. I imagine that BIBBA will have a great interest in this article as it seems to be in the same area as their much discussed British Black bee.
Thanks to Peter Webb and Claire Balla for making us aware of this.