Many of you will be wondering what happened to Apis UK this year and many of you have emailed in to ask when (and if) we were going to continue to produce this popular ezine. Well we are back. Production problems meant that in order to continue we needed to effectively re-model Apis and this we have done in the form of a website and blog which you can access at any time. We are now able to bring you up to date with the history, poetry, cookery and (mainly) science of bees more easily and more effectively and our new site will enable you to access past information easily and quickly. Take a look around the site; look on the book page for news of current and up and coming books and reviews and search the tag cloud for past information. (We will gradually add past issues of Apis to the system). All in all we think we’ve now got it right, and Apis UK is here to stay. It will evolve to provide all beekeepers and others interested in the subject, the new science on bees.
We welcome inputs and good articles. Our ‘about’ page explains what Apis is all about. We intend to keep beekeepers up to date with what is going on in the science of beekeeping as well as looking at the past, the poetry, the cookery and anything else associated with bees and beekeeping. We welcome good articles and input so keep in touch with us and we’ll keep you informed.
So What’s in This Issue
The full blast of summer is here as we celebrate Christmas 2010 although I believe it is a touch chilly in Europe and the UK. Anyway, I’m writing the editorial sitting in the sun on the deck of the house and sampling a fine Monteith’s Summer Ale – a good hoppy beer with a touch of *Rata honey added by the brewery. As we have missed out so many issues, I have included many articles issued in journals from research institutes throughout 2010. Many interesting facts come to light from this research. Did you know for instance that just like us, honey bees deprived of sleep get clumsy and has difficulty communicating? Or that foragers not only tell their colleagues about floral nectar sources but can also tell them not to go to a particular location because of danger at that location? Again just like us, it appears that bees can get addicted to both nicotine and caffeine and they warm up with a drink – or did you know that elephants have a sound specially to warn other elephants to bee-ware! And just how do genes jump from flower to flower and should we be worried about it. And has varroa finally had its day? We look at how genetic engineering may be the answer. All these items should be of interest to beekeepers.
Children enter the news by providing us with some truly original research into bumble bees. It’s simply great that schools can now enter the research arena and it’s nice to know that hopefully the future is taken care of.
Honey continues to be a source of profound interest to medical researchers and we look at two articles of interest. In the first it appears that yet another antibacterial agent has been found in honey, and we are told to ask our medical practitioners to use honey remedies if appropriate especially after surgery. This is not such a strange idea. In the past, people bragged about being given a course of antibiotics – it showed how serious their ailment was – and look where that has got us! Let’s now brag about being given honey!
Our history section takes a look at Aristotle and as in previous issues of Apis, we read some bee poetry by the American poet, Emily Dickinson, a true genius of her craft. And as for the cooking bit – ‘Fried Bread’ – it’s truly wonderful! Try it.
Our book page reviews two new books obtainable from Northern Bee Books, but remember we will provide reviews of bee related books from any publisher or organisation as well as magazines/diaries and so on so if you have written a review please do send it to us for inclusion.
All in all I believe that there is something for everyone in this issue and we aim now to keep it that way on a monthly basis so keep reading and if you want to include something, let us know. We will respond.
All the very best for 2011
*Rata honey comes from (believe it or not) Rata trees which along with the pohutukawa, are one of the best known native trees in New Zealand. The rata and pohutukawa belong in the myrtle family of trees. Other members of this family include manuka, kanuka and swamp maire. There are two main types of rata, the northern and southern. Southern rata (Metrosideros umbellata) grows from a seed in the ground to become a tree up to 15 metres high with a trunk 1 metre through.
The photo of a Southern Rata belongs to virtual New Zealand www.virtualoceania.net/newzealand/photos/flora/rata/
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