Colonsay to become honeybee nature reserve in January 2014

The Bee Keeping [Colonsay and Oronsay] Order 2013 will see the Argyll island of Colonsay, with its satellite island of Oronsay, become a safe haven for the black bee, Apis Mellifera Mellilfera from January 2014 onwards.

The species has been threatened by crossbreeding and weakened by the ‘Isle of Wight’ disease. This protective order – which makes it illegal to keep any other sort of bee there – and the island is the farthest out of the chain with Islay and Jura to which it belongs – will see to its survival and recovery.

Colonsay and Oronsay have form in this measure. Way back in 1941, they became a pilot breeding station for the black bee. And 35 years ago, island bee-keeper, Andrew Abrahams, the dominant figure in the achievement of nature reserve status, established black bee apiaries there.

Now this protective order, giving special status to the islands, will also give their honey a unique selling point through the genetic purity of their bee stock . It will further support the local economy in additionally attracting bee-keepers from across the world; and acting as a beacon station for the hardy black bee.

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One Response to Colonsay to become honeybee nature reserve in January 2014

  1. Think BEE: even in your own garden, certain plants and shrubs attract bees of all sorts. We NEED bees far more than they need us, so long as we don’t continue destroying their environment.

    Even Rhododendron and Gorse, which also give superb shelter for other animals including otters and deer…vital in built up areas. My Fuchsia has created a last late bee food stop!

    Little signals the countryside like the sound of bees humming, they won’t hurt you if you stay still, flapping of hands is not the best thing to do!

    And have you heard of ‘Bee Resuscitation’? When/if they become exhausted (often found moving slowly or not at all on the ground), and slow a little sugar mixed with a few drops of water on a tea-spoon, place it close to their heads…watch the proboscis dig in and within a few minutes, normally they will fly off for another day!

    It will make you feel good too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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