With thanks to the presenters involved, the BBKA is delighted to bring you several of the presentations from the 2021 Spring Convention.
These presentations are available on the BBKA YouTube Channel. Please subscribe to the channel, it is free to do so, and if you subscribe to the channel and 'click the bell' you will receive updates when more videos are uploaded.

Tales from the Honey Isles: Chris Park 
A mellifluous stroll through some British beekeeping folklore, mythology and archaeology; stopping along the way to inspect traditional beverages, customs, folk medicines, baskets of bees, and related arcana. Warning! There is a horn full of mead and also a song... 
Chris Park resides on an organic farm in the Vale of the White Horse, Wiltshire. He researches beekeeping heritage, folklore and history, teaches skep making and much more. He keeps bees treatment free in different styles of hive from logs and skeps to more conventional hives and a beehive air apitherapy house. Through lockdowns he has been working with friends on a bee themed podcast called Living Beeing: www.livingbeeing.com recommended by BBC podcast hour.  




Developing markers for breeding bees: Dr Stephen Pernal 
Most economically desirable traits in honey bees show heritability and can be improved via artificial selection. Our team has developed a novel approach to marker identification, notably the discovery of proteins in the antennae of nurse bees that are highly correlated with hygienic behaviour and Varroa Sensitive Hygiene. We tested for the expression of these ‘biomarkers’, to select and breed several hundred queens. Our selected stock had improved resistance to AFB and varroa, improved wintering and favourable economic performance. We are currently engaged in a large-scale project combining proteomics and genomics to identify markers for 12 economically important traits. Our progress is reviewed along with implications for improved trait selection in honey bees. 
Dr Stephen Pernal received his MSc and PhD in Entomology from the University of Manitoba and was a postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University with Dr Mark Winston. Since 2001, he has been a Research Scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Beaverlodge, Alberta, where he leads Canada’s federal apiculture research and is also Officer-in-Charge of Beaverlodge Research Farm. His diverse work has included detection, control and management strategies for AFB, chalkbrood, Nosema ceranae as well as emerging parasites of honey bees. Steve has also been integral to three successive Genome Canada projects evaluating markers for resistance to bee diseases and Varroa destructor. He formerly served as President of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists and is a contributing member to international honey bee health bodies. In 2013, he received Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to apiculture as a public servant, and in 2017, AAFC’s Gold Harvest award for Innovation, Collaboration and Service Excellence. In 2019, he was Scientific Program Chair for Apimondia 2019 in Montréal.  




Dr Nicola Bradbear: Research needed for better beekeeping development 
Most of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas; 80% of farmland in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is managed by smallholders. In Africa alone there are an estimated 41 million smallholders, and many of these are beekeepers. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of beekeeping development projects that aim to help people move out of poverty by means of beekeeping. What makes a successful project? What outcomes should be measured, and what evidence is needed to claim success? This talk considers the research needed to appreciate the behaviour of tropical bees, and feasible approaches to ensure successful, long term, sustainable, beekeeping development interventions. 
Dr Nicola Bradbear gained a PhD in biochemistry from Durham University. Already a beekeeper, her apicultural career began at the International Bee Research Association,  from 1983-1993. From 1993 to 1996 Nicola ran the postgraduate apiculture course at Cardiff University. Nicola has articulated the reasons why beekeeping is so important for the rural poor, and since founding Bees for Development in 1993, has gradually developed the organisation’s philosophy and innovative approach. Nicola is President of Apimondia’s Scientific Commission “Beekeeping for Rural Development”, President of Gwent Beekeepers Association, and a Trustee of the C B Dennis British Beekeepers Research Trust.  




Shirley Bond: From Comb to Candle
This demonstration shows simple methods of cleaning wax to make it suitable for producing candles or foundation. The processes are carried out with the minimum of specialist equipment.  Wherever possible easily obtained kitchen equipment is used. Casting a candle from the prepared wax is also demonstrated. 
Shirley Bond is a Master Beekeeper and a member of the BBKA Exam Board. She is involved with teaching beekeeping and associated skills in her local association and has given workshops around the region. She has kept bees since 2010 and has never traded in wax. Shirley is passionate about making the most of wax and has won prizes for wax and candles at local, regional and national levels.




Margaret Murdin: BBKA Exam Technique and Module 1

This presentation is suitable for anyone taking any of the BBKA Module exams and covers all types of exam techniques and the difficulties usually faced by candidates. Past papers of module 1 are used throughout, but techniques covered are relevant to all modules.

Margaret Murdin has been keeping bees for 20 years and is a Master Beekeeper. She has won the prestigious Wax Chandlers Award for the highest marks in the BBKA exams and holds the NDB. Margaret has recently stood down after 8 years as a BBKA Trustee and is a Past President, assistant moderator and examiner.







Dr Sara Robb: Making Kitchen Cosmetics

Sara Robb shows you how to make cosmetics in your kitchen. Using her rapid no-cure method, she demonstrates how to make Lemon Poppy Seed Soap - soap that is ready to sell the same day it is made. Beekeepers are also shown how to make Calendula & Honey Scrub - a great product for lockdown pampering. Both products can be made with beeswax and honey from your own hive and are ideal for beekeepers to sell at markets with their honey. Sara discusses what you need to do to sell these products legally in the UK.

Dr Sara Robb left academic research in 2003, and began making honey soaps and beeswax creams. Sara has been formulating for nearly 20 years. Her recipes
are available in books (Dr Sara’s Honey Potions, Beauty & the Bees, Making and Selling Cosmetics: Honeycomb Cleansing Cream) and numerous journal articles (British Beekeeping Journal, BeeCraft, BBKA News, Bees for Development Journal). She has a keen interest in teaching others to formulate cosmetics - running workshops at the BBKA Spring Convention and The National Honey Show. As an independent safety assessor, Sara helps beekeepers sell their own cosmetics by providing Cosmetic Product Safety Reports (CPSRs). With Robb’s Quick CPSRs you could be selling cosmetics made with Sara’s proven recipes in a matter of days!




Lynfa Davies, Spring Cleaning the Honey Bee Way
Practical advice on how to ensure your bees are working on clean, fresh comb. Lynfa describes the importance of regular comb changes and the impact this has on the health and productivity of the colony. She also looks at the conditions and resources that bees need for quick, uniform comb production. Different methods for changing comb in the brood nest are demonstrated. 

Lynfa Davies has been keeping bees with her husband Rob for approximately 15 years. She has 20 hives in and around her home near Aberystwyth. She is a Master Beekeeper and in 2019 achieved the NDB qualification. She enjoys sharing information with beekeepers to help them to learn the skills and knowledge that contribute towards successful beekeeping.




Prof Keith Delaplane, How honey bees use genetics to solve their problems and what we can learn from it

This presentation describes the evolutionary history of honey bee polyandry - the queen’s habit of mating with multiple males. Polyandry is thought to improve colony health by increasing in-nest genetic diversity and positive synergies between worker specialist groups at performing tasks. With its emphasis on genetic diversity, polyandry is a marked contrast to human-managed breeding schemes which focus on short-term gains in narrow specialist traits. Professor Delaplane presents new research from his lab that compares and contrasts outcomes from the two approaches. Rather than finding them antagonistic, evidence suggests the two approaches can be integrated to optimize honey bee health.

Prof Keith Delaplane oversees honey bee research, instruction, and outreach at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, USA. He is a frequent lecturer on behalf of bee science across the English-speaking world. In 2014 he was recognised by HRH Queen Elizabeth II as an honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his research and outreach efforts in the United Kingdom.



Keynote Address BBKA Spring Convention 2021: Tipping Points and Perceptions

It is an understatement to say that humankind faces many challenges many of which are of its own creation. Honey bees and humans have had a long relationship and species of the genus Apis, and many other bee species have contributed greatly to human civilisation around the world. The British Isles are no exception to this. Our reliance on pollinators and the particular contribution made by the honey bees should be front and centre in our society’s planning for the future. This short presentation considers several topics and introduces the question as to whether we have reached a series of tipping points in our beekeeping and whether our current practices and perceptions really are fit for purpose and in the best interests of our honey bee.

Dr David Aston is a Master Beekeeper having kept bees continuously for 40 years in the East Riding Of Yorkshire. He holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping, has been Chairman of the Board and was recently invited to re-join its Executive . He has contributed to the work of the BBKA for many years and has served as Chair of Trustees and is now a Past President. He’s also a Trustee of the CB Dennis British Beekeepers Research Trust.



Lecture Sponsored by CB Dennis trust