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Instrumental INsemination GRoup Information Dissemination Day

(a brief report about the...)
Information Dissemination Day
Saturday 6th July 2002... 9.30am - 5.00pm
in the BBKA H.Q. N.A.C. Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire

Ron Hoskins, 10 Larksfield, Swindon, Wilts. SN3 5AD. Tel: 01793-525364. Email: ron@honeybee1.org.uk

Hello All

I write to tell you of our 'get-together' as detailed in the letter I sent you last month. Sixteen members attended, including one from the Isle of Man and two from N. Ireland. I received a few apologies for those that could not make the meeting. Having contacted several by e-mail I suspect they did net get it as my system has been playing up. My apologies if you missed the meeting. I am now using the post office to ensure this letter reaches all on my list.

As you recall, it was proposed that a £5 annual fee be paid by each member to build up a fund so that one year we can have enough spending money to bring in a 'Superior Practitioner'. Some of you have paid £5 for 2002, some have even paid for 2003, so the funds are beginning to build, over £100 now, but I would like to hear from those that have still to pay. I will do a balance sheet at the end of the year. This will only go to those that have 'committed'.

To those that have paid and were unable to attend on Saturday I enclose your receipt. To those who wish to send a cheque please make it payable to the 'Instrumental Insemination Group'. If I do not hear from you may I assume you have lost interest and do not wish to hear from Dave Cushman or me again in the future?

At the meeting it was agreed that Dave Cushman would write an HTML newsletter for the group. It will be published by Email and archived on http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/iinewsletter.html for anyone to read. Those of you on our books that do not have access to the Internet will receive a printed copy of the newsletter by 'snail mail'.

Albert Knight of BIBBA talking about his groups work in stock selection for queen rearing started our meeting. I hope that when Dave puts his newsletter together it will tell you much more (2nd issue... Ed) just had to share it with you now. Albert's group are working together with Rev. John Dews who has been spending a huge amount of his time and effort in the study of his hives 'Daily Varroa Mite Drop' for chewing-damage by the bees and logging the results. Many, many thousands of mites have been studied and the results separately recorded. He has discovered and noted that there is several types of chewing-damage caused to the mite and by placing a water trap on one half the floor was able to prove the damage was not by earwigs or such. He also does not normally treat against Varroa as he feels that from the results of his statistics he is sure that workers are learning the technique by 'watching' their siblings, as there is a daily increase in mite damage before it is bought under control by the bees. If there is a break due to treatment, the learning process must start again by a completely new generation of workers and no one to pass on the know-how. The most successful 'nibbler' colonies were bred from by Albert's group, both drones and workers, and these were inseminated last weekend by Redmond Williams who came over from Ireland to do it. The successful queens are now back with Rev. Dews. He will be studying these colonies to see if they have successfully inherited the mite nibbling skills. This will prove if it is a learning or inherent process. I will not be alone in waiting to hear the results of this dedicated study.

One of my main reasons for taking up I.I. was to help in stopping the demise of the honeybee due to the mite. It is estimated that 24 billion honeybees has dropped to less than 10 billion in ten short years due to the effects of Varroa on feral colonies, and beekeepers cutting back or giving up. I think that loss has now bottomed out, but the rebuilding will take many, many years. If, by selective breeding and I.I. we together can help that increase happen then don't give up! Stay with us and learn with us.

It was nice to hear of another success story when Richard Jackman turned up with a nice new set-up, including CCTV and Monitor, financed by a grant from the Millennium Fund. Incidentally, BBKA have also recently been awarded a nice grant toward their new training and teaching apiary to be built adjacent to BBKA headquarters. Perhaps we might encourage the apiary manager to raise some queens there for us to use next year?

All those attending agreed the July meeting was better because it gave stimulus to go away and practice some of the things learnt. A September meeting did not; so the date for next year will be either June or July. A poll will be taken of those on line to assess the preferred date of which you will all be notified via Dave's newsletter , so look out for it. Hopefully it will also contain information about all things I.I. including how to locate the equipment and accessories if you don't already know. If you do know, or have other news of advice then pass it to Dave by e-mail (see page bottom) or by post to David Cushman, Hatfield Terrace, 50 St Peters Street, Syston, Leicester, LE7 1HJ or 0116 260 2527.

The morning passed all too quickly and after sandwiches and coffee we had the benefit of Michael Collier conducting insemination. Michael trained in the USA with Susan Cobey and spent some time working on a large queen breeding station.

See you at the next meeting? and... Don't forget the queens and drones. (I received a reprimand from one of you for saying that in my last letter. It was said that the organisers should provide the specimens. I did not look upon them as specimens, but as your own (to be inseminated) queens that you may take back home for study after you had done the inseminating under tuition -hopefully).

Please send any corrected address, etc., and e-mail address to Ron.

Written by Ron Hoskins, with slight amendments by myself.

 Written by Ron... 8th July 2002, Posted here... 15 July 2002, Upgraded... 20 April 2006, Revised 30-11-11,