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BEE INTERESTING

One of the addictive things about beekeeping is how alien bees are. Their social life looks superficially a bit like ours – they live in cities, they co-operate – but are so utterly different in their roots and complexity. Even their genetics are different: drones are haploid which means they only have half the right number of chromosomes; worker bees and queens are diploid, with the full set of chromosomes. It\’s like being able to spy on extraterrestrials.
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Beekeepers, however, are a very friendly bunch and full of tips for anxious beginners like me. The first social meeting of the autumn for the Roseland Beekeeping Group was tonight and I not only got some good advice on what to do about my poor empty hive, how to help the surviving hive and how best to build wasp traps (grrrr), I also had the comfort of hearing that everyone had trouble with wasp nests this year. I wonder why this year in particular? Maybe the cold weather last winter killed something that normally preys on wasps?
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Let\’s find out what it is and cosset and caress it this winter.

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