A beekeeper with more than 60 years experience has been creating a buzz in his local community.
Prof John Hobrough has been announced as the latest addition to the British Beekeepers Association’s (BBKA) nationwide Adopt A Beehive campaign.
Prof Hobrough, from Warkworth, Northumberland, is the new representative of the North East region and joins 16 other beekeepers across the country, volunteering his services to help raise awareness of the plight of the honeybee.
The campaign is the only virtual adoption scheme in the UK that directly raises funds to help the bee through research and education programmes.
Set up in 2010, it allows people to get involved with the world of beekeeping without getting their hands sticky by adopting a local beekeeper, and following their highs and lows through three seasonal updates throughout the year.
Prof Horough has nearly 60 years of beekeeping experience and will be providing adopters with updates on two apiaries, based in and around Warkworth. As a well-known beekeeper in the local area, he often gets called out to collect swarms during the height of summer, so will also have a few tales to share on unusual places honey bees decide to call home.
Prof Hobrough said: “I was delighted to be invited to join the Adopt A Beehive campaign and hopefully help those unable to keep bees themselves gain a real insight into the world of beekeeping.
“In my second year of beekeeping I collected 450lbs of honey from four hives, an unlikely quantity today as the loss of habitats and threats to honey bee health have decimated populations and honey production.
“Last season and past winters were particularly difficult for the bees, highlighting the importance of campaigns like Adopt A Beehive that shine a light on beekeepers challenges, and provides practical guidance on the little things we can all do to help.
“I’m looking forward to starting my updates in the coming weeks.”
For more information on the scheme, go to www.adoptabeehive.co.uk .
Earlier this year, the Government called an ‘urgent’ review into the decline of the bee population.
According to Defra, there are about 40,000 honeybee-keepers in the UK with more than 200,000 colonies of honeybees. About 300 are commercial beekeepers who manage around 40,000 colonies.
However, there has been a recent decline in pollinators because of disease, environmental factors and climate change.