Following the government’s guidance that all social interactions must be avoided, Croydon Beekeepers has made significant changes to its programme for 2020. A number of our members are in the identified “vulnerable” groups, and we do need to take steps to protect them.
With regret, we are putting on hold all of our public training and education activities. This means that we are not able accept requests to give talks, have stalls at fairs etc. and our training courses have been suspended.
We are discussing how to offer continued support to new beekeepers as the bees of course will continue to do what bees do. Our weekend club apiary sessions will not start in April as planned, but we are looking at how to adapt the format so we can provide support in a safe way to those who are already new beekeepers. This will probably include individual coaching and the use of technology.
Just as a side note: honey bees are social insects and have their own problems with rapid transmission of disease within a colony. There is no concept of “social distancing” in a hive, the bees walk over each other. New pathogens are emerging all the time, mostly because humankind has helped them to hop species by moving material around the world. Sometimes these diseases are sufficient to cause a colony to collapse, but the bees are resilient and capable of rapid evolution. One of the activities we will not put on hold is husbandry of the bees, we will continue to look after them.