At the Ellon Probus Club meeting on August 23, President Sinclair welcomed Kate Duncan as speaker. Kate, a former radiographer and bee-keeper, gave an animated and amusing account of bee-keeping from Mesolithic times to the present.
Kate gave a witty account of the life of the honey bee, sympathising with the hectic life of the worker while the male drones sit around waiting to be fed, getting an odd opportunity to mate with a queen.
On the serious side, Kate described the essential role played by bees in fertilising plants and fruits, and concerns that the bee-population in the UK has dropped by 50% in recent years. The reasons for this drop are unclear but indications are that pesticides and changes to the environment have played a role, in addition to long established bee diseases.
Kate’s presentation concluded with members treated to a honey tasting session to demonstrate the different flavours created by pollen and nectar from different types of flowers. It is believed that some members were unfit for lunch afterwards.
The meeting fished with a lively question and answer session and a vote of thanks given by David Barclay.