THE President, Sue, opened the meeting and welcomed everyone present by wishing them a very Happy New Year.

Sue informed those present that the Treasurer, Anne, had resigned and the new Treasurer would be Mary.

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed and signed.

The President informed those present that annual subscriptions are now due and the rota for tea ladies is on the notice board.

The speaker, Keren Green, was introduced and she commenced her talk by showing slides of honeybees and their busy lives.

Honeybees are very sociable and there are between 50,000 and 60,000 bees in a hive; the worker bees are female and the drones, which do not have a sting, are male.

The life span of the Queen Bee is three to five years.

During mediaeval times, bees were kept in upturned woven baskets, but now they are kept in modern hives with double walls. Keren demonstrated the protection value of the special clothing beekeepers wear.

Locally, the yield from the bees at Croome Park is very high, although last year it was down by 80 per cent.

This was partly affected by a parasitic mite, which attaches itself to bees causing the bees to die.

Helen gave a vote of thanks for a very interesting talk, following which raffle prizes were drawn and a delicious tea completed an enjoyable afternoon.