Polish bees fly to the rescue
Posted On Dec 11, 2014
A buzz about the biz! Polish bees fly to the rescue of threatened British counterparts – Huddersfield Examiner
Polish bees are buzzing to the rescue of their British counterparts.
Two students at Huddersfield University are importing bees from their Eastern European homeland with the UK bee population in serious decline.
British bees are under attack from several factors including a mysterious syndrome named ‘colony collapse disorder’, the widespread use of pesticides and a destructive parasite called the varroa mite.
Bees are vital to the food chain as they pollinate around 70 crops.
Now, in a bid to save the UK food industry from disaster, Polish students Ewa Polewska and her partner Michael Johanowicz have set up their own company Bee4Bees.
Both in their final year in the university’s Business School, the couple are drafting in Euro bees as well as introducing modern new techniques to British beekeepers.
Ewa’s father is an experienced beekeeper in a country which is ahead of Britain when it comes to looking after hives.
Michael said that in Poland there was much less of a problem with ‘colony collapse disorder’ and there was a greater openness to innovation and new ideas.
In Britain beekeeping tended to be more of a hobby for the older generation and the hives generally in use dated back to the 1920s.
Michael and Ewa are developing smaller, lighter hives and are designing a vehicle mounted platform to allow bee colonies to be transported more easily.
“I cannot bring the forest to my bees and I cannot bring the heather to my bees. So I bring the bees to the heather,” said Michael.
Based at the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre in Huddersfield, the couple also hope to build on the work of legendary British apiarist, Brother Adam, of Buckfast Abbey. In the 1920s he used cross-breeding to develop a disease-resistant bee.
The couple are also selling beeswax candles and honey.