DROMORE beekeepers recently enjoyed a lecture by Vanessa Drew, from Ballyroney, one of the Dromore members.
Vanessa took on the task of delivering the lecture at the February meeting.
She took an innovative and light-hearted approach to her subject. Her husband, Russell, made her a model sting which demonstrated how the various plates are connected to each other.
Russell helped her to demonstrate how, by pushing one plate, others were activated and resulted in the sting being pushed out into the victim.
She demonstrated the action of the umbrella valves which force out the venom with the use of a large golf umbrella.
When a bee stings, a scent or pheromone is released, which signals to other bees to come out prepared to add to the stinging of the victim.
This scent has variously been likened to ripe bananas and to pear drops.
It is important that beekeepers recognise the smell of a sting as it is a signal to close up the hive and so avoid further stings.
Vanessa demonstrated the action of the diaphragms by getting six volunteers to hold a bed sheet horizontally and wave it, thus creating turbulence.
The biggest beekeeping event in Northern Ireland will shortly take place at the Greenmount Campus on March 8 and 9.
It is the Ulster Beekeepers’ Conference; further details may be had from David McCartney at firstname.lastname@example.org