BEEKEEPING - Learning and teaching
Interview with John Phipps, the editor of The Beekeepers Quarterly
part 2 (2 of 4)
5. You live in Greece now and edit the magazine from there using the modern means of communication. Can you describe beekeeping in Greece briefly? What type of hive is used, what are the main honey flows, and generally, what are the main characteristics of Greek beekeeping?
I still consider myself a novice beekeeper as regards Greece. Most, maybe all,
beekeepers use Langstroth hives with fixed floors and with deep boxes used as
honey supers. Most of the beekeepers I know do not use queen excluders. The
pattern of beekeeping is very different from the one I was used to in the UK.
Here the bees build up rapidly in the south of Greece and make use of the early
flows from the many wild flowers but particularly mountain sage. There is a
further flow in July from the thyme and some beekeepers move their bees to the
forests for honeydew from the pines and firs. In midsummer the broodnest shrinks
and builds up only slowly when pollen becomes available in early autumn - mainly
from the carob tree, the ivy and the heather. The broodnest stays relatively
modest in size and then expands once again in spring.
6. At what extent are you included in Greek beekeeping affairs?
am fortunate to live in an area where I have been able to make contact with and
gain many beekeeper friends. Often we look at our bees together and try out new
techniques. Most of them are interested in the new ideas or strange pieces of
equipment that manufacturers send me to try out. The language is a bit of a
problem, but I am learning more Greek each day! The national Greek beekeepers
association have made me an honorary member and they would like me to write for
part 1 (editorial work, BKQ magazine)
part 2 (beekeeping in Greece)
part 3 (beekeeping in UK, working with children)