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Beekeepers get insight into hive decline

PUBLISHED: 10:25 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:47 01 August 2010

LOCAL beekeepers have turned out in force to watch an acclaimed new documentary film which investigates the mysterious decline of the honey bee.

More than 60 people, mainly beekeepers keen to find out more about the issue, attended a screening of the Vanishing of the Bees at Geldeston village hall.

LOCAL beekeepers have turned out in force to watch an acclaimed new documentary film which investigates the mysterious decline of the honey bee.

More than 60 people, mainly beekeepers keen to find out more about the issue, attended a screening of the Vanishing of the Bees at Geldeston village hall.

The film, which is distributed by the Co-operative, examines the reasons behind the declining bee population and suggests long-term exposure to a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids is partly to blame.

Brian Norman, who organises the screenings and is himself a beekeeper, said that he has signed up to the Co-operative's Plan Bee, a campaign to help save bee populations.

He said: “When I signed up for the Co-op Plan Bee and received an email about the film screening in Norwich, I rang up the distributors and asked if we could have it here.

“I have been a beekeeper for about three years and have heard about the problems. It is all over the place and there are people who have lost hives. I think times have changed. Speaking to people who maybe kept bees 20 years ago, they didn't used to do very much in terms of looking after them. Now they have to inspect them weekly during the summer and keep a very close eye on them.”

Mr Norman said that 64 people attended the screening on Wednesday including beekeepers from across Suffolk and some from Norfolk. He said the film implied that more independent research was needed into bee diseases and pesticides.

It was the first screening at the village hall where organisers were able to use their own equipment purchased with grant money.

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