Monthly Archives: August 2020

Products Of The Beehive

I had not intended to bore visitors to the Hankerton village website with any further notes on beekeeping which is just one of several hobbies that have kept me occupied throughout the Covid restrictions to date. But it is raining heavily, and I noticed an article on the front page of the Times Newspaper headed “If you need to beat a cough, honey takes the biscuit” written by the health correspondent. The opening sentence reads “Honey is more effective than standard over-the-counter medicines at combating coughs and sore throats, a study has said”. I am tempted to say cynically “so what’s new” but now it has prompted me to write a few words on the PRODUCTS OF THE BEEHIVE.

Briefly they are: Honey, Pollen, Royal Jelly, Propolis and Wax. I have written about honey before so here are just brief descriptions of the rest.

Pollen is extremely rich in protein and contains all the essential amino acids, various fatty acids, vitamins B,C,D,E and K, and provitamin A. Bees get covered in pollen as they collect nectar from plants they then enrich it with different ferments, hormones and antibiotic substances. Beekeepers often install ‘pollen traps’ to collect the pollen from the bees as they enter the hive. Pollen can be purchased from many health stores and it is recommended to soak pollen before ingesting to swell the gains and dissolve. I eat a small amount of pollen every day, but pollen can cause allergies in some people.

Royal jelly improves general wellbeing and brain function and is an excellent dietary supplement for the elderly. Bee larvae are fed the jelly up to being three days old whereas the queen bees live exclusively on it. The jelly can be ingested in small quantities fresh or in preparations. It can be mixed with honey, pollen, wax or propolis. Like pollen it can cause allergies in some people.

Propolis is the beehive’s incredibly special treasure because it is a natural antibiotic. Bees coat the inside of the hive with propolis, thus protecting it from moisture, wind, and microbes. We know of various pharmaceutical preparation made from propolis, such as ointments, tablets and solutions that can be used topically. I use propolis tincture to ease sore throat and cold sores.

Wax – for softer and younger looking skin. Wax is produced by the glands of a worker bee, which they then use to build the honeycomb and to seal the top of honey filled cells. Beeswax contains over 300 natural compounds, among which the main component is fatty-acid esters. Wax is used in the cosmetic industry in face balms to keep skin soft and supple. Its more obvious use is the production of candles which burn with a pleasant smell of honey, propolis and pollen. In the past I have made candles, furniture creams, furniture polish and supplied small quantities of pure wax to the jewellery trade.

Bee Venom is an indispensable ingredient used to desensitise against bee stings. Venom is known for its therapeutic properties: it’s used, for example, to help control pain related to arthritis. Most people know bees for their sting. However, they need a particularly good reason to sting. If you encounter bees remember they only sting if their life is seriously threatened. But in front of a beehive a quite different story holds true, there guard bees patrol diligently the hive entrance to ensure no predators get into the hive and kill either the bees or feed on the larvae. Human beings are a predator!

Brian Betts

Brian has been kind enough to write a number of bee related articles for us. The others are here :-
Bees and Honey
Honey Bees
Bees and Lockdown


Link Volunteer Drivers

I work for Community First and we are the supporting body for the 43 Link schemes that run throughout Wiltshire. As I am sure you know Link Schemes are voluntary groups which offer a transport and good neighbour service to local people who are in need, perhaps because they are elderly, disabled, isolated and lonely, single parents, or perhaps temporarily in need because of illness.

These essential services provide a safety net for those unable to access services in other ways. Link Schemes aim to complement other services, statutory and voluntary.

Link Schemes operate as small, independent charitable organisations and all volunteers use their own private vehicles. (Insurance and DBS checks are carried out).

To give you an idea of the level of support The Link Schemes offer, last year they made 31,351 health related journeys and completed 48,027 good neighbour tasks which incorporate collecting prescription’s and shopping.

Due to Covid 19, the Link schemes have found themselves suffering from a large number of volunteers being unable to drive because of age and or vulnerability.

We desperately need your support in promoting our recruitment drive to find new volunteers across Wiltshire to keep this vital service going in these times.

Therefore, I wonder if you would be kind enough to share the attached flyer with anyone in your parish – we have had a good response from other parish councils, community groups and churches who have found they got involved with volunteering during the Covid 19 lock down and that now that the lockdown has started to be lifted they would like to still help and be active in their communities. The Link Scheme is a great way for them to be involved.

Thank you and
Kind regards
Samantha Lloyd
Link Development Officer
Community First | Social Action Hub (Wiltshire + Swindon)

The Grapevine – deliveries

The printing costs for The Grapevine have been creeping up over the years and it has now become quite difficult to produce the full colour version.

Also, many people may wish to reduce the number of items being delivered to their house at this unusual time.

The Grapevine team would therefore like to understand your views about production and delivery.  Please could you let us know by filling in the very brief form <Click Here> .

Thank you !

Solar Farm Planning Application in Minety

Large battery storage & solar farm planning application near Minety sub-station

As many local residents may by now be aware, a planning application was made to Wiltshire County Council (WCC) for the installation and operation of a large battery storage and solar farm development across 271 acres of agricultural land near the Minety sub-station (WCC planning reference 20/03528/FUL).

To read more <Click Here>