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Bees and other insects as flying machines

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Robin Wootton is a retired zoologist, entomologist and biomechanicist, and occasional palaeoentomologist. He taught at Exeter University for 41 years, retiring in 2002 as Reader in Insect Biomechanics. His primary research field was insect flight mechanics, with particular reference to the functioning and engineering of insect wings, an area which he and his students pioneered. Towards the end of his career he took a largely passive interest in the application of insect flight mechanics to the development of small flying robots – Micro Air Vehicles.

Mark Wootton

Since 1968 Robin has been a member of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and the Arts – a unique, 152 year old organization dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of every aspect of Devon through research, publication and discussion. He was Chairman from 2008 to 2014, and active in strengthening the Association, broadening its coverage and raising its profile; and initiating two new special interest Sections – Music and Industrial Archaeology – to complement the six that already existed. He organised the Association's first ever art exhibition, in Exeter from 9th - 26th October 2014, and is in the midst of planning a major symposium and
celebration of historical and cultural links between Devon and Newfoundland in 2017, led by the DA in collaboration with the Devon Family History Society. He chairs the Association's Literature and Art Section and is on the committees of the Music Section and Entomology Section.

Robin remains in contact with entomologists, palaeoentomologists and biomechanicists worldwide, and is currently (slowly) writing a book on the mechanics and evolution of insect wings. He lectures widely to a variety of audiences, primarily on aspects of animal flight, insect wings and evolution, and folding structures from origami to beetle hindwings, and occasionally on animal illustrators and historic naturalists.

This meeting will be held at Newcourt Community Centre, Blakeslee Drive, The Rydons, Exeter EX2 7FN.

Free parking.

Nosema Testing Day

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This year's Nosema Testing Day will again be held at Magdalen Court School, Victoria Park Road, Exeter EX2 4NU from 9.30am - 3.30pm 0n 28th April 2018.

In order to obtain significant accuracy in the diagnosis, a sample of 30 bees should be collected, if possible. Please read "The examination of bees for Nosema disease" below for guidance on how to obtain your sample of bees to bring with you.

David Friend has very kindly agreed to give one of his informative and entertaining talks - topic to be confirmed.

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World Bee Day 2018

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The original idea for a World Bee Day came form the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association and has now received support from 53 countries and is intended to raise public awareness of the importance of bees and apicultural products has an important role in the effort to protect bees and beekeeping.

World  Bee Day logo
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about World Bee Day

Bees play an extremely important role in nature. It is said that there would be no food or human life without bees.

Bees and other pollinators are very important for human survival. One third of food produced in the world depends on pollination and bees play the most important role among the pollinators. By pollination, bees contribute to successful agricultural production, to providing food security, and they also assure the nutritional security of the population with their highly nutritious products, such as honey.

World Bee Day is celebrated in May when the number of bees in colonies increases in the southern hemisphere to such an extent that colonies may swarm, which is their natural way of reproduction. During this period, bees are most numerous and the need for pollination is at its maximum.  On the otherhand, it is autumn in the southern hemisphere and time for harvesting honey.

Honiton Show 2018

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The 128th Honiton Agricultural Show takes place on Thursday 3rd August 2017 from 8am - 6pm at the Honiton Showground with over 400 trade stands, including crafts, shopping and fabulous food.. don't forget to visit the honey tent!

For further information and to purchase tickets, visit the Honiton Show website.


Members are again invited to supply honey products for this year's show.  Other bee products will be welcome.

When bringing your honey to the show to sell, why not consider putting an entry into one of the classes at the show.  There are lots of classes apart from honey and wax - cake making, photographs of interest to beekeepers - and much more.   The more entries there are the greater interest is generated for both the beekeepers and the general public.

If you would like to sell honey or other bee products at the Honiton Show, please complete the price list and return to Sylvia Guest (details on price list) to be received no later than Monday 22nd July 2018.