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In PM tonight: Martha Kearney on bees.

Eddie Mair | 12:50 UK time, Wednesday, 25 August 2010



  • 1. At 1:50pm on 25 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 1:58pm on 25 Aug 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:


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  • 3. At 2:19pm on 25 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 2:52pm on 25 Aug 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    They give her a buzz.

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  • 5. At 3:28pm on 25 Aug 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    Wouldn't this be a good posting for the pm glass box on days when the PM office has been a 'hive of activity'?

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  • 6. At 3:36pm on 25 Aug 2010, DiY wrote:

    LOL :-)

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  • 7. At 4:07pm on 25 Aug 2010, Electric Dragon wrote:

    Next week: Hugh Sykes on drugs and Nils Blythe on life support.

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  • 8. At 4:33pm on 25 Aug 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Mindclearly(5)- Beehave yourself!

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  • 9. At 4:46pm on 25 Aug 2010, U14589562 wrote:

    There is something immediate, fresh, remarkable and electric in the patterns bees exhibit, perhaps even more so, wasps. Their colours never feel stale and dated, their fashion never passe.

    I'm not sure I'd say the same for their shapes. They resemble the air/sapce/undersea futuristic craft Hollywood did to death in H G Wells type films, in the 1930s*.

    Hollywood spoilt butterfly bodies for me, too. Think of the speckled wood, its pattern brown precision perfection, its body, sadly, like a plane Howard Hughes said wouldn't fly in some movie with Clark Gable.

    * Can't find the clip of Rymond Massey wearing a sheet and intoning in a churchy voice whilst looking at some distinctly insectoid bodied rocket ships of dubious effectiveness.

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  • 10. At 4:53pm on 25 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    Martha Kearney has been on the BBC pushing the case for bees on several occasions. The problems bees have is not unknown, we know there is a problem with mites, we know there has been a die off with colony collapse, we know that there is some thought that bees might suffer more as a result of mono-agriculture and city bees are more healthy. So unless there is a startling new discovery that resolves the issue of colony collapse I am surprised the BBC is covering this issue again. Its not a case that a BBC presenter gets their hobby covered more than other issues that never get covered by the BBC is it?

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  • 11. At 4:59pm on 25 Aug 2010, Anne P wrote:

    10 - why not wait to find out instead of speculating. You can always complain afterwards.

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  • 12. At 5:09pm on 25 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:


    Well someone has bred a strain of bees, essentially by natural selection, which seem more resistant to disease. If that is the subject of the BBC's report, shouldn't we go to the expert to hear his views rather than the hobbyist?

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  • 13. At 5:13pm on 25 Aug 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    IMOORE - But sure we listen to you all the time - and you're no expert.

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  • 14. At 5:31pm on 25 Aug 2010, davmcn wrote:

    My wife and I were beekeepers, but I will give no opinions about it here except to say that I read recently that rape crops might be the problem.

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  • 15. At 5:47pm on 25 Aug 2010, Anne P wrote:

    14 - I wouldn't be surprised, I have read that racing stables won't allow rape crops adjacent to their horses as it makes them ill - me I hate the stuff but that's just a personal opinion.

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  • 16. At 5:55pm on 25 Aug 2010, davmcn wrote:

    AP 15, But it does give beekeepers a second crop of honey every year. And if you don't get it out quickly, only explosives will move it. It is mostly good for 'industrial' purposes as it doesn't have the same flavor as flower or heather honey.

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  • 17. At 5:58pm on 25 Aug 2010, Anne P wrote:

    12 - satisfied now?

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  • 18. At 5:58pm on 25 Aug 2010, IMOORE wrote:


    I will admit I am somewhat intolerant of any cause that Martha Kearney may by trying to promote following her rejection of peoples priorities in 2007 when Nick Robinson, Martha Kearney and Evan Davis interviewed Gordon Brown. In light of this the BBC asked for questions from the public for them to put to him. Just as an exercise I thought I would see if the BBC actually reflected the questions people felt were important

    Taking the first 10 pages of the recommended section, the question topics split as follows...

    The West Lothian Question 35 questions recommended by 1038 people

    Tax and pensions 39 questions recommended by 702 people.

    Questioning his mandate 16 questions recommended by 360 people

    Iraq 5 questions recommended by 50 people

    Housing 5 questions recommended by 83 people

    EU 5 questions recommended by 85 people.

    after that it gets into the ones and twos

    Taking this as a poll of in excess of 100 questions, with over 2000 people responding ( bigger than some polls ) It was interesting to note in the interview they failed to give due regard to the peoples wishes, and here even though the constitutional issue was one of the most requested questions (and got a lot of passion yesterday) it barely got a mention. It got one and a half questions, the second question got interrupted by Martha Kearney who said lets move onto more important issues.

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  • 19. At 7:11pm on 25 Aug 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    18 - Very interesting, but what has that to do with bees?

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  • 20. At 7:44pm on 25 Aug 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    I have a hedge in the front garden - well it's more of a sprawling bush that covers the fence between me and the neighbour and over the last few weeks it started sprouting tiny white flowers (GQT listeners will now realise I'm uneducated in domestic horticulture).

    At the same time it suddenly entered a growth spurt and has invaded the pavement outside my garden wall by a couple of feet.

    So, I thought, community first - cut this thing back.

    But, when I went out with the rusty old shears I found in the shed, I found maybe twenty or thirty bees supping on the delicious nectar.

    I put the blades away and thought I was doing a good thing.

    Was I?

    Will the Council send me a horrid letter about invading public space?

    Should I have sent this to GQT?

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  • 21. At 8:01pm on 25 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    Sounds like it might be escallonia. Great for the bees and also sometime blooms in the winter too.

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  • 22. At 01:22am on 26 Aug 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Is something wrong with IMOORE?

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  • 23. At 01:26am on 26 Aug 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Lovely informative report as always Martha.

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  • 24. At 06:45am on 26 Aug 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Enjoyed the report on the bees and thought Martha was the ideal person to interview the expert. Lovely to hear some good 'bee' news.

    IMOORE(various) well? An apology might be nice!

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  • 25. At 08:33am on 26 Aug 2010, annasee wrote:

    I heard Martha's interview too, it was excellent. A good idea to have an amateur expert on bees interview a real expert.
    TiH @ 13 - that made me laugh. What a loss to the stage you are...;-)

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  • 26. At 09:13am on 26 Aug 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    A very interesting interview between BeeMan and Martha, the Queen Bee ;o)

    I for one would be extremely keen for this to be followed up as they find out more about these very special bees as they appear to be the key to halting the decline in our bee populations. And we should all be concerned about that. You'd better bee - lieve it!

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  • 27. At 09:36am on 26 Aug 2010, Looternite wrote:

    26. Big Sister

    Surely one of the problems with everyone switching to these mite resistant bees is that they could reduce genetic variation and another disease could appear that could threaten the bees again.

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  • 28. At 09:44am on 26 Aug 2010, Sindy wrote:

    I'd be interested to know to what extent the bee problem is related to our industrial use of bees. We've certainly had a good healthy crop of solitary bees of all sorts in our garden this year - but not so many honey bees.

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  • 29. At 12:02pm on 26 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    We've also got plenty of various kinds of bees, including (apparently wild) honeybees. And most trees are bearing a relatively heavy crop of fruit, from apples to filberts.

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  • 30. At 12:07pm on 26 Aug 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Sid (28) - I echo your comment on the number of wild bees this year and an earlier one on hoverflies - I've never noticed so many before.
    As honey bees have diminished, have other species increased?

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  • 31. At 12:07pm on 26 Aug 2010, Phil Burt wrote:

    I was going to suggest we run a sweep on how longg it would take for today's AM box to make it to the bottom of 'topical posts', but it just jumped back up! Perhaps Eddie (or some other 'super user) has left an invisible post?

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  • 32. At 12:28pm on 26 Aug 2010, mittfh wrote:

    Martha's just posted this on Twitter: "I love Eddie Mair. He just gave me a cupcake for doing the bee interview on PM."

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  • 33. At 1:41pm on 26 Aug 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    there were loads of bumble bees in my garden at the start of the summer but recently they been a bit sparse. Are they also affected by this mite?

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  • 34. At 4:42pm on 26 Aug 2010, davmcn wrote:

    mittfh 32, Is cupcake a euphemism for something?

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  • 35. At 4:46pm on 26 Aug 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Sid 28, Sending 'em down the mines, are we?

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  • 36. At 4:50pm on 26 Aug 2010, artifus wrote:

    ...and of course i don't mind... (ba dada dada dada dada dah!) ...chasing a bee inside a jar... (ba dada dah!)...

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  • 37. At 10:32am on 29 Aug 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Martha Kearney on bees? Hope she had her bee suit on.

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  • 38. At 4:59pm on 30 Aug 2010, davmcn wrote:

    I'll bet all the 'experts' here know that once you remove the honey from the hive in the autumn, you have to feed the bees to keep them from starving over the winter. Even hobbyists beekeepers know that. Of course, Googling 'experts' will know as well.

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