Professor Stephen Martin from Salford University visited the Island last month. He is the international honey bee expert on the parasite varroa mite. He also followed up his passion for walking and did the Raad ny Foillan walk from Port Erin to Port St Mary and other walks with his wife Yuko who came over with him.

He was on the Island to meet local beekeeper Robert Wright from Crosby and to take back a number of hives of bees bred by Mr Wright for research by his team at Salford University. Apparently the team are now making significant progress to find a solution to eradicate the mite.

Mr Wright said he was delighted to assist with supplying the bees and therefore assist the team in their research making comparisons between the Manx bees who are varroa free and those infected by the varroa mite.

Robert and his wife Caroline are shortly visiting the Shetland Isles where he sent Manx bees last year and he will have the opportunity to go through the hives there and observe how they have adapted to a more severe weather climate.

It will be interesting to see how the bees have progressed.

Professor Stephen Martin (left) and Robert Wright


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