The BBC are reporting that honeybee numbers are falling at near catastrophic levels - 30% at the last count - but interest in their plight has never been greater.
High-profile campaigns and celebrity enthusiasts - like Bill Turnbull, the BBC presenter and conference facilitator and Vince Cable, the Lib Dem politican and keynote speaker - have helped plant a once marginal issue firmly into the national consciousness.
Five famous beekeepers
- Scarlett Johansson - The actress developed an interest after Samuel L Jackson gave her a hive full of bees as a wedding present
- Bill Turnbull - the BBC newsreader has four hives and is patron of the Bees for Development Trust
- Vince Cable - the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman is a beekeeping enthusiast who has led campaigns for more research
- Ronnie Corbett - the comedian has kept bees since the late 1970s, and has hives at his second home in East Lothian
- Nicholas Lyndhurst - the Only Fools and Horses actor keeps bees at his home in West Sussex
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Copyright Speakers Corner 2017