A WELL attended meeting of the Okehampton Beekeepers was held on February 8, with a talk on the setting up of a new apiary at Castle Drogo.

The members heard from three speakers, the first being Louisa Mogford, a member of Okehampton Beekeepers and a volunteer at Castle Drogo.

Louisa has been one of the key players in setting up the new apiary as part of the new orchard project at Castle Drogo last year. Two colonies of bees, bought from Buckfast Abbey, arrived at the apiary in June 2010. Louisa said the plan for the coming year is to move the bees to different hives and mark the two queens.

The second speaker was John Rippon, head gardener at Castle Drogo, who emphasised the importance of volunteers in maintaining the castle and grounds.

The final speaker, Paula Clarke, is involved with the refurbishment of Castle Drogo.

The current major project, which Paula has styled 'Drogo for Life', focuses on the restoration of the building and work to prevent further water damage.

Paula welcomed anybody considering volunteering at the castle, and members of Okehampton Beekeepers expressed their interest in maintaining close links with Castle Drogo.

Members were informed that a free beekeeping training day will be held at Hatherleigh Community Centre on Saturday March 26.

Anybody interested must apply by March 1.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday March 8, when Ruth Neal will talk on supporting the Devon County Show.