Lea Valley U3A

Food and Drink Appreciation







Leaders: Rosemary Ryan and Carol French

Group launched October 2018.

In 2020 we are planing a new series of visits starting in April which will include cheese, chocolate and smoked salmon, plus a further presentation from Professor Andrew Cockburn. 

Here is a photo of the Food & Drink Appreciation Group's visit in August. 2019

On 8 August members of the Food & Drink Appreciation Group visited the home of Ted Gradosielski, a beekeeper with 40 years of experience, to learn about bees and honey.  Beekeeping is an ancient skill, dating back possibly 9,000 years and depicted in Egyptian art 4,500 years ago.

Protective beesuits and veils were donned so we could see more closely what happens inside the hives.  We identified the queen in a starter colony and, although Ted breeds less aggressive bees, saw how they are subdued when a little smoke is produced close to the hive.   A honey frame was taken into the bee shed and were were able to 'uncap' the wax covering on the honeycomb - a tricky operation for beginners.  The frames were then put into an extractor where they are spun to release the honey.  There was an opportunity to examine and taste beeswax and also see propolis, a compound used by the bees to seal their hives and keep them clean. Propolis is also used in alternative medicine to aid healing and fight bacteria.  We then each poured our own jar of honey and labelled it so we could taste the real thing - in our case the pale colour showed the bees had visited borage flowers. We all agreed that the honeybee is the most amazing creature and members of the Group were delighted to buy additional jars of honey. A most enjoyable and informative visit!

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