It is with sadness that I have to report on the recent death of Meirion Burrell who was a former National Farmers Union county secretary for Montgomeryshire.

He started his career with the union as assistant county secretary in Cardiganshire in 1968, and then moved then to Montgomeryshire in 1973.

When I started at the Welshpool office in 1983, he was my county secretary.

We worked on many issues together such as milk quotas and LFA extension.

I found him to be very knowledgeable and helpful.

On reorganisation of the NFU nationally, Meirion retired in 1989.

I would like to extend my condolences to his wife, Mair and family in their sad loss.

There has been some criticism in the news recently of pesticides used in agriculture, with many reports showing crop sprayers.

There is no mention whether it is insecticides or herbicides involved, or which ones.

In the United Kindom, pesticides are very strictly regulated, and their use is much reduced compared to 30 years ago.

We use some agrichemicals to control weeds which seem to have no detrimental effect on our bees.

The biggest effect on yields in general is caused by the weather.

At present, we have 14 beehives on our farm, with some doing better than others. Two hives have eight ‘supers’ on them (boxes above the brood box), others six, and a couple only two.

Like other domesticated ‘farm’ animals, bee colonies vary, and bee keepers always try and select for the best colonies.

Within the next couple of weeks, the hives will be harvested, and the bees moved to feed on heather on the Berwyns.

During October the bees in their hives will then return to us.

Then they will feed on ivy which will carry them through the winter.