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Beekeeper gets new apprentice to help safeguard future colonies 

Pest control officer learning from long-term employee Harry

A well-respected beekeeper who has spent more than 50 years helping protect the disease-free status of the Isle of Man’s rare honeybees has a new apprentice. 

Harry Owens, who is in his 80s, has been working with the Isle of Man Government since 1975.

He’s helped keep Manx bees free from diseases such as Varroa which, globally, is thought to have wiped out billions of honeybees.

He is also chair of Isle of Man Beekeepers and received the BEM for services to beekeeping in 2020

Now Gary Cain, a member of government’s pest control team, will assist him after completing his training and spending time with other trainee bee inspectors at the Animal and Plant Health Agency's National Bee Unit in England. 

Gary said: "I was delighted to get this opportunity to undertake the study and training required to become a bee inspector and work alongside Harry who is a font of knowledge.

“I look forward to meeting the Island's beekeepers and continuing the work to keep Manx colonies healthy and disease free."

Harry said: "The varroa disease-free status makes our bees special and means Manx queens are valuable. I am happy to have Gary join me to help safeguard their future."

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