MP REBECCA Pow was buzzing recently after visiting a local beekeeping centre.

Ms Pow visited the Taunton Beekeepers’ teaching apiary at Bradford-on-Tone to learn more about what the centre does.

During her visit, Ms Pow was told about the funding issues that the centre faces, and met the club’s beginner beekeepers as they enjoyed their first practical session in the apiary.

She was also given a tour of the beekeeping centre and joined a group making beehive frames in the workshop.

Now, Ms Pow has pledged her support for the centre and has said she will write to Environment Secretary Liz Truss to urge her to protect the bee inspectorate, which is an expert team which helps to stop the spread of highly contagious bee diseases and warn of the arrival of new pests.

Ms Pow said: “The centre of beekeeping excellence in Taunton Deane is really impressive, and I will take away members’ concerns about neonicotinoids and the importance of maintaining the Regional Bee Inspectorate.

“Anything I can do to support beekeepers, I will do.”

Currently there is one regional and seven seasonal bee inspectors monitoring many thousands of colonies in the South West, which includes Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and Avon.

Taunton Beekeepers’ chairman Peter Maben explained the funding for this the service had been cut in recent years despite the growing threat from new pests, including the small hive beetle and the Asian hornet.

Mr Maben said: “We are delighted that our MP has come to talk to our members and discuss the issues that affect beekeeping in today’s challenging conditions.”