2020 was a strange year for beekeepers, even if the bees remain oblivious to all the changes in the world. In the current year, our branch is hoping to run more of our ‘normal’ events during the year even though social distancing will obviously affect things like the beginners course and branch meetings. This page will be updated as we know more about what we can offer to branch members and friends, although most information will continue to come through the regular email news updates.
Online events will start at 2.30 pm but where a decision is made to hold an event at a branch apiary or other venue then the individual start time will be listed here and circulated in the week before the event. All events listed below are online unless specifically updated to be at an apiary or other venue.
3rd April: Assessing a colony after winter for food, health, queenrightness, size, and noting actions to take in respect of any aspects lacking. Importance of hygiene and record keeping to be covered, as well as the important information to be gained from observing colony activity before opening the hive.
1st May: Making increase (in colony numbers) and swarm control. ‘Checkerboarding’ discussed as a method.
5th June: The ‘shook swarm’ technique and when/why to use it; how to tell if a colony is increasing or decreasing in size at the time of inspection; discussion of the ‘June Gap’ and what it may mean for a colony and the beekeeper’s actions.
3rd July: Showing and storing honey: the equipment needed and how different storage temperatures may affect the honey. Discussion of different uncapping tools. Requirements for exhibiting at honey shows.
7th August: How to ensure your colonies will be healthy going into winter, after removal of any honey harvest. Trapping wasps. Varroa checks and treatments. (Possible social event, if allowed/sensible.)
4th September: Ensuring that each colony is building up stores for the winter. Monitoring for Asian Hornets.
2nd October: Useful equipment purchases for the following season (and those to avoid).
6th November: Branch AGM, followed by a short talk with subject TBC.
4th December: TBC