This blog post offers some very interesting insights and ideas from France, about working to keep honeybee colonies safe in the presence of Asian Hornets.
Now that the sunshine and nectar flow seem to be established, and that long-lasting cold NE wind seems finally to have gone, most people’s colonies seem to be settling down. Our branch meeting last Saturday (27 June) was well attended and had a variety of activities for people to take part in. Those stalwarts about to take the Basic Assessment were busy practising hive inspections, another group were getting a (gentle) grip on how to mark queens by practising on drones, while others again were discussing the proper siting of a new swarm in a nuc, with a view to it settling down happily. It was a good meeting and our usual raffle raised some more money for branch funds, helped by the goodwill of those donating the prizes.
A reminder now that our ‘Honeybee Day’ takes place at the Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable this coming Saturday, from 11 am to 3 pm. Why not come along to support the branch, answer questions from the public, and try some of the newly-extracted branch honey.
Finally, three more pieces of information published recently (and that can be found also on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/359167444256663/ ):
- For anyone keen to check that they are complying with the new Honey Regulations, full details can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/1348/made
- Those beekeepers looking to improve their queen introductions may find this paper interesting: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=perez-sato-et-al-08-hbee-direct-queen-introduction.pdf&site=398
- A new publication from the BBKA looks like being a big hit with beekeepers and children alike – http://www.friendsofthehoneybee.com/about/bee-friendly-with-winnie-the-pooh/
Following on from the National Honey Show, last month, four of the lectures recorded over the event have so far gone up on The Honey Show’s YouTube channel and are well worth watching. See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiOtIebcpY0Zqqma0H5wLYQ It is intended that all of this year’s lectures will be up there soon.
Our Whitstable & Herne Bay Beekeepers’ branch has a stall at Macknade Fine Foods’ late opening (till 8 pm) this coming Thursday, 18th December. Why not come along and say hello to Keith and Tilly who will be running our stall, support the branch, and stock up on a few of Macknade’s comestibles at the same time?
BeeCraft will be holding another of their Google Hangouts (online webinars) this Wednesday, 17th December, starting at 8 pm. It’s not difficult to take part (or just to watch/listen) and the whole thing is explained here: http://www.bee-craft.com/beekeeping/hangouts/ Tomorrow’s session is all about ‘products of the hive other than honey’. If you’d like to send in a question ahead of the event, the link above has details of how to do so.
Propolis as a cure for baldness – http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41647/title/Honeybee-Compound-for-Hair-Loss-/ ?
Well, it’s useful for lots of other things, so why not this as well.
Thorne’s Winter Sale will start on the 3rd of January in 2015. Keep an eye on this page of their website for more details over the next couple of weeks – http://www.thorne.co.uk/winter-sale . This is always a very popular event and things go fairly fast.
For anyone who has been watching news updates about the spread of Small Hive Beetle in the Calabrian region of Italy over the last few weeks (a very alarming prospect, given the number of bees imported into the UK from Italy this year ) it would probably be useful to join the online Google Hangout being put on by BeeCraft next Wednesday, 19th November. You can join the Hangout from this page: http://www.bee-craft.com/beekeeping/hangouts/ . If you want to express your concern about the current situation and send a message to DEFRA to do something constructive to protect our bees, then you might also consider signing and sharing the petition that’s been set up here – https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-small-hive-beetle-spreading-to-britain
Our branch meeting for November had originally been intended to cover the use of beeswax for making creams and cosmetics. This has not, unfortunately, been possible to arrange and there will therefore instead be a session at the branch apiary on checking hives for their winter preparedness.
The branch committee met earlier this week and Julie will shortly be circulating news and information arising from that.
Beekeeping in some different parts of the UK:
Writing about beekeeping in London – http://london-hivewire.com/
Beeks in Wales – http://www.beeswales.co.uk/en-GB/About-Us
A beekeeping project in West Sussex – http://www.westsussextoday.co.uk/news/project-to-help-plight-of-british-honey-bees-1-6290474
Solar farms and how they can help bees and other pollinators – http://www.solarcentury.com/uk/media-centre/bumblebees-in-kent/
And – the very worrying news about Small Hive Beetle being found at an increasing number of apiaries in Italy: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=125 Since that article was published on BeeBase, SHB has apparently been found on several more sites in the region.
Some of the online information and reports about bees and beekeeping in the last week.
A short course from the Natural Beekeeping Trust on ‘Living in Harmony with Bees’ ( 16 September) http://www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org/events/living-harmony-bees.
Bumblebees poisoned by neonics- http://www.buglife.org.uk/news-&-events/news/neonicotinoids-implicated-in-mass-poisoning-of-bumblebee-queens
The NBT’s ‘Sun Hives’ seem to be growing in popularity. It’s certainly an interesting shape – http://www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org/sun-hive-biodynamic-initiative-0
A really good site for bee anatomy. With thanks to Julian King for posting the link to this on the BBKA Facebook page.http://honeybee.drawwing.org/
An interesting account of learning to rear queens http://chrisvernon.co.uk/2014/07/raising-queen-bees/
A fascinating website on how to do all sorts of bee-related things, including this useful checklist of things to consider when putting entries in honey shows: http://www.martinatnewton.com/page11.htm
This is just so sad – but why did no-one ask farmers beforehand what their reaction was likely to be? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29037804
At the end of summer most beekeepers are considering the amount of stores their colonies will need to overwinter safely. It’s never an exact science, but there are factors that everyone should consider. This post from the US considers a variety of issues that we can translate to our own locality. http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-much-honey-should-i-leave-in-my-hive/
An interesting area of research, looking to see when drones start to be laid. http://entomologytoday.org/2014/08/21/honey-bee-hive-population-of-4000-triggers-rearing-of-male-reproductives/
Some good graphics on this site, set up for the recent ‘Hive Alive’ series. http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zg4dwmn
A massive store of useful information. http://www.ibra.org.uk/categories/faq
A report on an interesting study, in France, looking at the numbers of wild bees (all species) in urban areas and how important such habitats may be. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28888218
National and other news about bees and beekeeping:
a) Did you know that 16 Aug was National Honeybee Day in the US? It sounds like a really good initiative. Details at http://www.nationalhoneybeeday.com/
b) The arguments continue over use of chemicals and their effects on bees and other pollinators – http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/aug/08/sweet-victory-beekeepers-monsanto-gm-soybeans
c) A new biopesticide is being developed – which apparently doesn’t kill bees: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1787/20140619.full.pdf
d) In Oxfordshire, the County Council is working to actively support beekeeping: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11402227.A_hive_of_activity_to_recover_our_dwindling_bee_colonies/
e) In Bristol, the first weekend in September will see the Bee and Pollination Festival, an annual event that seems to be increasingly popular: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/botanic-garden/events/2014/158.html