Category Archives: News – local

Autumn courses and workshops

Now that it’s the time of year when we’re not involved in so much hands-on stuff with our colonies, it’s a good time to consider taking a course, attending a workshop or a bigger event, in order to gain more knowledge and insight.

a) The ‘Beekeepers@KSRC’ group has some good evening sessions coming up next month on the key skills for improvers (beekeepers with a little experience), details of which can be found on their website at http://ksrcbees.org.uk/?page_id=4

b) Another event is a talk by Jennifer Berry, leading American bee breeder, researcher, author and lecturer. 7.30pm Thursday 5th November, Crofton Hall, Orpington.

Sidcup beekeepers would like to remind everyone that Jennifer Berry, a world renowned expert and colleague of Keith Delapane at Georgia University, is giving a talk : ‘an American take on beekeeping’, on 5 November. For the past fourteen years, Jennifer has been the Apicultural Research Coordinator and Lab Manager for the University of Georgia Honey Bee Programme. Recently, she has also undertaken an ambitious campaign to educate the public about the importance of pollinators and other beneficial insects, including honey bees, and how to reduce pesticide use.This should be a fascinating evening – Jennifer has published many articles and academic papers, and some of her queens reside in colonies at the White House. We are very privileged that she has agreed to fit in this event for us whilst visiting the Northern Ireland annual conference – there will not be another opportunity this year to hear her lecture in SE England.

 Crofton Hall is immediately adjacent to Orpington railway station BR6 0SX , and also has good parking. Admission payable on the door is £5, which includes tea / coffee and cakes. To help us with catering arrangements, please let Melody Faulkner know if you plan to come on melody.faulkner@googlemail.com

c) The National Honey Show (http://honeyshow.co.uk/) is on at the end of October, in Surrey. This is a major national event and a fascinating one, with so many good talks and workshops, exhibitions and seminars, as well as the mindboggling variety of items in the trade hall. It’s a very good day/weekend to consider attending whether you’re a complete beginner, an improver, or someone who is thinking about becoming a beekeeper.

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Membership of the branch – a new year starts

It’s the time of year when membership needs to be renewed and the form for this is attached both here and on our Facebook group. For anyone who is not currently keeping bees but would like to join the branch/come to meetings/learn more about honeybees, you can join as a ‘Friend’ – we have quite a few people doing it that way at the moment and everyone is welcome. 🙂

KENT BEE SUB FORM

At the AGM this coming October we have some interesting new plans to share…

Branch update

Last week’s branch meeting was a multi-faceted one, with hive inspections, information exchange, sales, and demonstration + advice for honey creaming. It was also a time for congratulations, as Diane, Ian, Maggy, Sally and Sandy have all passed their Basic Assessment, taken last month. We’re going to have so many knowledgeable beekeepers around if we go on like this… 🙂

Inspections of the branch hives went smoothly, with some newcomers getting their first experience of how a hive full of honeybees looks inside. Julie’s demonstration of honey extraction and how to make ‘creamed honey’ was well received, with many members interested in the process.

Looking forward to the autumn, there will be not only our own honey show to prepare for but also the giant National Honey Show (http://www.honeyshow.co.uk/). Julie will be circulating some more information and tips about this in her next Newsletter, so look out for that soon. There is also the Kent Festival of Bees, at the end of this month, at which our branch will have a stall.

Summer activities for everyone

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/ ):

 

The Bee Brief (16 December 2014)

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.

 

 

Info about Small Hive Beetle, a change of focus for the November meeting, and a petition to sign

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.

News update – branch membership, BIBBA meeting, and more

a) A reminder, first, that everyone wishing to remain a member of the branch for the coming year needs to get their completed renewal form and annual fee to Roger asap. Your annual membership fee covers up to three hives for BDI and you can apply for cover for any further hives with a small extra supplement. The membership form has been circulated by email and can also be downloaded here – WHB Renewal 2014.15

b) Advance warning that there will be a BIBBA workshop on Saturday, 21 February 2015. Details below, circulated by the workshop hosts, the Dover & District Beekeepers’ Association.

Bee Improvement for All

An all day event aimed at encouraging all beekeepers to improve their bees. The purpose
is to help all beekeepers to continuously assess their colonies, so they have a good idea
of which queens to cull, and which colonies to take queen cells from when they need new
queens.

There will be tuition on how to raise queens using queen cells that bees often present us
with during the summer, as well as some simple “artificial” techniques that may be suitable
for the more advanced beekeeper, or those working in groups.

Further details can be found on http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/beeimprovementforallday.html

Date:- Saturday 21st February 2015
Time:- 9.00 for 9.30-4.30 approx.
Venue:- Elham Village Hall, Canterbury Road, Elham, Kent. CT4 6SX.
Cost:- £15/head adult. £10/head for under 18, who must be accompanied by a fee paying
adult. Refreshments and lunch included.

Bookings to:-
Aniela Smith
38 Shorncliffe Cres
Folkestone
Kent
CT203PF

 Bookings taken from 1st November 2014.

c) If anyone would like to order boxes of honey jars for next year, please let Roger or Julie know asap (their contact details are in the email circulated yesterday by Julie) . Roger will be putting in a bulk order shortly. He can purchase jars at 30p each for a box of 72 jars but we need to buy a pallet of boxes to get this very low price, hence the need to let him know urgently if you want to take part in the order.

d) Everyone should be aware that Small Hive Beetle has been found in several hives in a region of Italy. The BBKA has circulated the attached advisory notice – small_hive_beetle_update_oct_5,_2014_1412506899