Category Archives: News – national

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 ):


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 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:  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 – ?
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 – . This is always a very popular event and things go fairly fast.



National Pollination Strategy published

DEFRA has this week published its’ new ‘National Pollination Strategy’ ( It will be interesting to see how this develops, given that so much of it seems to depend on voluntary actions. However, it’s a start, at least.

Some of the responses and comments so far:


Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Friends of the Earth

National Farmers’ Union


The Bee Brief (2 October 2014 )

Beekeeping in some different parts of the UK:

Writing about beekeeping in London –

Beeks in Wales –

A beekeeping project in West Sussex –

Solar farms and how they can help bees and other pollinators –

And – the very worrying news about Small Hive Beetle being found at an increasing number of apiaries in Italy:  Since that article was published on BeeBase, SHB has apparently been found on several more sites in the region.

The Bee Brief (7-9-14)

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)

Bumblebees poisoned by neonics-

The NBT’s ‘Sun Hives’ seem to be growing in popularity. It’s certainly an interesting shape –

A really good site for bee anatomy. With thanks to Julian King for posting the link to this on the BBKA Facebook page.

An interesting account of learning to rear queens

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:

This is just so sad – but why did no-one ask farmers beforehand what their reaction was likely to be?

The Bee Brief (31-8-14)

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.

An interesting area of research, looking to see when drones start to be laid.

Some good graphics on this site, set up for the recent ‘Hive Alive’ series.

A massive store of useful information.

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.

The Bee Brief (19-8-14)

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

b) The arguments continue over use of chemicals and their effects on bees and other pollinators –

c) A new biopesticide is being developed – which apparently doesn’t kill bees:

d) In Oxfordshire, the County Council is working to actively support beekeeping:

e) In Bristol, the first weekend in September will see the Bee and Pollination Festival, an annual event that seems to be increasingly popular:

News from the National Honey Show

A message (and links to videos) from the organisers of the National Honey Show:

“This year, partly funded by the National Honey Show, and partly with National Lottery Funding, we were able to produce top quality videos of some of the lectures.  The first two of these, ‘The Sustainable Apiary’ by Mike Palmer, and ‘Origins and Evolutionary History of the Honey Bee’ by Robert Paxton  are now available to view on YouTube:  and  respectively.  We would like to thank our lecture sponsors and all who took part in this project.  We hope it will mitigate the disappointment of all who were not able to be in two places at once during the show, giving you a chance to catch up at leisure.  Details of further lectures available to watch will be listed as they go live, on the National Honey Show Website the ‘Education’ tab. It would be brilliant to be able to continue offering videos of our lectures in the future, so do contact us with all ideas for future sponsorship.”

A note also that there is now a page for the honey show at

Alert from the NBU about a possible sighting of the Asian Hornet

As colleagues already signed up with the National Bee Unit will know, the following was circulated this evening:

“Following a credible report of an Asian Hornet sighting in the South East area close to Maidstone, Kent; last week a local Bee Inspector was dispatched to carry out further field investigation.

Following this investigation, we have not been able to verify the report but we would encourage beekeepers particularly in this area to familiarise themselves with the Asian Hornet and remain vigilant when visiting their apiaries and inspecting their colonies.

Please use the following link to view ID sheets for the Asian Hornet and also refer to a recent article published in BeeCraft magazine to help with identification.

Suspect sightings should be reported immediately to

I would like to reiterate that currently this is a suspect sighting and has not been confirmed.”