Wednesday 14 December 2011

Newsletter December 2011

Dear Beekeeper

Our season finished on a high note with an auction of goods, yielding £162 for Brian Castle and £33 for DDBKA. Len did a good loud job! The following DVD was a fascinating close up view inside a colony through the year.
Thanks to members who provided extra refreshments and to the ladies who organised it all.

Len will be attending the BBKA Delegate meeting in January and will give a brief report at the AGM in January. That will be our next meeting: January 28th 2012

At that meeting, your subscriptions will be due for the year, Len will be happy to accept payments before then. £15 goes to BBKA, and a minimum of £2 to Bee Diseases Insurance, depending on how many hives you have. Our Association only gains £6 per Registered member. 

Len hopes lots more of you will pay by bank transfer and hand him the form at the AGM.

Bees have been using energy flying until recently, so even if your bees had accumulated enough stores, their stores should be checked regularly. Make sure your hives are watertight, weighted down in gales and check for woodpecker damage, usually once it has turned cold. Look for a build up of dead bees behind mouseguards, this can block necessary flying on fine days. If using oxalic or lactic acid as varroa treatment, wait for a calm, cold day, 6 degrees or below and work quickly. It provides an opportunity for adjusting frames, making sure the winter cluster is in the centre of the brood box and that it is in contact with stored honey, to avoid “isolation starvation”. Take some fondant or candy with you in case they are low on stores.

Candy Recipe
[slightly different to previous one, there are lots of variations]
250ml water
1000g[1kg] white sugar
half teasp. white vinegar
Boil liquids, add sugar, stir, boil and stir for 5 minutes, cool slightly over cold water, then beat with electric hand mixer. Turns white, pour quickly into plastic containers e.g.“take away” ones. It sets fast! Invert over the feed hole in the crownboard.

I hope someone gives you the gift of a good up-to-date beekeeping book this Christmas, to read in the warmth, or maybe a longed for gadget [there seem to be so many].
Seasons greetings to you all, with best wishes for your good health and high hopes for a successful year of beekeeping in 2012.