Sunday 21 October 2012

Honey Show

A fabulous turn-out for our annual Honey Show at our new venue, the hall at the Bruderhof Community. There was plenty of room for all the great entries despite the 'challenging' season and the usual, irresistibly scrumptious catering by our hosts. Naughty me did not bring the big camera, so some of the pictures are a bit wobbly. Apologies for that and if you took any nice ones at the show, email me  and I'll add them.

Some of the many, fantastic entries!

David at his award winning and very impressive wax extractor. I want one!

Our tireless secretaries!
Keeping the masses fed and watered.

Elvin demonstrating Warre and Top Bar Hives.

Awarding certificates to our successful basic exam students.

 Then came the awards:
 Michael Fountain picking up his Greasley Award.

 Sue Clapson holding the Harry's Cup for the best wax entry and her Victory Cup for receiving the maximum points overall. Very well done!!!
 David Stevenson and his many awards: The Dale Award for best entry in a member's category, the Challenge Cup for the best entries submitted to the honey as well as articles related to bee keeping categories and the Blue Ribbon for the best entry to the show. Many congratulations!!!

Friday 19 October 2012

Bees Abroad Update October 2012

Empowering Women through Environmentally Sustainable Beekeeping, Monze, Zambia
Project Manager: Roy Dyche

This project was launched in September 2011, its aim being to provide several women’s co-operatives in southern Zambia with a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of income from beekeeping. A year later, inSeptember 2012 I went out to Monze to evaluate what had been achieved during those first twelve months and to help launch a second phase. This report is based on data collected during my trip and on reports that our Zambian partners, the small local NGO Sustainable Rural Development Agency (SRDA), have emailed to me throughout the year.

Read the full report here!

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Newsletter October 2012

Dear Beekeeper

Thanks to all who helped with the final Eythorne varroa count [lowish] and stores count [also low unfortunately], at the September meeting, especially Patrick, Karl, Dick B, Elvin & Richard.
My 2 WBC hives were united.
After seeing it in action, I think several members will be asking for a refractometer for Christmas, such an easy way to tell if your honey is below 20% water content, as it must be to be legally called honey.

The Ploughing Match was a windy washout, though Jan & Richard stuck it out with some brave souls from Thanet in a corner of another tent, their gazebo having blown away.

Feeding should now be complete; bees cannot take syrup and convert it into stores once the temperature drops. Keep the entrances small, and towards the end of the month put on mouseguards to prevent mice setting up home in your nice warm hives. Think about wire netting to protect your hives from woodpeckers. However, syrup is still being taken at Eythorne; autumn has proved to be yet another poor forage season for the bees.

Chris has put in lots of work for our Honey Show and says there are more honey entries than he expected; thank you all, it’s been a tough year all round, for the bees and us.

Bring jars of honey to the Show that you wish to be sold for you, correctly labelled for sale, and also any bee related products.

We hope to be able to arrange for members to take the Basic Assessment at the Eythorne apiary in May 2013. 
Even if you are not on Mary's course, and providing you have kept bees for at least 12 months, it is still possible to take the assessment by downloading the syllabus and application form fromthe BBKA website, and doing your own study. 
If you decide to take the Basic, you should forward the application form to me, together with the fee, by February 13th 2013. Don't forget that the Basic is the starting point for any further BBKA exams, so I do urge you to give it a go.
Jan Cross
Exam Sec, DDBKA,St Margarets Farm, Napchester Road, Whitfield, CT15 5HD