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


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