Friday 14 December 2012

Newsletter December 2012

Dear Beekeeper

Our Question & Answer session provided some good advice to the audience last month, well done to
Jean, Aniela, Elvin and David for putting themselves forward.

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 on 26th January.  

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.
A 2013 subscription form is available to download HERE.
GOOD VALUE – the same price as last year!
Len hopes lots more of you will pay by bank transfer and hand him the form at the AGM.

Check your bees regularly!
The bees at Eythorne have fondant on the crownboards as an insurance policy as I felt they were light. This will be an anxious winter, low stores, uncertainty over whether queens have been well-mated, and the prospect of bees needing much spring feeding if they survive.
Make sure your hives are watertight, weighted down in gales and check for woodpecker damage, usually once it has turned cold. Woodpeckers have been evident at Eythorne already!
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 day 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.
Baker’s fondant is sold by arrangement from Vanes, 120 High St Dover  01304 206325, or  make your candy.
Candy Recipe [there are lots of variations] increase quantities as desired.
200ml water, 1000g[1kg] white sugar ,1 teasp glycerine. Boil all together, stirring, for3 minutes, cool slightly over cold water, then beat or stir rapidly. Turns opaque, 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 a gift of a good new beekeeping book this Christmas, to read in the warmth.
Seasons greetings to you all, with best wishes for your good health and high hopes for a better year of beekeeping in 2013, it couldn’t be worse than the problems of this year!