Friday 19 April 2013

Newsletter April 2013

Dear Beekeeper

There was an excellent attendance at the last indoor meeting addressed by Bob Smith. He discussed IPM with particular reference to varroa. The mite population can double every 3/4 weeks and can wipe out a colony in 1/3 years. So we have to act in the autumn to keep numbers down to reduce the deformed wing virus which is the real killer. We must MONITOR.

Bob had little faith in icing sugar dusting, but recommended shook swarm treatment in the spring using “bait” combs with open brood to catch the mites. We hope to carry that out at Eythorne in May or June.

Spring weather is slowly becoming more evident, too late for some.

At the Eythorne apiary, 1 colony out of the 5 DDBKA ones has died, but the rest have eggs and brood. Personally, I have had 80% losses, 1 alive from 5.

It would be interesting to collect information as to other members’ good or bad news about their colonies at the next meeting. Let me know please.

Honorary Members
At the meeting, Elisabeth Gordon-Sales & Pam Pearson were added to our Honorary membership. Elisabeth was DDBKA Secretary for many years; ill-health has made her relinquish her beloved bees. Pam has been a cheerful, reliable catering stalwart for us.

Comments box
Anything you want to suggest or comment on can be left in a comments box each meeting – anonymously if you wish! There is also a new comments section on our website HERE!
Beekeeping Supplies
DDBKA is very fortunate to have enterprising members who stock all you will need for successful beekeeping. Details are on LINKS page.
Buy local!


Patrick’s next £5 course will be held at the Bee Barn, Bridge CT4 5HN on Sunday 28th April, 9:30 am till noon – “Disease inspection, cleaning equipment to reduce disease spread”.
Book at

Please look at for courses at Sittingbourne. There are 2 Basic courses on 20th April & 6th July taught by Mary Hill, as well as skep making, wax, diseases etc.
Bob Smith particularly recommended the General Husbandry course, post Basic.

Arrangements for DDBKA beginners and hive inspections

This will take place at the DDBKA out apiary at Eythorne, CT15 4AD on 27th April.

Mary Hill will be at the apiary at 1pm looking forward to meeting beginners wanting hands on experience. A hive will be opened and examined, then some aspect of beekeeping theory discussed. Bring your [clean] suits, wellies, gloves. We have suits to loan.

After the business part of the meeting the other hives will be examined.