Sunday 30 June 2013

Catching a Swarm

At today's meeting, two very unusual things occurred: the bees were tetchy and more than one of us got stung, and there was a swarm to be collected in one of the conifers.
 Miraculously, Clive produced a zip-up tower and the task of capturing our escapees began.


After the main cluster was safely in the basket, David went up the tower to retrieve the remaining clusters to speed up re-uniting the colony. 

Then there was nothing to do but wait until all the bees were safely in the basket before wrapping it up and taking them to be hived.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Newsletter June 2013

Dear Beekeeper

Over 50 of you turned up last month, to see Aniela demonstrate a shook swarm to reduce a nosema worry, and the operation of a Snelgrove board to increase a colony without moving bees to a different position.

You should all now be on a weekly inspection regime, looking for:

queen rightness – eggs, normal brood pattern; some food reserves; adequate room – space to move and to store honey; swarm preparations – queen cups with larvae.

The Eythorne colonies have built up well, all with supers, two supers being extracted. The rapeseed crop is finishing now, later than usual, maybe there will not be a hungry gap this year.

But none of the colonies have produced queen cells as yet!

Only 3 swarm calls have come my way this year, only one of which was relevant to our area.

The BBKA reports an average of 33.8% colony losses in England over the winter. A grim statistic.

Earlier this month 13 members took their Basic Assessment at Bridge. They have all passed. Congratulations to all of them and their teacher, Mary Hill, who was able to keep her impressive record of 100% passes!!! 

News of Karl

Karl has been ill for a while with a recurrent infection and is due back in Kent & Canterbury Hospital on the 17th for an operation to sort it out. He will be in hospital for 3 days and we all wish him a quick return to his normal good health. He has been missed!

KENT SHOW, Detling 12th – 14th July

I have attached the 2013 schedule for the Show and the appeal has gone out for willing bodies to be stewards with the bee displays. There is a variety of sessions; badge making, candle rolling, catering, observation hive, sales, catering etc. Help is also needed on the days before and after to set up & dismantle. They also need honey to sell. Apply to Hopefully, it will be drier than last year!

Please look at for 2nd level courses at KSRC Sittingbourne. There is a Basic course on 6th July taught by Mary Hill, as well as skep making, wax, diseases, winter preparations etc.

Bob Smith particularly recommended the General Husbandry course, post Basic.

DDBKA is very fortunate to have enterprising members who stock all you will need for successful beekeeping. Buy local!

Arrangements for DDBKA beginners and hive inspections

This will take place at the DDBKA out apiary at Eythorne, CT15 4AD on 29th June.
Mary Hill will be there looking forward to meeting beginners wanting hands on experience.
All welcome. We have suits to loan.
Beginners at 1pm - prompt. Correct frame handling and practice opening a hive and identifying brood.
Then at 2.30pm there will be a question & answer session
Bring your bee suit if you have one, wellies and Marigold gloves.