Wednesday 22 January 2014

Newsletter January 2014

Dear Beekeeper

What a wet winter! This weather is still dominant, no cold yet in sight. Bees’ food intake increases when the weather is warm enough for flying, so check stores. At the apiary the hives still have stores. Fondant can be fed if a hive feels light, but once started, has to continue. Wrap the fondant in clingfilm, slitting the plastic and placing it on the brood frames. [This now seems to be the advice rather than over the feed hole in the crownboard.]

The new SE Regional Bee Inspector is Julian Parker, to replace Alan Byham.,
07775 119469.

Brian Marlow has kindly offered to take over running the loans of DDBKA equipment from January, i.e. honey and wax extractors, observation hive, feeders, apideas, refractometer, nuc boxes etc…

Our next meeting is the AGM and important for our future.

I sent the Subscription Form in December to register with BBKA for the year, it is also on the website. Our membership runs from end of January to the following January. For £25, you will get a monthly newsletter, meetings and support; access to basic equipment, BBKA News delivered to your door every month, Bee Disease Insurance for 3 hives, a library, excellent refreshments and a good raffle to boost our funds.
  • If you pay by bank transfer, let Len know you have done this. He will still need the form, by email to him or printed.
  • Our hive loan scheme and hive adoption is also available to beginners. We will have 4 National hives to be borrowed to give an inexpensive start to a beekeeping life.
  • Please pay by the AGM, or the February meeting at the latest.
  • A couple need only pay one sub; Associate membership is useful for beginners or those with no bees.
  • In addition, do you want to be on the swarm collecting list? Experience needed!

All the association offices will be up for election again at the AGM. It is important that we broaden the pool of members willing to take on responsibilities, so please do not be shy about standing, your contribution is needed, a chance to voice your views about any aspects of DDBKA.
  • NB Only Registered members can hold offices, but a beekeeper registering on 25th January would certainly be eligible.
  • Please check in advance whether your nominee is willing to stand.
  • Each nominee needs a proposer and seconder.
  • You are at liberty to nominate yourself if you wish to take a role, but still need a proposer and seconder. Associate members may nominate and vote.
  • Please phone or email nominations to me before the AGM. I shall need to prepare ballot papers in the case of any contested elections.
Current holder
Aniela Smith

Vice Chair
Karl Engels
Does not wish to stand
Maggie Harrowell

Membership Secretary
Maggie Harrowell

Len Mole
Does not wish to stand
Show Secretary
Chris Holdstock

Examinations  Secretary
Jan Cross
Does not wish to stand
Training Secretary
Mary Hill

 Special Interest Days (SIDs) organized by BBKA [see p 32 January BBKA News]

· February 1st Schools and Young People
· February 15th Forage and the Landscape
· March 8th Varroa & Research

SIDs are open to anyone from branches with an active interest in these activities. The events will take place at the NBC, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth.
All registrations to attend should be sent to


BBKA Spring Convention, Harper Adams University, Newport Shropshire TF10 8NB
Friday 4th, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th April 2014

Receive free entry into the Convention for all three days, together with a duty rota that will ensure more than sufficient free time to enjoy the event. A free lunch on Saturday and a small emolument for each of the days towards your expenses will ensure an enjoyable day.
Contact: Chief Steward Norman Hughes: 01256 464280 or

DDBKA the best Association in the country for the Basic Exam results!

At the end of each year the BBKA publishes a table of Association results and it is calculated on the number of members who passed the Basic exam during the year as a percentage of membership. DDBKA was at the top of the list with 17%, no other Association got into double figures. We might be small compared with other Associations who are mainly whole counties, but we have shown that our members are keen to learn.
Mary Hill – Training Secretary 

OUTSTANDING for all concerned, especially Mary.
In November some DDBKA members sat two of the written module exams.
  • Module 1 Jamal Huleat passed, Dougal Hendry passed with distinction
  • Module 3 Dougal Hendry passed with distinction.
Well done both of you! Let us hope for more success in March with the next group.