Saturday 15 February 2014

Newsletter February 2014

Dear Beekeeper

The record-breaking rain continues to fall; bees and us huddle under cover. . There is little that can be done apart from checking for damage by wind or pests and ensuring the entrances are not blocked with corpses. Continue with fondant. 

Bees can easily starve now, even though they may have food near the cluster; but inside the hive the queen will be laying, and feeding the larvae expends energy and consequently stores.

If it ever stops raining, once the bees become active in warmer weather, you can feed with syrup if they seem light; you should notice pollen being taken in to feed larvae if all is well. 

Check, repair and clean your equipment, be ready for what this season will throw at us, it may well be a slow start like last year.

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… see our CONTACT page for details.

Last month’s AGM was well attended, 2 new members registering with us and BBKA.

Office    2014
Current holder
Aniela Smith
Vice Chair
Dick Bunting
Maggie Harrowell
Membership Secretary
Maggie Harrowell
Philip Nicholson
Show Secretary
Chris Holdstock
Examinations  Secretary
Jackie Thomas
Training Secretary
Mary Hill

This is your new Committee; please approach us with any suggestions you may have to improve our Association.Details are on our CONTACTS page.

Some changes were made; we welcome Philip as Treasurer, Dick as Vice Chair and Jackie as Exam Secretary. They replace Len, Karl and Jan, all of whom have given great service to DDBKA, particularly Len.

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. Let me know if you are looking for a mentor to give beginner support.

Library Books

Tony Christian is concerned that some books have been on loan for 3 years! Emails have been sent to the forgetful; please return them at the next meeting!

Look on KSRC website for courses this spring, Practical Husbandry 14th March, How to pass the Basic [with Mary]: 12th April, 3rd May.

2 KSRC practical bee-handling sessions: Monday, 28th April, Wednesday 28th May 10am-4pm at Bridge, nr Canterbury. Tutors:Bob Smith and Patrick Murfet, £25 registration fee (non-refundable).

The aim is to provide coaching in reading the bees, proactive management, apiary hygiene and smooth, confident handling. You will get plenty of access to hives, working in small groups so that there’s practical learning for each student.

Students: Must have: minimum pass in BBKA Basic, no exceptions, freshly laundered bee suit, clean footwear and disposable gloves essential. Maximum 6 students per session. Bring packed lunch.


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

I am told that Poundstretchers sells sugar for 69p per kg, Farm Foods still 75p.

The 2014 Meetings Schedule is on our DOCUMENTS TO DOWNLOAD page. You’ll notice the double AGM – to enable new officers to get established before registration time.

Please pay your subs for 2014 to Philip. The BBKA are bringing their deadline for payment earlier, so that registration needs to take place by the end of February, at the meeting or by email or post. Otherwise you will lose your BBKA monthly magazine, newsletter and insurances. Thanks to the 60 who have already registered!


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