Monday 21 July 2014

Newsletter July 2014

Dear Beekeeper

Another well-attended meeting last month, 4 new faces. Several members had been caught out with solid rape honey [me!] and were glad to take advantage of Patrick’s melting facility at the Bee Barn, 50p per frame, good value. Book at 01227 833807.

Two weeks after, a dedicated group rotovated the patch for the wild flowers, hard work on a really hot day. Thanks to Dick Bunting, Pat Marvier, Pete Crow & Pat Stockhall.

WASPS After the recent wet weather, wasps are out in force. Don’t leave boxes, frames, wax, syrup lying around, they will be attracted and consequently to your hives.
Make wasp traps; jars with a little jam [NOT honey] and water, make holes in the lid, the wasps will drown in large numbers. Reduce entrances if necessary.

Diary Dates HERE

Brian Marlow runs the loans of DDBKA equipment, i.e. honey and wax extractors, observation hive, feeders, apideas, refractometer, nuc boxes etc… 01304 831505

We have now revamped the library and bought lots of new books some of which are quite expensive. It has been decided that some books can only be borrowed if a refundable deposit is paid. They will have a red sticker on the cover. The system is that if you want to borrow a book with a red sticker, you must go to Philip (Treasurer) and give him £5 in exchange for a token which you then give to Tony Christian (Librarian) in exchange for the book and sign his record book so we know who the borrower is. On return of the book, you get your £5 back! Unmarked books are free as usual, just sign the book.
DDBKA Library has suffered losses and the new system is to stop this.
If you think you might like to borrow one of the new books make sure you have £5 with you!
Grateful thanks to Mavis Carter for donating Tony’s bee library to DDBKA.

It is vital for your bees that you take steps to control the spread of the varroa mite. Various methods are available, from biological controls & selective breeding to chemical intervention. The usual time to reduce the numbers ready for next year is after the summer honey has been removed, mid August.

At the apiary this year we are trying Apilife Var as a change, no eke required and it takes 4 weeks for a course. Mannetta will have Apiguard available at the meeting, 2 trays needed per hive, total per hive £5, same as one jar of honey. This takes 6 weeks for a course and needs an eke.

If you wish to use MAQS which only takes a week for a course, then the Bee Barn is your best source as Patrick has good offers to go with it. MAQS can be applied when honey is on the hive.

THORNE’S SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT Mannetta & Clive Ferguson, owners of our out apiary site, are agents for E H Thorne. Orders placed at meetings will be sent off on the next Tuesday. 01304 832000

Mentoring for beginners with DDBKA.
This is a free practical service generously provided by our experienced beekeepers. We all remember being anxious, and desperately asking for help when we began. Bee behaviour always proves not as straightforward as the books! It’s nice to be able to give something back.

Hope you are watching Hive Alive on BBC2 - 22nd July 8pm final part


Mary Hill (DDBKA Training secretary)
July apiary meeting Lots of counting needed!

This month the colonies will be opened to monitor the build up of surplus honey stores to be extracted next month. A varroa mite count will also be done looking at inserts placed in the hives in advance. We have given up with the Bailey comb change, the queen just did not want to be in the top box!

Beginners bring Marigold gloves and wellies. If you do not have a suit we have some you can borrow.

Beginners’ theory course
I am running a course of two linked Saturdays in October for beginners. The details and the application forms are on our website

For those of you who are following Roy's Ugandan Project, here are some links:
REPORT to Funders
Article  from one of the participants

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