Wednesday 14 October 2015

Newsletter October 2015

Dear Beekeeper

It was lovely to see lots of familiar faces at the Ploughing Match in the sunshine.


Thanks to beekeepers who helped to count the stores & the varroa mite drops last month, a very mixed picture, some colonies full of winter stores, others looking needy.

The feeding has continued until the temperature has dropped. If you have National or WBC colonies on a brood & a half, it is time to reverse the boxes so that the half brood, hopefully full of stores, goes under the brood. This leaves the brood at the top, perfectly positioned for possible extra feeding with fondant or pollen, and winter treatment with oxalic acid or Hive Clean in January; while the bees will eat their way through the stores underneath to leave a clean box for your first super in the spring.
This is the theory!
Aldi & Lidl, have white cane sugar for 39p per kilo if you want to make candy – more later.


Time is getting short for you to send entry forms for the DDBKA Honey Show [October 24th] at Beech Grove, Nonington CT15 4FB. Chris hopes the number of entries will be as high as usual with the new format, so don’t let him down! Please come along on the day, bring family & friends and enter at least one class so that you can see how it’s done. There is a lot to see, all the exhibits, skep making, honey for sale etc.

Plus a good tea & raffle.

ALSO you are invited to a free dinner at Beech Grove at around 6:30 pm after all the excitement of the Honey Show has calmed. This is a kind offer from the Bruderhof community who are always so hospitable. Let David know if you wish to stay for this please, it will help with numbers!


At the September meeting, Aniela Smith, our Chair stated that she would be retiring from her post. She has been a positive & progressive influence on our Association and will be missed in that role.

So at the AGM on November 28th we shall be voting for a new Chair. Consider if you or someone you know would relish the challenge. All that needs to be done is to find a proposer & seconder for the candidate. Of course, you must check if your chosen person [could be yourself!] wishes to take it on. It’s a chance to influence direction & add new ideas.


Good news for BEGINNERS, from Mary Hill

Beginners’ course
The October course was oversubscribed so I am going to teach the two day beginners’ course again on 5th & 12th March. The application form is attached. 7 people were on the waiting list so there are not many places left.
Basic exam/assessment
A reminder to those of you who have kept bees for at least two years and the winter in between that I am teaching a course to help you pass the Basic exam. All practical, no writing. The application form is on the website. 

GOOD NEWS FROM KSRC [Kent Science Research centre]
Bob Smith is pleased to say that there will be courses on November evenings [10th, 17th, 24th, 1st Dec] at Tyland Barn, Maidstone for Key Skills for Improvers; reading the colony, swarming, bee health and the last one to be for participants to choose. Use this link to book.

Invitation from Thanet BKA
TBKA have invited Terry Clare to talk at 8pm on Tuesday 27th October at The Baptist Church Hall, Crescent Road, Birchington CT7 9DP. The topic is “The Best Bee – Is there one?” Any members (or friends) of Whitstable, Canterbury and Dover would be most welcome to come along.
There will be no charge and a cup of tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided.
A very kind offer to hear such a nationally known speaker.

 The week 25th to 31st October is National Honey week; this link takes you to some BBKA ideas for activities & recipes. BEE PART OF IT - British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) - Supporting honey bees in Britain

Best wishes