Wednesday 16 December 2015

Newsletter December 2015

Dear Beekeeper

Our AGM was well-attended, one change made to the committee, see below.

2016 holder
Dick Bunting
Vice Chair
Jean Mozley
Secretary & Membership Secretary
Maggie Harrowell
Philip Nicholson
Show Secretary
Chris Holdstock
Examinations  Secretary
Jackie Thomas
Training Secretary
Mary Hill
Dougal Hendry

Welcome to Dick Bunting as Chair & as Vice Chair, Jean Mozley, who has been involved with DDBKA for over 30 years. Most of you will know her through her queen rearing business & may have had to call on her when things turned out unexpectedly in the past. She has also taught & mentored for some years in this area.
Thanks to those who provided tasty seasonal snacks.

I forgot to ask for a summer host for a meeting. Let me know if you are willing, thank you.

Those still wondering about the large insect I brought in to show after finding it dead at the bottom of a hive, wonder no more. I contacted iSpot; 48 people viewed the picture & all agreed it was a death’s head hawkmoth, a visitor from Africa, attracted by honey & able to mimic a bee smell to sneak in. It can have a 5 inch wingspan. It also is the only moth to squeak, more of a grunt, & if you use the link below, you’ll be able to hear it!


I still have wasps going in & out of hives, the weather has been so mild that they haven’t died off. Bees are also out on sunny days, so you must be very vigilant to check by hive weight if the bees have consumed most of their stores. Every trip outside uses energy & there is no nectar around to replace it.


Baker’s fondant is available by prior arrangement from Vanes bakery, 120 High St Dover 01304 206325, or Elizabeths Bakeries, 59 Cheriton High Street Folkestone 01303 275576. Ring first; it is usually sold in 12.5 kg boxes. Heavy, but it keeps well if cool & wrapped.
OR Try and make your own candy.

Candy Recipe [there are lots of variations] increase quantities as desired.200ml water, 1000g [1kg] white sugar,1 teasp glycerine. Boil all together, stirring, for3 minutes, cool slightly over cold water, then beat or stir rapidly. Turns opaque, pour quickly into plastic containers e.g. “take away” ones. It sets fast! Invert over the feed hole in the crownboard.


Improvers Key Skills course

BEGINNERS, with Mary Hill

Hopefully Roger Patterson will be able to visit for another Bee Improvement session in May. 2 groups are being formed to try & improve the quality of our local bees, no bad thing, more later. Dick Bunting is the key man here. He will also be co-ordinating Bob Smith’s drone project in May. Busy man!

The results from the 2015 DDBKA Honey Show are attached to this newsletter.

Also a link to the latest edition of Worker Bee, published 6 times a year by BBKA. You'll need your membership details to view it HERE and if you want it straight to your inbox in future follow the instructions in the yellow box at the top of the page.

January is our time for membership renewal, but if you are keen to get it done, you can find new form HERE. You’ll notice that in line with BBKA policy the fee has risen, but still good value with insurance & a monthly magazine.

We’ll meet again on January 30th to hear Jean’s tips on queen introduction.

Time for a rest and to read those beekeeping books you’ll have for Christmas.

Have a very merry Christmas

Best wishes