Monday 14 August 2017

Newsletter August 2017

Dear Beekeeper

What a strange July meeting! Too wet to bother the bees, yet 55 people turned up to chat, stand in a field or under a gazebo & think about bees. Amazing! Thank you all, especially those who brought food.

A disappointing summer honey crop seems to be my lot, as well as many of you. The dry weeks followed by what we have now, wet, windy & cool, have made the bees stay at home & consume what little they had. 

So the need now is for treatment against varroa mites and making sure the bees are settled for winter. There will probably be an influx of stores in September when ivy flowers come out, much loved by bees for their abundant nectar & pollen.

The National Bee Unit has issued a warning re high varroa mite numbers.
We have Apiguard varroa treatments for DDBKA members @ £1.75 per tray. You need 2 trays per colony, plus an eke or shallow box, so get yours at the August meeting.
This link shows how to apply Apiguard for those who have not used it before:

Don’t forget to put in an insert & count the mite drop weekly & divide the number by 7 to find the daily drop. Over the 4 week period it is reputed to be 93% effective, numbers should decrease after an initial high drop. Clean the insert between monitoring counts.

We also hope to have Ambrosia bee syrup for sale to members at this month's meeting.

Apiary Wednesdays
Dick & Peter’s Wednesday 6:30 pm sessions at our Eythorne out-apiary CT15 4AD are successful & busy, people needing a problem solved, hands-on experience, or some equipment.
Beginner members are especially welcome.
Dick now has a blog which you can check to see if a session may be cancelled due to poor weather, check from 3pm on the day:

This month’s meeting
Saturday 26th August at Steve Boyce’s apiary on Romney Marsh at Marshlands, TN29 0PY.

Steve has now put all his bees into polystyrene hives, a real enthusiast for bee health in these hives. He will convert you, or try to! There is a purpose-built apiary which he has created giving shelter from the marsh winds.

Steve has also arranged a visitor; Kay Wreford [bee inspector] will be there to go through with us what an inspector does & is looking for, when they come & inspect our hives, to make us less nervous!

To get there, consider a car share. The route obviously depends on your starting point, but once you arrive at Marshlands, there is a turning between 40 & 42 which leads to the apiary.
Bring clean suits, wellies & rubber gloves. Bring glasses if you wear them! We will have suits to borrow for beginners & observers.

Return your Library books & choose another.

Tea [£1] and raffle as usual. To save a lot of carrying, please can you bring a small contribution of food to share at this meeting, DDBKA can provide tea & coffee. Bring your own mugs!

I hope you come along; it is very useful to see other apiaries.
Best wishes.


  1. Sad to know you guys had a disappointing crop but I hope September is better and that it makes up for the dry summer season.

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  3. Wonderful newsletter. Thanks for sharing this.