Tuesday 1 November 2022

Newsletter, November 2022

 Newsletter November 2022

Dear beekeeper,

Thanks to all of you who entered exhibits in the recent Honey Show, also to those who came along to see what we could offer. We are grateful to Chris Holdstock for providing his experience in organising the entries. A lot of preparation went into readying the hall; we are already booked in for October 21st 2023!

The list of awards is attached, & next year we plan to be more specific in identifying reasons why various honey entries didn’t make the grade. Most were due to granulation beginning. The judge was impressed with the quality of the novice entries – hope for the future!

Time moves along, time for our AGM. This is your current committee, anyone wishing to stand in one of the posts will be welcome, please let me know as we might need an election.

Office

Current holder

Remarks

Chair

Peter Crow

willing to stand again

Vice Chair

Paula Gardner

willing to stand again

Secretary & Membership Secretary

Maggie Harrowell

willing to stand again

Treasurer #

Philip Nicholson

willing to stand again

Show Secretary

Sue Court

willing to stand again

Equipment Secretary

Eric Cattell

Willing to stand again

Exam Secretary

Dick Bunting

Post vacant

Delegate

Peter Crow

willing to stand again

 

 

 

 

 

                                        

Jackie is currently resting from the committee, until we have the necessary Health & Safety agreements in place; but still training & teaching we hope. Could you assist her as Exam Secretary?

# Philip would very much welcome a member who could assist/shadow his activities with a view to taking over at a later date. Have a think as to whether you could offer support.

I have also attached a membership form for you to renew your membership. BBKA fees remain the same, so we will keep the same fees as last year, Associate membership remains the same. *Please sign the back to confirm you understand your responsibilities when dealing with bees.   

We hope the bulk of you will renew online when prompted in your inbox.   But members who prefer cheques will certainly need to fill one in & give or post to Philip asap please.

Consider also if you might like to:

 # Become a mentor to a beginner, # Loan a hive as a beginner for your first beekeeping year,

# Host a summer meeting, [be optimistic!], # Go on the 2023 swarm collectors list,

# Offer to join the catering rota

Winter comes soon, even though it is exceptionally mild now; your hard-working bees should now be well-fed & tucked up in their hives with a mouseguard or low entrance at the front & protection from woodpeckers around the exposed woodwork [or polystyrene, it’s vulnerable too!] Queen excluders removed so that the cluster can move freely with the queen.             Check every so often that your hives are safe from strong winds, animals, vandalism etc. They should be left alone till you decide whether to do a varroa treatment in December/ January.   If the bees are clustering near the feed hole, they may need fondant.

Even though it may be chilly/ foggy/damp, this is the time to check your equipment is in good shape ready for next season, coming sooner than you think!

 

HONEY JARS *                                                                                                                          

Now at Unit 12, AB Crush panel beaters, opposite the Shepherdswell turning on the A2 to Five Oaks, Geddinge         CT4 6RY.        The procedure remains the same, order to me, payment to Philip, collection on a Friday from 11 to 12, it is a really busy site with vehicles, deliveries etc.

PRICES: 1lb jars, including lids, in boxes of 72 £23.50    12oz jars & lids remain at £29 for 72                                                                                                                      8oz round jars & lids are £34.50 for 128                                                                                                         8oz hexagonal jars & lids are £34.50 for 108. SOLD OUT                                                                                            Spare lids available for all sizes.

*A new order will be placed before Christmas

From BBKA: I am writing to ask all Associations and their members to support our new honey petition which calls on the Government to change the Honey labelling rules so consumers can easily recognise all countries of origin of the honey contained in a jar sold here in the UK .https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/624402/                                                             There are increasing cases of shop honey being blended from many unknown sources, as well as maybe being  bulked out by corn syrup & rice syrup.                                                                      

This month’s meeting, last of the year!

Saturday 26th November 2:30 pm Alkham Village Hall CT15 7BU

 

  • Please don’t forget your 2023 subscription form if you are not paying online. Use a sealed envelope with your name on it for your form & money, it can get confusing! Please remember to fill in the back of the form.
  • Your subscription pays for the monthly magazine, insurances, newsletter & speakers, loans of equipment. Remember that a £10 refundable deposit must now be paid for borrowing honey extractors to ensure they are returned in as clean a condition as they were loaned.

·         Any outstanding library books to be returned please.

·          Tea [£2] and raffle as usual. Note the new price, it has remained the same since 2016.

·         At the meeting, you will be asked to play a part in choosing some topics for the indoor meetings, think about what you’d like to hear more about from a list of subjects.

 

Best wishes,                                                                                                                                                      please come along, car share if possible,                                                                                                     Maggie                                  

Saturday 1 October 2022

Newsletter, October 2022

 Newsletter October 2022

Thanks to all who contacted me with the “confirmed sighting of an Asian Hornet” in our area; it was found on its own in the Tower Hamlets area, Dover, no nest discovered. So it may have been a lost specimen, but proves the value of downloading the AH app to your phone.

Keep your eyes open especially near ivy flowers.

 All members are encouraged to take the AH training exercise on line, makes you think!  You just need your BBKA number [starts with 23].          https://www.bbka.org.uk/asian-hornet-action-team-map

 

CREDIT FOR Mary Hill [ DDBKA member & judge for our show]

Beecraft magazine have a monthly prize of a personalised hive tool for the top beekeeping tip from readers each month.  Mary won for her practical method of transferring a Q from a mating nuc to a regular frame. Well done!               

Also, congratulations to Malcolm & CJ who won first prize for their lovely clear honey at the         East Kent Ploughing match. I won for the set honey; & the whole stand - Thanet, Canterbury & Dover BKAs, took first prize for the best Trade Stand of 2022, a very large silver cup.

I was introduced to Lord Northbourne there, whose farm was hosting the day, & who is looking for a local beekeeper to use some of his acres for beehives to increase pollination & diversity on his land. Contact me if this could be you.                                                                                                           ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DDBKA Honey Show, October 22nd 2:30pm

Sue, our Show Secretary, has asked me to remind you that the time for your entries is drawing closer & we really need to fill the hall with a fine display of honey & hive products to show the great variety of bee-related items that can be made & used.

CHANGE FOR SENDING ENTRIES – much simpler, deadline now 19th [no post involved]

Email your entry forms to Sue, suecourt@hotmail.co.uk  or call 07979 253242. When you come to set out your entries early on Saturday morning [22nd] your identification cards & the class labels will be waiting for you & your entries.

Competition is friendly, but please read the rules!                                                                     Judges often give tips on improving your honey, no matter how perfect you may think it already is!

HONEY JARS                                                                                                                            

Now at Unit 12, AB Crush panel beaters, opposite the Shepherdswell turning on the A2 to Five Oaks, Geddinge         CT4 6RY.        The procedure remains the same, order to me, payment to Philip, collection on a Friday from 11 to 12, it is a really busy site with vehicles, deliveries etc.

PRICES: 1lb jars, including lids, in boxes of 72 £23.50    12oz jars & lids remain at £29 for 72                                                                                                                      8oz round jars & lids are £34.50 for 128                                                                                                         8oz hexagonal jars & lids are £34.50 for 108.                                                                                             Spare lids available for all sizes.

Jar demand is decreasing now, a new order may be placed soon, but prices rise as prices do, in the new year.

BBKA tell me that October 21st is National Honey Day,

We are supposed to ask everyone we know to support bees by buying a jar of local honey.

From the enquiries I receive that often seems to be quite a difficult task.                                         So, at our Show on the 22nd, we can persuade visitors to buy local honey, if you bring along some to be sold, correctly labelled of course.

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This came as an invitation to Kent’s Plan Bee, an on-line event.                                        Dear colleagues and partners,                                                                                                                       On behalf of Se├ín Holden, Chair of Kent’s Plan Bee, I am pleased to attach an invitation to this year’s Plan Bee summit.  To be held virtually on 22rd November, this event will consider how the future management of Kent’s land may help deliver benefits for our pollinators and help to reverse the decline of these important insects.  Please see attached for further details. 

 Registration for the event is via Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kents-plan-bee-summit-2022-land-management-for-pollinators-tickets-435724101517  

 We hope you will be able to join us for this event.                                                                                  Best wishes, Liz     Elizabeth Milne | Natural Environment & Coast Manager | Growth Environment & Transport | Kent County Council | 1st Floor, Invicta House, Maidstone, ME14 1XX | Internal: 413950 | External: 03000 413950 | Mobile: 07740 185332 | www.kent.gov.uk | @kent_cc

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This month’s meeting, Saturday October 22nd

2:30 pm at Shepherdswell Village Hall CT15 7NN      DDBKA Honey Show

·        Please bring a cake to sell as we shall be providing tea & cake for club funds.    Please list the ingredients. Servers needed please.

·        Bring along some of your honey/candles to sell, for your funds!

·        Bring a raffle prize if possible.

·        Bring family & friends, Jackie will have a bee information display to learn from

 

Very much looking forward to seeing you & your entries,

 

Thank you,           

        Maggie

Thursday 1 September 2022

Newsletter, September 2022

 Newsletter September 2022

Dear beekeeper,      

Thanks to those who managed to get to the Leas in Kingsdown last month to a fabulous site; on the cliffs, the Channel & France in front & a Spitfire circling overhead. Thanks to Mr Peter Finch for his hospitality & to Terry & Tony for demonstrating how they will apply oxalic acid when the time comes in December, working as a team, very careful of the chemicals.

I am due to count the varroa mite drop from my hives after their first Apiguard dose, they have not had this particular treatment for a few years, always a good idea to vary treatments. I am also feeding as well, some purchased fondant, followed by home-made candy.

Candy recipe.  Can be multiplied if more needed

I kg white sugar, 200ml water 1 teasp glycerine [on baking shelves in shops]

Boil for 3 mins, stir & cool over cold water. As it starts to become opaque, pour quickly into take-away containers, fills 3. Put lids on when cold. Remove lids when ready to feed.                                                    Invert over feed hole in crownboard.

Ivy seems quite late to flower in my area, bees love its pollen & nectar, but the resulting honey, though delicious, sets quite hard in the combs, may be a removal problem for the spring unless the bees consume it all!                                            A cautionary tale for you from the US

An Ohio man who was stung at least 20,000 times by bees – and even ingested some of the insects – during a mishap while cutting tree branches is expected to recover, according to his family.

Austin Bellamy, 20, climbed high into a lemon tree in Ripley, Ohio, last Friday to help trim it when he mistakenly cut into a bees’ nest, his mother said “When he started cutting, the bees came out, and he tried to anchor himself down, and he couldn’t … He was hollering, ‘Help! Help me!’ Bellamy was unable to get down from the tree because he was harnessed. Watchers were unable to climb the ladder since they were also under attack by the bees.

Paramedics and the Ripley fire department responded to the scene and cut Bellamy out of the tree. “He was just covered in bees. It looked like he had a black blanket on his head down to his neck, down to his arms.”

The fire department told his mother that the bees were a hybrid of the western honeybee and east African lowland honeybee that is considered much more defensive than other bee varieties.

Emergency responders transported Bellamy to the University of Cincinnati medical centre by helicopter where doctors discovered that he had also ingested about 30 bees.

“They left stingers like an inch long” his mother also told TV, adding that he suffered kidney failure from the attack. On Wednesday evening, Bellamy woke up from a medically induced coma and is expected to make a full recovery, but still in the hospital with breathing problems. His oxygen keeps dropping but much of the swelling has gone down.

Take care in the garden!    Please…..

HONEY JARS                                                                                                                           

Now at Unit 12, AB Crush panel beaters, opposite the Shepherdswell turning on the A2 to Five Oaks, Geddinge         CT4 6RY.        The procedure remains the same, order to me, payment to Philip, collection on a Friday from 11 to 12, it is a really busy site with vehicles, deliveries etc.

PRICES: 1lb jars, including lids, in boxes of 72 £23.50    12oz jars & lids remain at £29 for 72                                                                                                                      8oz round jars & lids are £34.50 for 128                                                                                                         8oz hexagonal jars & lids are £34.50 for 108.                                                                                             Spare lids available for all sizes.

 

Upcoming Events

Sat September 24th DDBKA Meeting at Eythorne apiary CT15 4AD 2:30

Sat September 24th Dover Urban Fete, Pencester Gardens 10 - 4:30

Wed September 28th East Kent Ploughing Match, Stoneheap Farm, Little Mongeham      CT14 0HS. The bee Associations of Dover, Thanet & Canterbury share a pitch to inform local people about bees & sell honeys & bee-related products. Bring your correctly labelled honey to be sold. A wonderful day out!

Sat October 22nd DDBKA Honey Show, Shepherdswell Village Hall. Schedule included with this letter.

27 -29th October National Honey Show, Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey. KT10 9AJ

I have a clash on September 24th, but have always supported the Dover Urban Fair.

HEARING AIDS     An interesting chat at the jar depot, I wondered if anyone else had experienced this. A beekeeper was being troubled by persistently defensive bees, yet when he turned his hearing aids off & removed them, the bees reverted to their peaceful former selves. Apparently, the devices give off a detectable sound, aggravating to bees.                                                                   We don’t really need to hear them on inspection, seeing is usually quite sufficient.

This month’s meeting

 

Saturday 24th September at the DDBKA Eythorne apiary at 2:30 pm, at Eythorne Court   CT15 4AD. It is along Shepherdswell Road, near Eythorne, travelling towards Shepherdswell, on the left, near a black wooden building. We park in the next field; you will see cars and a gate to enter. If you are a new member or visitor, please make yourself known, we get busy!

Bear in mind that the site includes an apiary & we urge you to take care in the vicinity of bees, bring your beesuit & wellies if you have them, make sure you have informed us of allergies & sting reactions if you are aware of them.

Jackie’s training theme will be getting bees ready for winter, how to unite weak colonies plus reminders about woodpecker protection, mouse guards and wasps & what to do during winter, maybe another mention of the oxalic acid treatment.

Q & A session also; 2 or 3 hives may be opened, particularly for beginners to have a taste of inspection routines & to compare progress.

Tea [£1] and raffle as usual.  Bring your own mugs!!!!

  • Remember to change your Library books
  • Sorry to miss you this month,

Maggie

Monday 1 August 2022

Newsletter, August 2022

 Newsletter August 2022

My prayers for rain may at last be heard, the countryside has been transformed into a parched brown landscape, alien to what we think of as high summer. Bees have coped well if water is available, just the persistent wasps attacking small or weak colonies. I have lost a colony & a nuc to wasps, both trying to requeen.     By now most of you will have completed your honey harvest or be just getting there. Reports seem good in terms of quantity.

Time to move to anti-varroa treatments. There are many on the market; this year DDBKA have bought Apiguard in bulk, orders were placed at the July meeting & some members have made contact to place requests. So it will be available at this month’s meeting, priority given to those pre-orders.

DDBKA APIGUARD PRICE                                                                                                                                              £2.15 per tray, each colony requires 2 trays over a period of 6 weeks, so £4.30 per colony, cash fine.

EXAM SUCCESSES

I am delighted to record that our 3 candidates for the Basic Assessment all passed, Allen Head well, Ros White & Julie Scott with credits. Lewis Head, Allen’s son, achieved the Junior Beekeeping Certificate - Julie Coleman our assessor was most complimentary about him. Congratulations to them all!                                                                                  Something for all members to think on, if you haven’t taken the Basic yet; it’s all practical & conversation to discover what you know about bees & how to handle them.

Chris Farrell was very successful too, at the Kent Show where she won 3 First prizes with her lovely detailed photographs of honeybees in action.                                                                                                                                               Many were taken before she chose the eventual prize-winners, a perfectionist indeed!

If you had applied for a free ticket for the Festival of Bees in Chatham in early September, you’ll know by now that it has all fallen through & been cancelled.                                                       There is a promise of something next year, but the feeling of disappointment is great.                  No reason given either. Ho hum.

HONEY JARS                                                                                                                           

Now at Unit 12, AB Crush panel beaters, opposite the Shepherdswell turning on the A2 to Five Oaks, Geddinge         CT4 6RY.        The procedure remains the same, order to me, payment to Philip, collection on a Friday from 11 to 12, it is a really busy site with vehicles, deliveries etc.

PRICES: 1lb jars, including lids, in boxes of 72 £23.50    12oz jars & lids remain at £29 for 72                                                                                                                      8oz round jars & lids are £34.50 for 128                                                                                                         8oz hexagonal jars & lids are £34.50 for 108.                                                                                             Spare lids available for all sizes.

I have been contacted by a lady looking for local honey to sell at her farmer’s market in Cliftonville once a month, she can pay & collect from anyone who has a surplus to pass on. She’d like to start with10 jars.

Contact her asap if you can help.     Emma@realdealroasters.co.uk

South of England Honey Show 2022, 24th & 25th September.                                                                 South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex, RH17 6TL, part of the Autumn Show & International Horse Trials.                                                                                                                          This Honey Show, to be judged by Bill Fisher, presents a unique opportunity to Associations, their members and individual beekeepers to get ready for perhaps your own Local or County shows and certainly for the National Honey Show at the end of October.

In this area, we have the East Kent Ploughing Match, held locally in our area this year at Stoneheap Farm Little Mongeham. CT14 0HS on Wednesday 28th September                                                                                                                   Enclosed with this letter is the schedule, which in [VERY] small print has details of their honey competition, [the only thing you can enter], class 8, section L [clear] & M [set]. Cut out the entry form, fill it in, attach the 20p fee & post it before August 26th.                                                                                          Good luck; Richard, one of our members, is the judge, so give him some work to do! 

This month’s meeting

 

Saturday 27th August, 2:30 pm at Ship House, The Leas, Kingsdown CT14 8ER by kind permission of Mr Peter Finch.

It is a member’s apiary; Terry Johnson has hives at this stunning house in its beautiful position near the sea.

 

Terry’s directions: From the Kingsdown golf course club house you should see DDBKA signs.

 

Go to Kingsdown golf club, go past the clubhouse and carry on up the hill along the narrow road [The Leas], past all the nice houses until you see a large white house with green shutters.  Pass this house and the next house is Ship House. Tea ladies, the elderly and anyone with bulky or heavy items please turn right and park on the drive, you will be directed to the pool room.

Everyone else, please carry on along the road until you come to a 5-bar gate, turn right up the hill to the golf course and park there. Someone will be there to show you the way to the house.

Terry plans to demonstrate the use of oxalic acid treatments on his hives, so be aware that the site includes an apiary & we urge you to take care in the vicinity of bees, bring your beesuit & wellies if you have them, make sure you have informed me of allergies & sting reactions if you are aware of them.

 

Jackie will probably just hold a question & answer session. Honey is the hot topic at the moment - extraction, processing and storage, lots to think about.

 

Tables & chairs for our meeting will be provided, we will have tea as usual [£1] & the raffle.

Bring your own mugs!!!

 

Very much looking forward to a change of scene! See you there,

Maggie