Sunday 10 July 2022

Newsletter, April 2022


Newsletter April 2022

We have been seriously tried by the weather this spring; storms, then blissful early warmth followed by heavy fog & cloud. Warm again now, just to confuse our poor bees. Most beekeepers seem to have suffered some colony losses, the puzzling kind where the hive has plenty of stores, but the population sadly dwindles.

Please will you contribute to the BBKA Winter survival survey by April 30th so that they can make comparison with earlier years.  

 I have a fascinating performance happening in my garden hive: the old queen is desperate to be superseded, a beautiful queen cell was created, a good-looking virgin emerged in due course, but it has since been too cold & windy for her to go out & get mated. So, she & her mother are trundling around together, always on the same frame, but time is running out for a successful mating & of course neither of them is laying any eggs!

2022 seems to be the year of a revival in farming of the oil seed rape crop. I have not seen so many dazzling yellow fields for a good few years. I hope your colonies are taking advantage of the plentiful pollen & nectar the plants provide.

As we all have high hopes of a good honey crop, here are 2 honey extractors which members are selling: both are 4 frame tangential extractors, which involve turning the super frames half way through extracting to empty both sides.

Alan Snook has a plastic manual extractor for sale @ £200 ono, Contact him 01304 841964

Jill Rolfe has a stainless-steel electric extractor for sale @ £380, only used for one season                     Contact her 07500 723732

Can I remind you all that the swarm collector list is being updated & if you wish to be on it, let me know please? But you must be prepared to answer if a call comes to you; even if you don’t need any more bees, a beginner might or someone who has lost bees. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

A member from Wye, Kate Wilson, has a lot of polystyrene Langstroth bits for sale, some unused as her late father purchased them. Please call her to obtain more information:           

5 Floors, 6 yellow doors, 6 brood frames, 3 yellow feeder frames, 11 Langstroth boxes including frames,     5 roofs + 1 unpainted, 3 feeders, 1 eke (moth damage), 3 plastic queen excluders, 5 plastic blue sheets, 6 clear plastic sheets, 6 drone plastic frames (green)   01233 813878   Kate will sell as a job lot

HONEY JARS                                                                                                                            We have had a delivery of honey jars, and will be selling them now. BUT from a different site

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, slightly later as it is a really busy site with deliveries etc.

PRICES: 1lb jars, incl 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.



For some years DDBKA has offered loans of complete National hives, including frames, to beginners for their first season, to save on the expense of setting up, which can be considerable.  The beginner would keep & use the hive for their first year, but by the following spring would be expected to have obtained their own hive & be able to return the DDBKA one, in its original condition, for another beginner to use.

 Our club also offers loans of equipment to members, & also honey extractors, which can all be booked with Eric, 07741 483051 at a refundable price of £10 if returned clean. We have extractors from 2 frame to 9 frame [radial], all manual.

This month’s meeting

Saturday 30th April at the DDBKA Eythorne apiary at 2:30 pm, the first outdoor meeting of this year at Eythorne Court   CT14 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 me of allergies & sting reactions if you are aware of them.

It is very doubtful whether any hives will be opened as the forecast is chilly again, the apiary hives have suffered losses too. Jackie will be explaining some of the signs to look for if you suspect bees plan to swarm. Q & A session also.


There will be some redundant hive parts for sale:

National brood boxes for £12,

14X12 brood boxes for £20

super boxes at £8,

roofs for £14,

a complete empty wooden Langstroth hive. £150

a hive stand - offers

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

·         I hope you will be able to come along, & that it warms up! I look forward to putting faces to names on my lists, and hoping to arrange some mentors for beginners.                                    

Best wishes,     


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