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.


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.

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,


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