Tuesday 21 February 2023

Newsletter, February 2023

Newsletter February 2023

Dear beekeeper,

Several of you have been in touch with excited tidings of busy hives, bees flying etc, but I have responded as ever on the cautious side, this time of year is notorious for sudden freezing weather, unexpected snow etc, so do not open colonies! A peek under the roof to check on fondant supplies will do!

  Other correspondence has been to relate sad news, colonies silent, dead bees in great number, with stores available, but not used. I have lost a colony as well, exactly like this, big & bustling, now gone.              I will have a lot of Baker’s honey to jar up when I melt it down, it looks beautiful, but SOLID in the combs.            Philip & I have spent a lot of time this month chasing up members for confirmation of their membership for 2023; thanks to those who replied, but for those who didn’t, this will be your last newsletter & the BBKA magazine will stop at the end of this month.

Have you spotted the new logo at the top of the page? What do you think? Designed by RK Graphics at Whitfield, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it on the Emergency apiary cards which you will all receive, to ensure we comply with regulations to keep us & any visitors safe.

If you have never been to the BBKA Spring Convention it is an occasion like no other, great numbers of different lectures & practical workshops all dedicated to improving your beekeeping. Plus trade stands trying to get your attention with bargains & offers.

We were very lucky to have Bob Smith as our speaker in January. The next 2 months are going to be different; 2 of our members will take the BBKA Advanced Husbandry exam – part of which is to give a 10-minute talk & take questions on a topic they will be allocated on the day.

You might remember looking at the lists at our AGM. Jackie is first to go this month! Hopefully useful practice for her. She will be speaking on Spring Management of Honeybee colonies – very relevant to this time of year!

The list of members who hope to obtain bees to replenish their stocks which have been lost over the winter has grown a bit, - let me know if you will be looking for swarms etc – no guarantees – the best way to increase your number of colonies is to carefully inspect your hives in spring & breed /split from your best.

Beginners course – This has begun, going on till March using Zoom from now on, with a practical apiary session at the end. Contact Jackie [course leader] 01227 831235

Cambridgeshire Beekeepers' Association are holding our One Day Seminar on Saturday April 15th and your members are most welcome. It is a hybrid event from Chesterton Community College in Cambridge. The theme for the day is ‘Healthy bees and happy beekeepers’ with 5 speakers giving 4 talks, all in person, and a film.  There will be trade stands and many opportunities to talk to other beekeepers.                          An interesting line up of speakers, including:                                                                                                                                                                            Marin Anastanov:  Honey, 130 million years in the making                                                                                                             

  • Professor Robert Pickard: Nutrition in honey bees and humans - Life in the balance   
  • Lynne Ingram: Honey adulteration - The truth about honey                      
  • Clare Densley & Martin Hann: How and when to feed bees - Remember we are responsible for their welfare.  

We have been given permission to show the film My garden of a thousand bees’ by the renowned wildlife film maker Martin Dohrn. 

In-person tickets cost £35 for the day to include a light buffet lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Tickets available on Eventbrite here   On-line tickets cost £15 and allow access via zoom to all the talks as well as to the film.  Tickets available on Eventbrite here   Go to www.cbka.org.uk for more information. 


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. 


  • 1lb jars, including lids, in boxes of 72 £23.50    
  • 12oz jars SOLD OUT-discontinued                                                                                              
  • 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. £1.50 per doz                                                                                      

I lb jars & half pound jars are available at the above prices; once that stock is sold, the new prices will be £30 for 1lb jars & £45 for half pounds.

This month’s meeting: Saturday 25th January, Alkham Village Hall CT15 7BU 2:30 pm 

Jackie will be speaking on Spring preparation for bee colonies with 10/15 minutes for questions.

Come & learn how to be ready for the new season. If time. we have a 15-minute film to inspire you all as to why we keep bees in the first place

  • ·   Raffle & tea [£2] as usual
  • ·    Change your library book, choose another                 

Best wishes to all,                   Maggie                                                                        

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