Monday, 23 December 2013

Monday, 16 December 2013

Newsletter December 2013


Dear Beekeeper

Our last meeting, addressed by Steve Alton was a good way to end the season, he wrote: “a lovely crowd who made me feel very welcome.”
Thanks to all who helped on the day, and for the extra refreshments.

Did anyone find a silk scarf there? Let me know please.

Alan Byham, the SE Bee Inspector, has presented his annual report for 2013, it is on our website, along with his 2013 Honey Survey. Both make interesting reading: we in Kent undercharge for our honey [as usual]; he maps the incidences of AFB & EFB and has overall conclusions about the effect of the delayed spring.

More Sentinel beekeepers are required to be alert for introduced pests, Tony Christian in Whitfield is one, and he has found the extra monitoring very helpful.

It will be Alan’s last report as he retires, after great service, at Christmas.

If anyone has been keeping bees for 50years, let me know, BBKA have a special award for such cases.

Endurance probably!

At the Eythorne apiary, Brian Marlow has done wonders in the shed, lots of equipment is now off the floor and it looks more spacious.

He is keen to keep it that way and will be taking over the loans and borrowings next year.



DDBKA COMMITTEE for 2014

January 25th 2014 will be the AGM for our club.

At present I have received resignations from Len Mole, Treasurer; Karl Engels, Vice Chair; & Jan Cross, Exam Secretary, 3 posts will need to be filled.

Please think carefully if you or a member you know could take on one of these positions.

I must receive a nomination for a specified post from a member by email or phone by mid January. You are certainly free to nominate yourself.

A member must not be nominated unless you have checked with them that they are willing to stand.

Hope you will get working on this and get in touch!

It’s an opportunity to become involved and to be instrumental in making changes.

The 2014 Subscription form is also on the website and I will attach it to this letter as well. We run from January to January and our membership funds keep us going.

Only £2 more than 2013, entirely due to the BBKA capitation increase of £2.

You should note that Len’s address has changed, for those who like to pay by post.

Bank transfer is easy – honestly!

DDBKA has bought the DVD More than Honey [featured on page 4, In the Apiary, of the December BBKA News]. We plan to show it at the February or March meetings.

Check your hives

If using oxalic or lactic acid as varroa treatment in the broodless time in December/January, wait for a calm day and work quickly. It provides an opportunity for adjusting frames, making sure the winter cluster is in contact with stored honey, to avoid “isolation starvation”.
Take some fondant or candy with you in case they are low on stores.
Watch out for a build up of dead bees behind the entrance and clear them.
Otherwise, leave alone and wait for the days to lengthen, when your queens will begin to lay.


Enjoy the beekeeping break, read some new books, do some repairs, and make your plans ready for the new season. Always good to have a plan, even though events may intervene.

Happy Christmas and good health for 2014 to you all,

Best wishes

Maggie