Monday, 25 September 2017

Newsletter September 2017

Dear Beekeeper
 
Tremendous thanks to Steve & Linda Boyce for their hospitality at the August meeting on Romney Marsh. Not that easy to find, as I discovered, but a lovely spot for bees. A car load of beekeepers from Walmer never actually made it - forced to seek refreshment! It was hot & the 27 hives were all active, one was defensive. 
We removed the full frames for Steve to extract, lucky man. Thanks to all, especially those who brought food.
 
Kay Wreford, our Seasonal Bee Inspector, explained why certain beekeepers were inspected more than others, on the traffic light system:
Green:   left alone unless request a visit, probably rural & isolated
Amber:  still almost under the radar as not in areas of previous infections
Red:       yearly visit, near docks/port, a likely point of entry for Asian hornet, small hive beetle.
But inspectors will come if requested by a beekeeper.
 
 
Disease Alert: EFB identified again within 3 km of Nonington - make sure you're registered on BeeBase for alerts.
 
This month in the apiary:
Varroa treatments should be removed by now & concentrated feeding should aim to be done by the end of this month. Use strong sugar syrup [1kg white sugar to 630ml of water] or Ambrosia syrup. 35-40lb of stores is recommended for a normal sized colony.
The queen excluder can be removed as bees use the space as they wish.
Depending on the weather I’ll let mine go a bit longer to see how much ivy nectar they bring in, that’s their preference after all. But many beekeepers find ivy honey a nuisance as it sets very hard & the bees never seem to eat it all. You may be left with frames needing to be melted down next spring.
 
DDBKA Honey Show!
October 21st Shepherdswell Village Hall 2:30 pm (note the new venue for this year)
I hope you have had time to look at the 2017 schedule & see what you’ll enter. Personally I have no honey left after a poor summer season & local demand, so will try harder with wax & confectionery! 
So choose your best jars, make sure they are clean & clear & the right weight & go for it! 
And do remember that members can enter open as well as members’ classes.
The wax classes are a steep learning curve, but very satisfying, also mead making.
The closing date for entries is 14th October. Chris will send you the stickers in the s.a.e. which you must enclose with your entry form. 
Confectionery entries don’t have to be made with your own honey – it may be your first year!
Read the regulations carefully. They may seem picky, but it leads to fairness for all.
 
This month’s meeting:
The last outdoor meeting of the year!
Saturday 30th September at the DDBKA out-apiary CT15 4AD 2:30 p.m.
It is along the Shepherdswell Road, near Eythorne as you head towards Shepherdswell, on the left, Parking in the next field. 
  • Mary will work with beginners; she may discuss equipment & tools with the group. Others will demonstrate at DDBKA hives. 
  • Each hive will have its stores assessed & counted for the winter, 3lb for a full super frame, 5lb a full brood frame. Feeding of Ambrosia to start if not already started. DDBKA has 3 English feeders & 2 budget wooden feeders. The poly hive has its own feeder.
  • Bring clean suits, wellies & rubber gloves. Bring glasses if you wear them! We will have suits to borrow for beginners & observers.
  • Return your Library books & choose another.
  • Tea [£1] and raffle as usual. Bring your own mugs!

Hoping for fine weather!
Best wishes,
Maggie.