Thursday, 21 February 2019

Newsletter February 2019


Dear Beekeeper

There have been great attendances for two talks recently: firstly for Kevin the agronomist, at our January meeting in Alham Village Hall, and secondly at Lenham for the Kent BKA 'sustainable queen rearing course' by BIBBA - Roger Patterson was the speaker.

Kevin (agronomist) thought you may be interested in some research from Cambridge he found after seeing us at Alkham: 

The Lenham talk was very relevant to me as I have lost a colony this month; full of stores, but starved in sad little groups. I caught another colony just in time & they have perked up with some fondant & a daily spray of syrup on the bees. No eggs as yet, I may be wasting my time…. 
A heavy hive doesn’t always mean all is OK! Peek under the crownboard. 
So, I shall have to restock the lost hive by rearing my own queen[s], perhaps trying the 2 frame nuc method described on the BIBBA talk, but first I must acquire some drawn comb as recommended on that course. See http://www.dave-cushman.net for Roger Patterson’s methods.
Start thinking to decide which colony you will choose to make increase from, docility being a first criterion.

ASIAN HORNETS 
Thanks for the volunteers who offered to help Peter Crow, the coordinator, in identifying AH locally. There will be opportunity to join at the meeting if you missed last month. 
alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk is the contact should you see anything looking like the Asian Hornet. There is an Asian Hornet app for Smartphone users: ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ is available to download from the Apple and Android app stores. It gives a simple picture and notes for identification and compares AH to several common insects with which it can be confused. It also allows a photo you take to be uploaded easily with grid reference.

This month’s meeting
Saturday 23rd February at Alkham Village Hall CT15 7BU 2:30 p.m.
Our speaker is Dr Gerry Brierley, ‘The Secrets of Medicinal Apitherapy: A journey into the healing hive.’ She is an ‘Accidental Apitherapist’ and beekeeper, who, after an encounter with blood sucking ticks in the Surrey Hills contracted near fatal forms of tick borne infections. She opens up the natural pharmacy at the bottom of your garden to discuss premium hive produce for general health and healing. Gerry uncovers the medicinal properties of honey, drone larva, pollen, bee bread, royal jelly and propolis. She shares her personal survival story along with supporting scientific evidence of how using bee venom has saved her life and many thousands of others. Gerry has a diverse background in business entrepreneurship and academia and was Specially Recognised British Female and Inventor and Innovator, 2005. She enjoys sculling, archaeology, wild foraging and dowsing. She is also a qualified pilot and a Druid.
Don’t miss it!

I hope you will be able to come along, sounds interesting!

Best wishes

Maggie

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