Chairman’s View – January 2022

Best wishes to all Reigate Beekeepers, families and friends … and all our colonies.

May we all thrive and be productive throughout 2022.

Trusting that all have been able to enjoy the Christmas celebrations and have been able to welcome in the New Year with good cheer.

Well done and congratulations to Karen Ford and the Winter Team volunteers for conducting the winter treatments of the Henfold colonies … and for the delightful images posted on WhatsApp RBKA-Crew. Clearly a good time was enjoyed by all participants.

Please do heed warnings circulated by the NBU about high levels of Varroa being reported. The very mild weather we have just been ‘enjoying’ during the last week of 2021, and the relatively few overnight frosts experienced during December, will certainly mean that laying queens will have barely missed in beat in their laying so far this winter. This will be putting pressure on her workers to be maintaining brood temperatures inside the hive and high demands on food stores.

During December we welcomed Dr Jamie Ellis, for a second occasion, to an on-line Winter Meeting. Participants were treated to a lively and challenging presentation about ‘What is killing Honey Bees’. Responses from invited audience participation suggested that we already know the answers! If you were not able to join the meeting live and have not already viewed the recording … do please make time to do so in the next few weeks. The talk may well help you in setting out your own objectives and approach to managing your hives this year.

And coming up in the next days is our January Winter Talk (Wednesday the 5th @ 7pm), when Professor Patricia Wiltshire will be talking to us, on-line, about Pollen and Spores … and their importance in criminal investigation. If the talk kindles interest in better understanding what pollen is being brought into our hives by foragers, I am sure that a few microscopy workshops could be arranged later this year.

As I mentioned last month, Eva Dembinska has agreed to take over the lead ‘Honey Jarring’ role. However, Eva does need a small team to share the one or two half day jarring sessions each month during this year. Please see the appeal in this months BeeNews.

At what a wonderfully lively, interesting and colourful start to 2022 has been provided by Sue Scates in this months bumper BeeNews.

During January, your committee will be getting to grips with RBKA’s Calendar to set out the coming Summer’s events. Covid permitting, it is hoped that we can run a full Education programme, a ‘real’ Auction, and unrestrained Taster Day, Garden Party, Honey Shows, and more Workshops. Suggestions and requests for workshop topics and better still, offers to run workshops, will be welcome.

In the planning of your own beekeeping, should you be looking, or needing to expand numbers of colonies and you need more space … don’t forget the Out Apiary Offers listed in our Members website. There had been quite a number of new sites offered by the public during last year, with three new additions during December. Take-up by members of sites also continues, but happily there are still some 26 opportunities still available. Do check the listing and contact Sandy Benton for more info if needed.


So with that I again offer best wishes to all for the New Year ahead and look forward to see may of you at our January Winter Meeting … on-line, via Zoom on the 5th .

Richard Bradfield
1st January 2022
mob: 07923 600266


  1. Deborah Jardine says:

    Happy New Year! Thank you for the wonderful Winter talk schedule. I didn’t see the first January talk on pollen and spores which Colin told me is a must hear! When will that recording be put up on the site? Thanks

    • Hi Deborah,
      Had a few issues preparing the recording for uploading to the website. Now sorted and published. Thanks for your keen interest.

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