Chairman’s View – June 2022


As we celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubliee, here’s hoping our own colonies’ queens can demonstrate more longevity than has been the norm recently. I am hearing, and seeing at Henfold, that strong colonies with access to plentiful forage were filling their supers early during May. Are we now already into a ‘June Gap’? What prospects for a summer flow? Answers please in the Comments Box at the foot of these ramblings

Wednesdays at Henfold have been busy, with an average of over 65 attendees each evening since mid April, and many new Beginners and visitors. My thanks to Andrew Buchanan and Simon Ford (wearing his Membership Sec hat) who have between them been keeping track of who is doing what, where … and why.  Simon is also gently (so far) chasing up some of our newer attendees for anticipated but still awaited membership fees.

I am delighted to report that RBKA have received another extremely generous donation from the Lord Hanson Foundation that will be put to good use in further developing  and maintaining our facilities at the Henfold Apiary.

Maggie Bourne and Vince Gallo are being kept busy in the QM Stores … do please consider that they  want to be able close-up shop and (also) leave at a sensible time.  The QM store aims to be open from 6pm during the Wednesday. If you are going onto the hives after the ‘shout-outs’, please request and pay for equipment and materials to take away for your own bees promptly before 6:30, so that orders can be prepared and ready for you to simply collect when you return from the bees.

Good to see Hive Teams of Beginners, Basics and now also Improvers, all very active & engaged. Thanks to Colin Clement and all the Beginners & Basics  Mentors and to Keith Mackie and the Improvers Mentors.  Not long now before the Basic Assessment candidates are assessed in July (9th & 16th), and a reminder that a Mock Basic session is being provided on the 18th this month that is very well worth candidates attending.

Congratulations to Trevor Keast upon the publication in this June’s BBKANews of his successes in the November BBKA Examinations … a Distinction for Module 6 – Honeybee Behaviour and achieving the Intermediate Theory Certificate and the Qualified Beekeeping Certificate. 

Congratulations also to our BeeNews editor Sue Scates on this months fine bumper edition. By way of an early heads-up … Sue will be away travelling from Jan-March 2023 so Sue and I are are needing to find someone keen to either take over from Sue during January next year permanently, or temporarily … either until her return, or to subsequently share the role from April 2023. If interested, please chat with myself or Sue.

One further appeal to close on is for ANY spare honey in street legal labelled jars that you could and would like to sell. We are seeing huge demand for local honey at the village fairs, fetes and pageants that RBKA have been attending so far this year. And congratulations to Karen Ford for managing the stall and display at the recent Cowpie event; achieving nearly £1000 of sales of honey and other hive products.  Very happy to sell Members honey alongside RBKA honey at upcoming Shows and Fete  We can also do with more volunteers to help on or even run our stall and displays.     

Richard Bradfield
1st June 2022
mob: 07923 600266



  1. Richard Woodhouse says:

    Entirely agree with Chairman’s description of Sue’s production as a “bumper” edition – most enjoyable. Congratulations to her and all contributors. And what a contrast this May has proved against last year’s miserable Spring. I understand that some beekeepers this year have managed – or are considering – Spring extractions! Another interesting feature has been swarms. We used to treat May as a peak month for swarms; but this year I believe there have been fewer than normal. Does this mean we can expect an increase in swarming in next few months? If so, we must be vigilant for QCs….

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