Bees Abroad – Big Give 2022 – 29th Nov to 6th Dec.

For some years now, RBKA has fundraised for Bees Abroad as an annual activity. Two years ago, our Just Giving appeal for Bees Abroad moved our donating up a few gears and raised £1800, which with gift aid, totalled almost £2200.

Last year, our Just Giving appeal had opened again in the-run up to our 2021 AGM. We had raised just over £1000, with Gift aid adding another £222 for Bees Abroad by the time we closed that appeal when the Bees Abroad 2021 Big Give Christmas Challenge was announced to be opening at the end of that month. It is not known how much additional funding was then added directly by individual RBKA Members during that 2021 campaign, but being match funded, it would have been doubled! 


For our 2022 contribution, we are inviting all Members to donate individually and directly into the ‘Bees Abroad 2022 Big Christmas Challenge’ between the 29th November and the 6th December ONLY.

All such donations will be doubled by the Match Funding that Bees Abroad has secured; and all donations from qualifying tax payers will attract Gift Aid.  AND … if you include a reference to “Reigate Beekeepers” in a message with your donation, Bees Abroad will be able to let us know the total of donations we make during this years campaign.  Let’s see if we can beat our 2020 total … and aim for £2500 in donations this year.   

View the Bees Abroad 2022 Campaign below, or CLICK HERE go to their website direct. But keep your powder dry until midday on Tuesday 29th Nov for maximum effect.  

National Honey Show 2022 – Results for Reigate Members

nhs-badge-trans-100pxThe National Honey Show returned to its now well established venue in the Sandown Park Racecourse conference and show facilities, thankfully this time without the restrictions of social distancing regulations. 

The dramatic show bench displays were returning to be more like their pre-pandemic glory, and the Trade Hall, lecture rooms and workshops were busy once again.

A hardy few Reigate Beekeepers members had entered exhibits into the Open and Surrey classes this year, including four entries on behalf of our division. It must however, be both conceded and celebrated that it was one member who rather stole the show and some more silverware this time. However three of ‘Reigate Beekeepers’ four entries did creditably also make it into the points.     So, following our 2021 successes, Reigate and its members notched up:

  • Two 1st placings, two 2nd placings three 3rd placings and two Very Highly Commended placings achieved in National Open Classes.

    • One of the 3rd placings being to the great credit of BeeNews Editor Sue Scates, for our Newsletter entered into Open Class 106 under the Reigate Beekeepers name.
    • One of the Very Highly Commended placings being for an empty Reigate Beekeepers labelled jar entered into Open Class 85
  • Four of the 1st places, one 2nd place, two 3rd places, one Highly Commended place and two Commended placings were achieved in the Surrey BKA Classes.

    • One of the Commended placings being for a pair of jars of honey from our Buckland apiary, bees managed & honey extracted by Richard Ramsden, prepared for showing by Richard Bradfield and entered into Surrey Class 222 under the Reigate Beekeepers name.
  • Four (of the nine) Surrey Trophies were won by (one) Reigate member.

Reigate members could also be spotted during the three days.

Some could be seen on ALL three days, passing through the lobby en-route to a lecture, a workshop or the Trade Hall. Others were also Show Stewards, variously serving as lecture room attendants,  entry wardens, or selling the Gift Class honey.

Behind the scenes, Reigate members (and family relations) were also hard at work.

During the preceding Wednesday set-up, Trevor Keast , Phil Elwell, Mike Welch and Trevor’s brother Martin, worked as a team collecting all the NHS display bench staging from storage and delivering it to Sandown in vans. Then during the Sunday morning after the show, they then collected it all from Sandown and returned it to storage.  Huge thanks to them all for the van driving, loading and unloading, and also to Michelle Keast for dropping and picking them up at the various locations. All great supporters of the NHS and greatly appreciated by Bob Maurer.    

Trophies were presented by the Wax Chandlers Upper Warden, Tim Maile. 

  • Lawrence Cup to Trevor Keast for the winning entry in Class 226: Three Matched Pairs of Jars of Honey
  • Silver Jubilee Bowl to Trevor Keast for the winning entry in Class 230: 425g – 480g beeswax in 8 or 16 moulded pieces 
  • Coronation Cup (Surrey) to Trevor Keast for Most Points in Surrey Classes 221- 237
  • W-J 1968 Cup to Trevor Keast  for: Reigate Member with most points in Open Classes.

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Other Surrey BKA Trophies awarded were:

  • Egerton Smythe Cup to Jonathan Kernan (Division tba)
    • for Class 225: Two Jars of Liquid Honey
  • Hood Chalice to David Parker (Weybridge)
    • for Class 228: One Frame of Honey
  • Hosegood Cup to Alex de Salis (Croydon)
    • for Croydon Member with Most Points in Classes 221-234
  • Douglas Cup to Wimbledon
    • for Most Points in Classes 221-234 between Wimbledon and Croydon Divisions
  • Mather Cup to Marion Cooper (Weybridge)
    • for Surrey Member with Most Points in Open Classes

Reigate Members achieving places in Classes

Classes Open to the World, Gift Classes

Class 6: Two Jars Set Honey:

3rd – Trevor Keast [ Judges Comments provided: Overall Presentation-Excellent; Cleanliness-Very clean;  Granulation-Smooth; Air Surface-Excellent; Flavour-Unusual; Other Comment-Lovely Colour.]

Classes Open to British Isles inc R.O.I.

Class 30: Two Jars Soft Set Honey:

1st – Trevor Keast

Classes Open to the World

Class 50: Three Ornamental Beeswax Moulded Candles:

2nd Trevor Keast

Class 63: Metheglin or Hippocras Dry or Sweet:

VHC  – Meriel Spalding ( Reigate Member & Croydon Associate)

Class 65: Cyser (One bottle):

3rd – Meriel Spalding ( Reigate Member & Croydon Associate)

Class 78: Braggot 2 bottles:

1st Meriel Spalding ( Reigate Member & Croydon Associate)

Class 85: Honey Label:

VHC – Reigate Beekeepers

Class 107: Newsletter:

3rd – Reigate Beekeepers

Gift Classes

Class 115: Two Jars Soft Set Honey (gift):

2nd – Trevor Keast

Classes open to Surrey Beekeepers Association Members

Class 222: Two Jars Medium Honey (Surrey Member only):

HC – Trevor Keast,

C – Reigate Beekeepers

Class 224: Two Jars Naturally Crystallised or Soft Set Honey (Surrey member only):

1st – Trevor Keast

Class 226: Three Matched Pairs of Jars of Honey (Surrey member only):

1st – Trevor Keast

Class 229: One piece of beeswax (Surrey member only):

1st – Trevor Keast

Class 230: 425g – 480g beeswax in 8 or 16 moulded pieces (Surrey member only):

2nd – Trevor Keast

Class 231: Two Plain Moulded Candles (Surrey member only):

1st – Trevor Keast

Class 234: One Bottle Mead (Surrey member only):

3rd – Trevor Keast, 

C – Meriel Spalding ( Reigate Member & Croydon Associate)

Class 235: One Jar Light or Medium Honey (Gift) (Surrey Member only):

3rd – Trevor Keast

Total number of show entries this year: 2088 (1500 in 2021, no show in 2020, 2152 in 2019, 2022 in 2018, 1863 in 2017, 1696 in 2016, 1958 in 2015)

Congratulations to Trevor & Meriel, and well done to all Reigate members who entered the fray but whose entries were not placed, this time.

FULL results

and many more images

can also be found on the NHS website.

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Reigate Beekeepers BeeNews – November 2022


November in Your Apiary

Autumn Colours

Autumn Colours

Our own Honey Show, the Surrey Honey Show and the National Honey Show for 2022 are now past, clocks have gone back, and the weather is finally starting to look and feel a bit more like Autumn.

October has closed with extraordinarily warm day time temperatures, mild nights and only brief spells of rain. Bees have just continued flying and foraging … and other than shorter days, little to inhibit the queens laying.  

So, once again for the month of November … your bees winter stores may FEEL heavy enough … but, are they really prepared for this winter?

There may be a temptation to assume “job done” if you followed all the advice in “October in Your Apiary”.

But, for many beekeepers there may still be much to do to ensure colonies survive the winter and you are well prepared for the start of the 2023 season.

What happens to the Bees during the Winter ?

Once temperatures do eventually drop and stay consistently below about 12°C (54°F), the bees will enter a dormant state. Flying will cease and they will group together in a ball, occupying cells in the centre of the nest, left empty of stores for the purpose. This is known as the winter cluster.

The bees are not hibernating, in the way queen wasps and bumblebees do, and there is always some activity.

The temperature in the cluster bears little correlation to the outside temperature, and ranges from about 8°C (45°F) in the dense, insulating outside layer of bees, to 24°C (75°F) in the centre of the cluster. The bees here are more loosely packed and are more active. They generate heat by constant muscular contractions-shivering. To fuel this activity, the bees must be in constant contact with their honey stores.

On milder days they are able to move around and relocate the cluster, and a large cluster can move around at will, due to its superior heat producing capacity.

The bees expand and contract the cluster, according to the temperature. When it is really cold the bees on the outside may be unable to maintain their grip and so fall off and die but generally they stay just warm enough to cling on.

Generally, although there is an optimum size, the bigger the cluster the better able it is to maintain an even temperature in the brood nest and any interference disturbs this equilibrium.

Sudden changes of temperature lead to increased activity, this means increased food consumption and possible dysentery if it is too cold for cleansing flights to take place. From now until the Spring only disturb the bees if absolutely essential.

The syrup you fed in September to early October has had time to “ripen” and should now be capped/sealed. There should be approx. 40lbs of sealed stores for a colony to survive a typical winter.

If your colonies still need feeding now or, at any time through to next March, it will be too late/cold to feed syrup & the only viable feed options are:… [Read more…]

Surrey Honey Show – Report & Show Results

Reigate Division RETAINS the 

Vincent Challenge Cup

Trevor Keast led the charge, aided (and challenged) by Adam Leitch and a growing and effective number of Reigate Members, who between them achieved the most points for a division – by a country mile – at the Surrey Honey Show on Saturday 8th October.

Trevor’s exhibits at the show also earned him the Composite Cup, for the ‘Surrey Member with the Most Points’ (45) with three 1st’s, three 2nd’s, one 3rd, two 4th’s and one 5th place in 10 of the 23 classes. 

In the race for points, Adam Leitch came a close tied 2nd place, shared with Janine Sparks from Farnham, each with 32 points. And in the process Adam earned himself the Ken Reed Trophy for 1st place in the ‘Piece of Beeswax’ Class (H6), along with two other 1st’s, one 2nd, two 3rds, and one 6th place.

Well done to both Annie Hind and Lina Jones for their 9 points from the Novice Class, and to Bob Maurer, Celia Perry, Andrew Buchanan, Karen Ford, Richard Bradfield, and Simon Ford for their cumulative 37 points … and finally to Henfold and Buckland Apiaries for their 12 points.

Interesting piece of History, courtesy of Bob Maurer… the tally of Divisions winning the Vincent Challenge Cup stands at: 

  • Guildford         20
  • Epsom             14
  • Wimbledon     11
  • Farnham          8
  • Reigate            8
  • Croydon          2

So we do at least still have some overtaking to do! 

Once again staged in Reigate’s pavilion at Henfold, the show attracted 208 entries by 40 entrants from 7 of Surrey’s 8 Divisions, easily earning it the status of a Blue Ribbon event, and was judged by Mike & Liz Duffin.

See the photo gallery at the foot of this page showing the judging in progress and the award ceremony.

[Read more…]

BBKA – Support and Share New Honey Petition

Require honey labels to reflect all countries of origin of the honey.

All Associations and their members are asked to support BBKA’s new honey petition which calls on the Government to change the Honey labelling rules so consumers can easily recognise all countries of origin of the honey contained in a jar sold here in the UK*.

Following our members’ propositions and direction at the 2021 ADM, this is the second honey petition in our efforts to maintain pressure on the government to address this important issue. If you signed the first petition, please be sure to sign this one too.

The important underlying issue here is ‘Funny’ Honey – i.e  honey that has not necessarily involved a honeybee collecting nectar, processing and storing in the hive.  

Supermarket own-label honey can be bought for as little as 69p a jar. Although supermarkets say every jar of honey is “100% pure” and can be traced back to the beekeeper, there is no requirement to identify the countries of origin of honey blended from more than one country.  We want consumers to start looking at the labels when buying honey – does it clearly state the country of origin? If it seems cheap compared to the other honeys on the shelf, ask themselves why?

We kindly ask all members to share the petition link with family and friends and on social media to help us reach our goal of 100,000 signatures which means the Government must consider the issue for debate in Parliament.   The support of the general public and not just the beekeeping community is essential to achieve this result so please share as widely as possible.   Associations and individuals that use Social media can also ‘share’ the BBKA social media pages below to create awareness and to share the link.

Stephen Barnes

Chair BBKA

14th October 2022

* EDITORS FOOTNOTE   It hopefully goes without saying that in calling for actual countries of origin to be declared on ALL honey offered for sale in the UK, that we should already be doing just that for any honey we offer for sale to the public.  Members honey jar labels must include the wording ‘Product of England’ or ‘Produce of England.’ It is not, for example, sufficient to simply include ‘England’ in the producers address printed on the label.

Honey Labels need to at least provide:

  • Name of the Honey. (must include the word honey and not be misleading in any way)
  • Contact details of the Producer. (any means by which the producer can be traced)
  • Best Before Date & Lot Mark. (may be combined in one unique min 6 digit code)
  • Metric Weight, min 4mm text height. (Imperial equivalent may be added less prominently)   

Reigate Beekeepers BeeNews – May 2022


Bees for Development – Big Give Green Match Campaign

22 – 29th April 2022

The Project supports forest conservation and reduces extreme discrimination of the Batwa, a forest people in Uganda, through beekeeping. 

Visit the BfD website by  CLICKING HERE  

The Big Give Green Match Challenge is a match funding campaign where donations to participating charities are doubled. The match funds come from two sources – charities secure some of these (pledges) over the summer. These funds are then boosted by funds from a Big Give Champion (The Green Match Fund) which contributes to the match fund. This collective pot is used to double donations from online supporters when the campaign is live.

Swarm Request Registration – 2022

bee buz iconWould you like and be able to receive a captured Swarm to look after and bring on as a new colony when one becomes available this year?

The Swarm Collection Team will be attempting to do the capturing, but they will need something to capture them in. That’s where your input is needed. [Read more…]

RBKA OnLine No.38 – Integrated Pest Control – Applying IMP principles to Varroa Control

Video recording of a talk from Norman Carreck, Bsc CBiol FRSB FRES NBD from the  University of Sussex

… from the online Zoom Winter Monthly Meeting conference on Wednesday 2nd February, 2022.

To compliment this recording of the talk, Norman has provided us with a listing of related Websites and References.  Click here to download for viewing/printing.   



February in Your Apiary


Clear tubs allow fondant supplies to checked without opening the hive further.

Feed, Feed and Feed.

During last month, and similarly to winter 2021, January temperatures only dropped a little early on, and still very few hard frosts to trouble our bees. January was also  unusually dry and the sunny spells will have warmed the micro climate of a wind free apiary. But the air temperatures remained rather chilly.

February may start as January has ending, generally mild with some rain and sunny spells. But a cold spell could be on its way by the middle of the month. 

So once again you will have been seeing some activity outside of the hive and the queens could be well into laying already.  So do heft or if needed take a quick peek under the roofs to confirm that the bees are making headway into their fondant, and that they still have some to tuck into.

Although this is usually the last of the quiet months for the beekeeper, things will certianly be stirring in the hive as the bees begin to respond to the longer (and unseasonally milder) daylight hours. The queen will be coming back into lay, if indeed she every stopped, and will be depositing eggs in clean cells in the centre of the nest area to raise workers for the early part of the season.
Caretaker activities are important. February is all about making sure that your bees have sufficient to eat and drink, and protecting your hives from the continuing effects of cold wet wintry weather and animals. 

Outside the temperature may still be in single or even low double figures, but with brood to raise the workers need to boost the temperature in the inner nest to 33°C – 35°C, by clustering together and quivering using their large thoracic muscles to produce heat. This requires them to consume an increased amount of food, up to 500g in a week, so we can expect the stores to become depleted more rapidly now.

  • Heft the hives every two week by lifting them at each side, (or weigh them with a spring balance – see BeeNews November 2014 edition for advice about how to do this), and feed only if necessary.
  • If the hive is still well provisioned and you can see bees carrying pollen into the hive, leave the hive alone.
  • If no pollen is being taken into the hive feed fondant or candy, (which can be made from caster sugar and your honey); if pollen is being brought to the hive feed syrup.
  • If you have any doubts about the level of stores, a slab of fondant placed over one of the holes in the crown board is good insurance.
  • Pollen patties can be given at the end of the month on top of the frames. See BeeNews February 2012 edition for advice about how to make patties.
  • Do not stop feeding until there is a steady flow of nectar and pollen into the hive.
  • If the air temperature is over 10°C and the sun is shining you should expect to see a few bees venturing out in search of pollen or making a cleansing flight.

The bees will need water close to the hive.

  • Make sure there is a suitable water source. This can be a plastic container, filled with peat or wood shavings and water. An old car tyre laid flat also makes a good watering place. See BeeNews November 2012 edition for making a DIY water station. Any source should be about 10 m from the hive so that it is not contaminated by bees during their ‘cleansing’ flights.
  • Check all hives for activity.

If most hives are active but one appears inactive, inspect this hive to see if the colony is dead. Any hive which has died should be shut down and if possible removed from the apiary.

  • Ensure all hive entrances are clear, remove any dead bees and any snow.
  • If you treated with oxalic acid and monitored the varroa drop, the tray can be removed to assist ventilation.
  • However, the queen will almost certainly have started laying by now, so you may prefer to leave the tray in place to help keep the brood nest temperature raised. Remember to clean the tray regularly.
  • It is also important during February, if weather permits, to clean your hive floor or consider changing it for a fresh floor, especially if it is a solid floor. But remember to ensure the brood box does not chill, so do the cleaning or changing as quickly as possible, and it is best to have an assistant to help with lifting.
  • Check there are no leaks into your hive. Damp is dangerous, leading to chilled brood and mouldy comb.
  • Continue to check for the unwanted attention of the green woodpecker. They can be a particular nuisance if the ground is too hard for them to find ants.
  • February is often the most convenient time to relocate hives in the apiary that need moving more than 3 feet. If you move the colony after a week when the weather has been too poor for flying, then you can re-site the hive beyond the normal 3 feet restriction. The bees will re-learn their new location when they do emerge.
  • Complete cleaning and making equipment and new frames ready for the season.

Remember if you must open the hive beyond simply checking fondant stores over a crownboard, do it on a warmer day with minimal disturbance, (+13°C is the preferred temperature).

On warmer days the bees will still be housekeeping with mortuary bees removing dead bees and detritus from the hive…. so, make sure the entrances and mouse guards (if used) are clear even if there is no snow/ice around.

With brood already in the many colonies you may wish to buy or, prepare ‘pollen patties’ to help the colony feed the early brood. This is essentially an insurance policy against poor weather preventing pollen collection. Once started, feeding pollen may need to be  continued until there is a good flow of nectar and pollen into the hive. Click HERE to read how to make your own pollen patties and use them in your hives.

February is also the time to tidy up the shed, clean your equipment, prepare new frames and order supplies otherwise, you run the risk of panic in March! Surplus and no longer needed equipment can be cleaned up and put into our Auction in April,

Reigate Beekeepers BeeNews – January 2022

RBKA OnLine No.36 – What is killing honey bees?

Video recording of a talk from Dr Jamie Ellis, of Florida University, in which he reveals that each of us already know the answers to the question … and provides new sources of information to help us tackle at least a couple of them.

… from the online Zoom Winter Monthly Meeting conference on Wednesday 1st December, 2021.


Surrey Beekeepers Association 2021 AGM


Members of Kingston Beekeepers Association will be pleased if you can join them at this year’s 143rd SBKA Annual General Meeting at 2pm on Saturday the 4th December. 

Reigate Beekeepers BeeNews – November 2021

Waitrose branches nominate RBKA for Donations

This quarter, quite independently, both Horley and Dorking branches of Waitrose nominated Reigate Beekeepers to be shortlisted as a potential beneficiary of shares of their branch’s Communities Matters fund.

Notification came in October that our nominations had been approved and Reigate Beekeepers were being awarded with donations of:

£333 (from Waitrose, Horley)


£350 (from Waitrose Dorking) 

Chairman Richard Bradfield was delighted to receive the presentation cheque at the Waitrose store in Horley. on the 28th October. Our Treasurer will be relieved to know that a ‘real’ cheque was also provided by Elaine Crame – the Waitrose Horley Community Matters Champion.

Hon Secretary Gill Simpson, was equally delighted to receive (just) the real cheque at the Waitrose store in Dorking on the 30th October …  providing a whole new meaning to the Waitrose Click – Collect signage … see photo below.

In both cases, Reigate Beekeepers had been shortlisted by the branches due to our relevance to the Environment theme that the Waitrose Community Matters scheme is currently focussing upon..

This welcome donation follows Waitrose Dorking, in July, having also chosen Reigate Beekeepers to receive £333 from their summer £3000 ‘Give a Little Love’ scheme to help local causes.

Some may also recall that three years ago, during our 2018 Beekeeping and Honey Show, the manger of the Waitrose Dorking store presented Reigate Beekeepers with a donation from their Green Token scheme during our Honey Show in Dorking.

Representatives from both Dorking and Horley branches of Waitrose have been invited to visit the Henfold Apiary one evening during our 2022 Summer season to be shown around our facilities, meet members and take in look inside some hives.

Thank You Waitrose & Partners.

Winter Talks Programme 2021/22 Schedule


Our RBKA On-Line Winter Talks Programme commenced in October … with monthly Evening Wednesday meetings either via online Zoom or in the pavilion at Henfold Apiary … every first Wednesday of the month through to and including March 2022




Wednesday October 6th (via Zoom).

A talk by Dr Joe Woodgate

Queen Mary University of London

– Do drone congregation areas really exist?

… What can radar tracking tell us about drone congregation areas?

Wednesday November 3rd from 7:30pm at Henfold Apiary

RBKA Annual General Meeting

Honey Show Awards

Presentation of Qualification Certificates.

Wednesday December 1st from 7:00pm via Zoom

A talk by Professor Jamie Ellis

University of Florida

– What is killing our bees

… and what can we do about it?

Wednesday January 5th from 7:00pm via Zoom

A talk by Professor Patricia Wiltshire

– Pollen and Spores:

their importance in criminal investigation

Wednesday, February 2nd from 7:00pm via Zoom

A talk by Dr Norman Carreck,

University of Sussex

– IPM and varroa control

Each RBKA OnLine ‘meeting’ will commence promptly at the scheduled time, proceeded only by a very few minutes of general notices and announcements. Do aim to log into the Zoom conference at last 5 to 10 minutes before the published start time to ensure you are not ‘crowded out’ by others of the 100 participant limit, and to ensure video & audio settings are working OK … and to not miss any announcements and introductions.

All event details and timings remain subject to amendment at short notice. Keep in touch by referring back to the Members Website. 

Wednesday March 2nd from 7:00pm at Henfold Apiary

Part 1: Presentation by Steve Riley,

from Westerham Branch of Kent Beekeepers,

– Non-Treatment for Varroa … an update.

Following up on Steve’s talk to us in 2019

Part 2: An informal “Gathering” of Members

–  Topical issues discussed in open forums.

NOTE – this will be a real meeting in the Henfold Pavilion, following appropriate Covid protocols, and will not be recorded. 

Guildford Division invite you to book for an evening lecture on 1st December 2021

Guildford Beekeepers + RHS

present a Christmas Lecture by

Professor Dave Goulson

– at the new RHS Wisley Hilltop Science Centre –

Tickets £20 each inc. complimentary mince pies & mulled wine.

based on his new book:

Silent Earth


Click anywhere below to open pdf file …

BBKA Module 2 – Study Group

Ever thought about how to produce better quality honeybee products & what our bees forage on?

Then join a Joint Surrey BKA Division Study Group.

16 brave souls from both Croydon and Reigate BKAs have already teamed up to study for the BBKA Module 2 – Honeybee Products & Forage. 

Keith Mackie writes …

The intention is to undertake the exam in March 2022, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to, and don’t be shy about coming along and joining the study group on Zoom.  The plan is to do fortnightly study groups on a Monday, from 8pm till 9:30pm, working through the syllabus of this module. 

Debbie Burney, Alexandra Collins, and myself are coordinating the groups progress through the theory of this course, culminating in what we hope will be most of the group taking the exam.  We plan that different members of the group, will present sections of the syllabus to the others in the group; to share the work and as a group work together using shared research notes. 

Croydon BKA (CBKA) has kindly funded the BBKA correspondence course & Zoom facility for the Study Group.  The correspondence course provides sample exam papers to be completed and submitted to an outside assessor for marking and annotation, providing a wonderfully complete set of answers which can then be used for revision and exam practice.  The revision / study notes will be compiled to create an array of study material which will then be available to CBKA’s members for their use in future years. 

It was discovered this week that an updated syllabus is being launched for the 2022 exams, with extra points added! These include the development history of extraction equipment, management of bee colonies for honey production from specialist crops, honey granulation and the properties and use of honey for wound care. 

The first three fortnightly sessions will cover the following topics:

  1. 18-Oct-21 (Week 1) – Debbie Burney will cover the main requirements of the current UK statutory regulations affecting the handling, preparation for sale, hygiene, composition, labelling and weight of packs of honey.
  2. 01 Nov-21 (Week 2)  – Alexandra Collins will talk about the methods used to uncap honeycombs and separating the wax cappings from honey, types of honey extractor available and their methods of use, including the history and design of the equipment, management of bee colonies for home production from specialist crops such as OSR, ling heather, along with straining and settling of honey after extraction.
  3. 15-Nov-21 (Week 3) – Anna Slade will cover the storage of honey, together with the preparation and bottling of liquid, naturally granulated, soft set and seeded honey as well as the preparation of section, cut-comb and chunk honey for sale, together with the theory of the process of honey granulation.

Further weeks will cover general topics such as the constituents of honey and beeswax, the use of other bee products, the main nectar and pollen producing plants of the UK and so on. 

The BBKA exams can now be taken at home under strict guidelines as well as at exam centres, which means that no travel time or costs need be incurred.  Those who took Modules earlier this year will be interested to know that the computer portal which ensured no internet access during the exam has been updated, requiring a new set of software protocols to be installed, but we can worry about this in the new year!,

Keith Mackie

AHAT Alert – 8th October 2021

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of an Asian hornet in the Ascot area of Berkshire, after it was reported by a member of the public and has initiated a contingency response.

This from the NBU …
Dear Beekeeper, The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of an Asian hornet in the Ascot area of Berkshire, after it was reported by a member of the public and has initiated a contingency response. What Can I Do? Familiarise yourself with the Asian Hornet:Monitor your apiaries using monitoring traps:
Information on the Asian hornet pages of BeeBase at your BeeBase records are up to date with apiary locations and contact information. Log in at to check your details Report any suspect sightings with your smart phone or tablet, by using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app: for Android and iOS at: email to: Please include as much information as possible in your email; where you saw the sighting, your name and contact details and if possible an image. Please note that during outbreaks the NBU receive high numbers of calls and emails. Therefore, we ask that you use the information given above to report sightings. Where possible please use the app or electronic form. We thank you in advance for your co-operation and continued vigilance. To unsubscribe to these updates, please log in and update your preferences.

Jim Wynn, RBKA’s AHAT Leader, and Surrey BKA’s AHAT Coordinator comments …

“And just when I thought we had got away with it for another year ! …

Asian Hornet identified in Ascot

Please pass this message round, be vigilant and pay attention to correct identification.

… but I wish we could change the name to yellow legged hornet to save some of the false sightings.”

This is the story so far

  Mainland UKConfirmed sightingsNests destroyed
2020 11
So far 20211


If you haven’t downloaded the Asian Hornet Watch app yet – then please do. 

Jim Wynn


REMEMBER if a sighting is suspected, first inform the RBKA AHAT member via and be able to report it to the national team through one of the methods below:

1 The ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ app, available free for both Apple and Android
2 Via a web form
3 Emailing
4 Phoning your nearest action team member found here

More information here