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
Chairman
1st June 2022
mob: 07923 600266
richard.d.bradfield@btinternet.com

 

Reigate Beekeepers BeeNews – June 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.

National Honey Show Ukraine Emergency Appeal

The National Honey Show has set up

a Just Giving Page to show support

for Ukrainian beekeeping friends.

Please give generously for the Disasters and Emergency Committee to benefit all Ukrainians.

It’s not just about the money. The number of donors sends a strong message of support to show Ukrainian beekeepers that we are thinking of them.

Do please help towards getting to over 500 donors …

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/National-Honey-Show

BBKA – Winter Colony Survival – 2021/22 Survey

From: Leigh Sidaway, BBKA General Manager

Dear BBKA Member,
We are carrying out the BBKA overwinter colony survival survey for the winter 2021-2022.
The survey period is from 1st October 2021 until 1st April 2022. Please complete and return it before the 30th April.
All responses will be kept in confidence.
Many thanks for your time and support.The survey is very simple and only takes 5 minutes.

Here is the link to the survey:

https://forms.gle/pknsaEZZXaTTZjkT7

 

 

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.   

 

 

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.

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! 

https://chat.whatsapp.com/IffG0l0AW6m6Zpi4VARM4O,

Keith Mackie

BBKA – Honey Survey for 2021

From: Diane Drinkwater, BBKA Vice-Chair

The recent warm weather has been a lovely end to the summer but autumn is approaching so I am writing to ask all members to take part in the Honey Survey for 2021. 

The survey will be open from 27th September until 25th October.

Here is the link to the survey:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdUQ9OQWkrHbIhLKozks49DPs_sXvgk5_7OqLVQkOz7xBj_zg/viewform?usp=sf_link

We have heard mixed reports of honey yields for this year so it will be interesting to see the results which will be published in BBKA News.

Kind regards

Diane Drinkwater, Vice-Chair


Separately, I would appreciate your comments on the relevance of the questions asked and your expectations of the likely usefulness of the survey’s results. Either email me, or use the Comments box below.

Richard Bradfield, RBKA Chair

End of 2021 Season – Quartermasters Service

LAST DAYS for PLACING ORDERS for JARS, TREATMENTS and /or EQUIPMENT
Dates in August tba
(to allow for delivery leadtime and collection  from Henfold by the last Summer Season Wednesday Eve meeting)

LAST HIRE OUT DATE
Wednesday 22nd September (to allow for return to Henfold during Last Summer Season Wednesday Eve meeting)

LAST DATE FOR COLLECTING ALL ORDERS
Wednesday 29th September

Place orders and make current year price enquiries with Vince Gallo during Wednesday evening meetings or by phone: 07807 099465, or email: rbkatreasurer@gmail.com

Payment in full is required to confirm all Orders please.

 

ROUND HONEY JARS

1lb/454g      Without Lids (P)           tbc (£14.70 /72 in 2018)
1lb/454g      With Lids                      tbc (£22.40 /72 in 2018)

12oz/340g   Without Lids (P)           tbc (£17.65 /72 in 2018)
12oz/340g   With 63mm Lids           tbc (£25.90 /72 in 2018)

8oz/227g     Without Lids (P)            tbc (£17.65 /72 in 2018)
8oz/227g     With 63mm Lids           tbc (£25.90 /72 in 2018)

190ml          Without lids (Wh)         tbc (£24.00 /96 in 2018)
190ml           With 63mm Lids           tbc (£34.10 /96 in 2018)

HEXAGONAL HONEY JARS

12oz/340g   With 63mm Lids (Wh)  tbc (£32.70 /84 in 2018)

8oz/227g     With 58mm Lids (Wh)  tbc (£14.20 /36 in 2018)

4oz/110g     With 48mm Lids (P)      tbc (£17.30 /72 in 2018)

PROCESSING EQUIPMENT (HIRE)

Extractor         Metal,  6 Frame,  Manual  (1 off)
Extractor         Plastic, 9 Frame,  Electric  (1 off)
Extractor         Metal, 9 Frame,   Electric  (3 off)

Wax Melter     Brood Box Steamer          (1 off)
Wax Melter     70 Ltr Wax Steamer          (1 off)

Plastic Settling Tank(s)                        (various)

Deposit of £20 per item, refunded only if Equipment is Returned ON TIME and CLEAN.
Hire fee of £10 per item/week, Wednesday to Wednesday.

VARROA TREATMENTS – Buying

MAQS Strips               2 Hives                 tbc (£14.30 in 2018)
MAQS Strips            10 Hives                  tbc (£54.70 in 2018)

APIGUARD                 5 Hives                  tbc (£20.40 in 2018)
APIGUARD                  1 Hive                   tbc (£ 4.10 in 2018)

B.S. Eke                                                     tbc (£ 7.80 in 2018)

API LIFE VAR (w)          1 Hive                   tbc (£ 2.20 in 2018)

THYMOVAR                 5 Hives                 tbc (£22.80 in 2018)

OTHER TREATMENTS – Buying

ACETIC ACID              1 ltr                     tbc (£17.55 in 2018)

CERTAN                                                 tbc (£14.00 in 2018)

HIVE ALIVE               100ml                   tbc (£16.15 in 2018)
HIVE ALIVE               500ml                   tbc (£63.65 in 2018)

GLOVES

Nitrile               Standard (JG)          tbc (£4.00 /100 in 2018)
Nitrile               Long Cuff (JG)          tbc (£5.50 / 50 in 2018)

Latex                  Opaque (JG)            tbc (£3.50 /100 in 2018)

Collect from HENFOLD COPSE Between 6.00pm and 8.00pm
Collections may be made on any Wednesday Evening up to 29th September

Three more New Offers of Out-Apiary Sites

beekeeper-working-in-apiary-backgroundOffers of three potential Out-Apiaries locations have been received by Sandy Benton in Walliswood, Smallfields and Banstead from members of the public willing for a Reigate Beekeeper to site a number of hives.

  • 51. NEW OFFER – Walliswood-RH5 5RT-Mrs. Belinda Crabbe:- a very large garden backing onto fields with several places to site 1/2 hives. Amble parking spaces and good access via a garden gate.  (contact Sandy for phone N°)
  • 50. NEW OFFER – Smallfields – RH6 9JP- Sally Hatton-Savage:-several places to site hives around a large field. Good access. Parking is in a separate entrance to the house next to the field. (contact Sandy for phone N°)
  • 49. NEW OFFER – Banstead -SM7 5HB- Michael Connie:- Large wildflower field with a lake and a small ancient woodland. Plenty of forage from nearby orchard and gardens. Location is to the south edge of a row of large trees. It is exposed to northerly winds but a barrier is in place to deflect the worst. Could accommodate 4/6 hives. Good access. (contact Sandy for phone N°) 

A further 24 offers remain listed and awaiting offers.

If you are interested in taking up, or inquiring further about any of these offers, please contact Sandy  (click here for contact details) in the first instance for the site owners phone and email details.

View the full list of ‘offered’ sites compiled by Sandy here.

There are 27 potential out-apiary sites listed … with each of the site owners still eager for a Reigate Beekeeper to establish an out-apiary.  So no excuse for not having space to site that extra swarm colony or emergency split. 

Henfold Re-Opening – Risk Assessments

Risk Assessments are being undertaken in preparation for the next public Taster Day event in July and for progressively re-opening the Henfold Apiary for training purposes and ultimately for general membership use.

The Risk Assessment for the Taster Day that RBKA ran during August 2020, will form the basis of documented issues and measures, and are provided here for information and appreciation of the issues that will need to be considered.

At the moment they are very much in the draft first stages. Finished drafts will necessarily only be made available nearer the time of being required in order to account for changing circumstances. They are based on a prototype Risk Assessment for BBKA events prepared by Jim Wynn and Sue Hickson and the HSE standard from which has been partially modified. At present, only detail about  indoor elements of events/activities are included. Outdoor issues will be included.

RBKA OnLine No.34 – Talking about guarding against and recovering from swarming.

Video recording of conversations with Adam Leitch and Vince Gallo + Q&A’s that followed.

… from the online Zoom Summer Weekly Meeting conference on Wednesday 5th May, 2021.

 

BBKA – Winter Colony Survival – 2020/21 Survey

From: Leigh Sidaway, BBKA General Manager

The annual winter colony survival survey is open and we would be grateful if as many members as possible take part before the closing date of 30th April. 

The survey is very simple and only takes 5 minutes.

Here is the link to the survey:

 

https://forms.gle/D49RppfNYdqkpDpE9


Varroa Reporting

Yes, it’s official. The world has gone mad.

Just as we thought Brexit had released us from EU bureaucracy … it turns out Varroa really is about to become ‘reportable‘ in order to maintain GB agricutural trade with the EU.

Bob Maurer has secured clarification from Sandra Gray, our Regional Bee Inspector, and Epsom Division have obtained further confirmation from Julian Parker, Head of the National Bee Unit. (13th April … see NBU’s BEEBASE News Items page: https://nationalbeeunit.com/public/News/news.cfm#275 )

From Sandra Gray, Regional Bee Inspector

Thank you for your enquiry about the forthcoming statutory notification of varroa. On 21st April, 2021 an amendment to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006 comes into force requiring beekeepers and or officials to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. This amendment will allow England to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union. Similar arrangements are being made in Wales and Scotland.

To make this simple, a tick box will be introduced to BeeBase by 21st April 2021 and this will allow beekeepers to report the presence or absence of Varroa.

From Julian Parker, Head of the National Bee Unit

The short answer is yes, however there will be some formal communications from DEFRA on this matter before the 21st April.

In brief, there remain some Varroa Protected Zones within GB (such as Isle of Man for example) and within Europe (the Azores, being part of Portugal as another example). Consequently, the EU has made Varroa reportable by member states within the new Animal Health Law and while the UK has left the EU if we wish to continue to facilitate the export of bees from the UK to the EU and Northern Ireland by our domestic bee exporters then we have to be able to demonstrate “equivalent rules” for exports of bees (queens) to be able to continue.

Relevant parts of EU Law:  For consignments of bees, Infestation with Varroa mites (Varroosis) is one of the listed diseases in Annex I to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/692  (as it is referred to in Article 5 of Regulation (EU) 2016/429 (“the Animal Health Law”) and listed in Annex II thereto).

This is why GB has also made Varroa reportable.  This is reportable rather than notifiable and so is being implemented in a way that DEFRA hope will not be too onerous for beekeepers.  Inspectors have for some time had a tick box for recording the presence of varroa during an inspection  (usually signifying noticeable levels of infestation). Going forward this will be used by inspectors to record the presence of varroa. BeeBase is being updated with a similar tick box accessible by beekeepers within the beekeeper’s own apiary record via their BeeBase login.  Reporting will be at an apiary level rather than a hive level. The Beekeeper accessed tick box should be available prior to the 21st April.

Ahead of any more formal announcement I hope these comments are of help in the meantime.


I would suggest that it remains a shame that it has required direct enquires from mystified beekeepers to NBU representatives to elicit these responses; just 9 days before the legislation becomes effective.

Also begs the question whether preserving the ability to export or import honeybees is such a great idea … wibble.

Richard Bradfield

Two more New and Two Recently Added Offers of Out-Apiary Sites

beekeeper-working-in-apiary-backgroundOffers of five potential Out-Apiaries locations have been received during the past few weeks by Sandy Benton in Merstham, Norwood Hill, Buckland, Salfords & Lingfield from members of the public willing for a Reigate Beekeeper to site a number of hives.

  • 47. NEW OFFER – Lingfield – RH7 6BJ – Lana & David – a 9 acre garden which has been vacated by a Beekeeper who has moved away and who highly recommended the site.  (contact Sandy for phone N°)
  • 46. NEW OFFER – Salford’s – RH1 5EA- Paul West – a very large garden with several locations to site hives. Plenty of forage and a pond in the grounds. Good access with parking and a possible storage facility. (contact Sandy for phone N°)
  • 45. RECENTLY ADDED – Buckland – RH3 7DY – Simon Thomas- space for 2 or 3 hives. Good parking area and access via a side gate. There is a pond on the site and plenty of forage around. (contact Sandy for phone N°)
  • 43. RECENTLY ADDED – Merstham – RH1 3BH – Racheal Bond – a large field with various places to site hives. Easy access via a gate and hard core track which you can drive on through the field. (contact Sandy for phone N°)

A further 22 offers remain listed and awaiting offers.

If you are interested in taking up, or inquiring further about any of these offers, please contact Sandy  (click here for contact details) in the first instance for the site owners phone and email details.

View the full list of ‘offered’ sites compiled by Sandy here.

There are 29 potential out-apiary sites listed … with each of the site owners still eager for a Reigate Beekeeper to establish an out-apiary.  So no excuse for not having space to site that extra swarm colony or emergency split. 

BBKA Exams & Assessment Dates & Fees 2021

Teacher Bee Icon

Closing dates for registration of BBKA Examinations and Assessments for the current year and provided here.

Further information including Examination/Assessment application forms and syllabi are available from BBKA’s web site http://www.bbka.org.uk 

EXAMINATION
/ASSESSMENT
FEECLOSING DATENOTES (also see appropriate syllabus)
JUNIOR£5  As Basic CertificateAged under 18 only in small groups.  
  BASIC£201 month prior to taking the assessment
May be held at any suitable apiary. Normally small group of candidates examined on same day Last Assessment 31st August
  MODULES£30 each  31st January

30th September
ALL MODULES held on 24 April 2021  


ALL MODULES held on 13th November 2021  
BEE HEALTH CERTIFICATE£4028th February
Must hold Basic Certificate. May be held at any suitable apiary. Normally small group of candidates examined on same day Last Assessment 31st July
BEE BREEDING CERTIFICATE£8028th February
Must hold Basic Certificate. Held at apiary of Candidate.
GENERAL CERTIFICATE in BEEKEEPING HUSBANDRY£80  28th February
Must hold Basic Certificate. Held at apiary of Candidate.
ADVANCED CERTIFICATE in BEEKEEPING HUSBANDRY  £120  28th February  
Must hold General Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry To be held at Stoneleigh on 28/29/30 May 2021 and 11/12/13  June 2021 depending on numbers
  SHOW JUDGE  £40    N/A
Must hold Basic Certificate.  See entry requirements in Prospectus
  MICROSCOPY  £60  31st August
Must hold Basic Certificate.  To be held at various venues 20th/21st  November 2021 plus other dates as required  

Please note
Module exams in April 2021 will be online only
All practical assessment arrangements will be dependent on COVID 19 restrictions

Refunds and deferrals

  1. If there is a valid reason for not taking an examination or assessment, a refund can be given.
  2. Generally, there will be an administration charge of £10.00 deducted from the refund except:
    • no refunds will be given after the closing date for modules, or Advanced Husbandry;
    • no refund will be given for Microscopy or General Husbandry if withdrawal is within one month of the assessment
  3. Deferral of an exam or assessment is allowed, as an alternative to a refund, provided due notice is given. This is for one year only and there will be an administration charge of half the entry fee, payable on re-application. After 1 year the full fee will be payable. Candidates who have deferred an exam must send an application form with the deferral fee when they wish to take the exam/assessment.
    Non Members
    • For the Junior Assessment, BBKA Membership is not required
    • For Members of Welsh BKA, Scottish BKA or Ulster BKA an additional fee of £9 will be required.
    • All other candidates must hold BBKA membership of some category.

Threat to our bees – Sale of old brood comb

Weybridge Division’s Newsletter Editor has circulated information they have become aware of involving the sale of old dark brood comb for use as bait hive lure.

A VERY SERIOUS THREAT TO OUR BEES

I was horrified to learn a few minutes ago (2nd December) that old, dark brood comb is being offered for sale on ebay at £15 per frame. It is intended for use as a lure in bait hives.

All beekeepers, especially new beginners, must make themselves and other beekeepers aware of this threat which at the very least could start a huge wave of foul bood in the UK, plus goodness knows what else from the undesirable disease-causing matter that could be present in old combs; such combs should be destroyed.

Read about this for yourselves on the ebay link below:

Thanks to David Parker for bringing this to our attention – perhaps the most important thing that he or anyone else has ever sent.

Stewart Westsmith, SBI for some of us, and Jonathan Brookhouse, who has just read our Newsletter, are following this up with their colleagues in the NBU.

A short note on the vendor’s website asks if anyone else has some to sell.

The thinking is that sale of this material is probably not illegal, but the hope is it might be stopped, if explained to the vendor, who is an online sales person or group and may not realise the seriousness of what they are offering, and will withdraw the item.

Geoff Cooper, Weybridge Division, Newsletter Editor

AHAT Update – October/November 2020

Jonathan Brookhouse has announced his stepping down as Surrey AHAT Co-ordinator in order to take up the Chairmanship of Guildford Division.

Our own Jim Wynn has been invited by Jonathan and has agreed, to take over the role.

Jonathan writes…

“I would like to say that it has been a very interesting few years getting things moving and thankfully so far, we have not had to be really tested. I’m certain that we would rise to the challenge and support the NBU if we ever need to.

Jim will need to update the list of contacts and due to data protection, he will need your permission to have the names and contacts of your AH team members, at the least how many you have so that he can co-ordinate effectively if the need arises in the coming seasons.

I have attached last month’s Guildford AH update, in order to reiterate the need to not become complacent even if this year has been extremely quiet. In the example of Jersey where numbers have also fallen, in northern France, the numbers have actually gone up and Jersey are anticipating a possible surge next year. Many thanks and best wishes.”  

Asian Hornet update October 2020

Another very quiet month on the Asian Hornet front. There has still only been one confirmed sighting and the associated nest destroyed in the country this year. It was in Gosport, as reported in last months (September) newsletter.

If hornets are around, this is the time of year when they could be spotted feeding on Ivy flowers and fallen rotting fruit such as apples.

Interestingly, the numbers of sightings in Jersey has also been relatively quiet this year so far.

According to the Jersey Evening Post, 24 October ‘ – it seems that Jersey’s Asian Hornet population has suffered a dramatic – and unexplained – decline during 2020. Only 38 nests have been found since the spring – compared to 77 by this time last year and 55 during the whole of 2018. No nests have been discovered this month, compared to 12 in October 2019, with the last colony being found on 26 September. The number of queens found has also dropped with 42 being caught this year compared to 69 this time last year’

The article goes on to point to a few possible reasons for this decline; one being the restricted traffic from the continent due to the Covid pandemic. Newly emerging queens can hitch a lift on boats and freight. Alastair Christie, Jersey’s AH coordinator suggests other probable reasons are “the damp and variable temperatures between January and March this year. We believe that the hibernating queens are susceptible to fungal disease caused by wetter, warmer conditions.” He goes on to say that “- there is no evidence that the public are missing them, traps and public reporting are not producing evidence of hornets out there. There is also the constant pressure of the controlling activities of the Department of the Environment and the Asian hornet volunteers on the hornets”

This is great news for Jersey. It looks like their great efforts are paying off with some help from the weather combined with less movement of people and goods.

However, the article goes on to say that Alistair Christie warns that despite the lower numbers in Jersey, the hornet populations in nearby parts of France have actually increased this year. As a result, there is likely to be a reinvasion of hornets from the French coast in the spring.

Jonathan Brookhouse.

 

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

 

Sept. and Oct. – were the main months for sightings.

  Confirmed sightings Nests destroyed
   2016   3 1
   2017 1 1
   2018 9 4
   2019 5 3
   2020    1 1

Jim Wynn


COMMUNICATION

REMEMBER if a sighting is suspected, first inform the RBKA AHAT member via jimwynn333@hotmail.com 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 Bit.ly/report_hornet
3 Emailing alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk
4 Phoning your nearest action team member found here bit.ly/AH-action-team

More information here www.ahat.org.uk

Attending Out Apiaries during Lockdown conditions

With Lockdown conditions being reimposed during November at least, members may wish to refer again to the NBU Guidance provided in March this year and to avail themselves of the SBKA letter, provided then by Bob Maurer (SBKA Chairman), if concerned about necessarily attending to colonies at an out-apairy.

SBKA Letter

NBU Guide

“In case any of our members are concerned that they will be stopped and questioned about their legitimate journeys to maintain out apiaries, I have attached a letter that could be shown to any enquiring police officer or other official with the latest Defra/NBU advice….”

The letter and NBU notice “… should only be presented by members with a genuine need to reach one of our, or their own, apiaries.”

With kind regards and best wishes to stay safe

Bob Maurer