Reigate Beekeepers BeeNews – December 2022


Chairman’s View – December 2022

My thanks firstly to all members who attended our AGM and Awards presentations on the 2nd November. 

I will spare you an excruciating re-telling of the AGM proceedings themselves; other than to thank Sue Hickson again for her years as a committee member and Membership Secretary; and to again welcome onboard Janet Kay and Colin Clement who both join the committee for the first time with fresh ideas for consideration and discussion. 

Separately, the main points from the AGM will be included in another post … that may or may not be ready to publish by the time you read this.  

Of course, I can well imagine that many of the AGM’s attendees were really only there for BBKA Certificates of achievement or trophies in recognition of their Show Bench skills.  And quite right too. Role calls of winners and photos of those certificates and silverware being presented will also be included in that ‘2022 AGM & Presentation of Awards’ post. 

In my January Chairman’s View posting next month, I intend to set out my own vision of what our Reigate Division possibly could, perhaps should and really ought to be focussing on during 2023. In doing so, the caveats will inevitably be … ‘subject to the support and involvement of more than just the usual suspects’. So, if you are not already one of our ‘usual suspects’, do please be thinking during the next few weeks about how you might be able to make time for more than just the beekeeping, and also become involved in some aspect of RBKA’keeping.

This months December issue of Reigate Beekeeper BeeNews is the last edition that Sue Scates, our Editor (and Producer) for the past two years will … edit and produce. Sue had informed me some months ago of her departure in the new year on a world cruise and did not wish to return to producing BeeNews afterwards. We are fortunate in that Annie Simpkins offered then to take over the role, but only until April due to other commitments.  So, whilst welcoming Annie and looking forward to any metamorphic changes to BeeNews that her  inspirational input might create, we do need to look further forward to finding a longer term replacement, or replacements. I know from my own time as co-editor of BeeNews with Graham Pooley, that sharing the role was very useful. Two sets of ears and eyes gathering content, with mutual sense checking and proof reading of that content, and the ability to cover for each other as deadlines approach.  Meanwhile, many congratulations Sue for the ever colourful and always interesting 24 editions produced. And also for achieving 3rd Place in the NHS Newsletter Class with three representative 2022 editions.

Please do help with RBKA’s annual round of donations to Bees Abroad this year to support the tremendous work they do. Their Christmas Big Give campaign is only open for donations until the 6th December and it would be great if we can exceed the total of donatations made by Reigate Beekeepers in December 2020 by aiming for and even exceeding £2500 this year … BEFORE match funding and Gift Aid is applied!  Click Here for more info

In preparation for the Surrey BKA AGM on the 3rd Dec, all the Chairs of the eight divisions submit Annual Reports about their divisions activities. By way of ducking out of providing here another version of a 2022 RBKA review, my complete report to the Surrey AGM is HERE.

If you would like to view all the Divisions reports, they and all the Surrey AGM documentation, inc the report by SBKA Chairman Bob Maurer,  can be found on the re-energised SBKA website HERE  

Hoping to see at least some of you at Henfold for the Surrey AGM on the 3rd December (from 1:30pm for a 2.00pm start) and a good deal more of you for our face to face December Winter Meeting at Henfold on the 7th December from 7:00pm for a 7:30pm start).

If not, I wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas and see next year.

Wreath Christmas Lights GIF - Wreath Christmas Lights Merry Christmas -  Discover & Share GIFs

Wreath Christmas Lights GIF - Wreath Christmas Lights Merry Christmas -  Discover & Share GIFs


Richard Bradfield


1st December 2022
mob: 07923 600266


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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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…]

Surrey Beekeepers Association 2022 AGM-3rd Dec



Hosting of Surrey BKA’s AGM is rotated between the association’s eight divisions.

This year it’s Reigate’s turn and a first for the venue to be our own pavilion.

Please do sit-in,, participate, and meet fellow ‘keepers from our sister divisions.


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)   

2022 Honey Show 1st October – The Results

A big thank you to all who prepared & entered exhibits.

Well done to those who’s entries earned placings

Very well done if you have earned a 1st (or two …)

Congratulations if you now have a Trophy to collect during the AGM in November.

32 Entrants displayed 121 Entries in 22 Classes.

And the Winners are …

[Read more…]

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 …

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:



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!,

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:

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

Dates in August tba
(to allow for delivery leadtime and collection  from Henfold by the last Summer Season Wednesday Eve meeting)

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

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:

Payment in full is required to confirm all Orders please.



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)


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)


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.


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)


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)


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:

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: )

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.