Chairman’s View – May 2022

 

The weather we have just experienced during April has a lot to answer for this year.

After initially plunging us back into a dank, dismal and damp start, the sun finally broke though. But the northerly and easterly winds took more than the edge off the  warming rays. I suspect that those of us with hives residing in screened sun traps might have been seeing their bees fairing a little better than those with hives in more open settings.

After a false start, with the intended 1st meeting on the 6th April having been cautiously postponed by a week due to low temperatures, strong winds, overcast skies and the threat of heavy rain, we finally got going on the13th.

Many of the ~70 members who will have since attended and participated in the three full (literally) weekly Summer meetings during April, may have been aware of Jim Wynn’s absence from Henfold, and our media channels. Very regrettably for RBKA, Jim has for personal reasons stood down from the Committee and from his role as our Education Programme Manager. Whilst stepping back from these two roles, Jim remains a strong and active supporter of Reigate Beekeepers and will continue to help Mary in her management of our Mickleham Apiary. Jim has also undertaken to remain as Reigate’s AHAT Leader, as well as the Surrey BKA AHAT Coordinator; should the need for our action against the Yellow Legged Hornet arise. 

Another role that Jim had undertaken for the past two years was that of Reigate Representative to the Surrey Beekeepers Association. We need to maintain that representation by a Committee member. Therefore, I am happy to announce that Gill Simpson has agreed to being co-opted into that role. It is one that I, as a Surrey Council member myself, cannot undertake because as an elected trustee of Surrey BKA, I am supposed to ‘leave my Reigate hat at the door’ when attending Council meetings. I am sure you will join me welcoming Gill to the role of briefing Surrey on the activities of the division and informing the meeting about any important divisional issues that need input from the Council.

The Education of prospective, new and not so new beekeepers has always been at the core of our key obligations as a division of Surrey BKA to:  “(1) Promote and further the craft of beekeeping and the science of bees and their pathogens, to the public good, and to (2) Advance the education of the public in the environmental and economic importance of bees.”

Since being presented with and taking on the challenge of Education Programme Manager at the commencement of the Covid-19 pandemic; Jim’s educational experience, enthusiasm, ground breaking, technical and hitherto tireless inputs, have been enormously appreciated by myself, Committee Officers & his fellow Committee Members; as well as, I am sure, by all RBKA’s Members. Quite how and who manages the Education Programme in the longer term will be being considered during the months ahead.       

Meanwhile, whilst we are regrettably without a Manager of the Education Programme; the content itself was already falling into place and is also now underway. Actual delivery of the elements of the Program are being variously either provided by or overseen by the likes of Simon Ford, Vince Gallo, Colin Clement, Keith Mackie & Anna Slade, along with supporting hive tutors and welcome inputs from our Master Beekeepers. Whilst Andrew Buchanan has recommenced his keen involvement in keeping a tally of all-comers to the Wednesday evening meetings; tracking who is doing what, where and to what end!

The Basic’s preparation on-line Study Group and an Intermediate’s Queen Rearing project commenced early in April. Beginners hive teams and an Intermediate hive team commenced practical sessions by mid April and an Intermediate Module 1 on-line study Group is about to commence this month, as a shared venture with Croydon division.   

As I prepare these notes, the Reigate Beekeepers Auction of Bees and Beekeeping Equipment is yet to take place. With the Catalogue already being declared FULL with some 220 Lots, I trust that all will have has gone as smoothly as rounding up, receiving, identifying, auctioning and seeing-off that quantity of ad-hoc items can be expected to go … and that Vince Gallo has survived the experience! I will be sorry to have missed the bacon filled baps provided by Sue Hickson & Michelle Keast & co. Instead, I will be in the Highlands tucking into hot toasted, marmalade covered ‘Butteries’, that my Scottish cousins and hosts are assuring me are a local ‘health food delicacy’ on account of their fruit content. Hmmmm.

At this point in my script, I come across the crack in the record.

I need to reiterate appeals for more volunteers to not only help with, but in some cases, take some ownership of and lead the running of an RBKA stall at a Local Village show during the summer.  Such leaders will have plenty of support and guidance, but those providing the support cannot also be expected to be actively running ALL the shows themselves.  If at all possible, do please offer to take a lead role in running one of our invited appearances at a local show near you. Especially when the sun shines, such events are a real joy in which to participate … talking about your own favourite hobby with an inquisitive public.  What’s not to like.

Richard Bradfield
Chairman
1st May 2022
mob: 07923 600266
richard.d.bradfield@btinternet.com

 

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.

Spring Bee Health Clinic – 30th April 2022

The next Reigate (Members) Bee Health Clinic will take place on Saturday the 30th April in the Mickleham Village Hall  – same day and place as our Auction event – but from 10am until about 2pm.

This is an adult bee disease clinic, and will concentrate on Nosema spp. If time permits, Acarine testing will also be demonstrated, so members can see how it is done.

Testing your bees is an important part of your bee husbandry… so do ensure you take full advantage of this opportunity.

Deliver your (labelled) samples of (dead) bees, with payment, either …

  • to the Village Hall in Mickleham from 10 am until 2.00pm on Saturday 30th April, when they will be ‘checked in’.
  • to Henfold Copse during the Summer Evening Meeting on the 27th April and leave them in a box provided.
  • to a fellow Beekeeper, willing and able to bring them either to Henfold on Wednesday the 27th or to Mickleham on Saturday the 30th.
  • to Bob Maurer’s ‘drop box’ by prior arrangement ONLY by the 29th April. at 19, Fairlawn Drive, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 6JP (bob@maurer.uk.com  07740 707500)

Samples must be individual labelled with your Name, your contact Phone Number and a Sample ID reference to the colony/hive from which the sample was taken.

See the advice below about taking samples of bees from you hives. [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 …

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

 

 

FINAL Catalogue – Reigate Auction of Bees & Beekeeping Equipment

The catalogue of Registered Auction Lots has grown.

Click the PDF doc …

or   HERE

… browse now to see what’s been registered for auction and plan for what you might like to bid for on the day.

No* more Lots to be added.

Lot Registration is now CLOSED

Get set for Saturday the 30th April, at the Mickleham apiary and Village Hall.

Key Dates and Timings:

  • * Contact Vince Gallo by the 16th April if you wish to sell bees. 
  • ALL goods should be registered for Auction by Tuesday 26th April. 
  • A Catalogue of Lots will be was available by 29th 15th April from our website(s).
  • Lots to be received on site between 8:30 and 10:30 on Auction Day.
  • Viewing will be from 11:00am on the day of the Auction.
  • Auction Commences at 12 noon on Saturday 30th April.
  • Pay for successful purchases once all bidding is complete.
  • All bought and unsold items to be removed from site by 5:00pm. 

[Read more…]

BBKA Module 1 – Study Group

After the success of the recent joint Module 2 “Honey Bee Products and Forage” study group, involving both Reigate and Croydon BKA (divisions of Surrey BKA), a few participants got the bug, and now feel inspired to set up another study group, this time for Module 1, “Honey Bee Management”.

Once again, this will be a joint venture between Croydon and Reigate BKAs, and is supported and endorsed by both Associations.

Anna Slade writes …

The objective of this study group is to offer the opportunity to study, and gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of: hive types; selecting apiaries; prevention and detection of swarming; methods of swarm control; seasonal management; signs of queen status – these are just a few of the topics covered in the syllabus.  

Who is Module 1 ideally for? Well, anyone who has kept bees for more than one year, and preferably has completed (or is working towards) the Basic Practical Assessment (BPA), is welcome to participate in this group. Module 1 complements the BPA, but is best completed afterwards, building on the foundations of the BPA to widen and deepen the knowledge gained. It’s a logical step for those who have taken their BPA to move on to modular learning, and many undertake Module 1 first, although the modules can be taken in any order (except for Module 8, which has to be taken last). In this study group, we intend to complete the Module 1 syllabus in time to take the exam in November 2022, although there is no obligation to sit the exam.

Those also taking the BPA need not be too concerned to the depth Module 1 goes into for their preparation for the practical exam; however there are many synergies between the Module 1 syllabus and the BPA, so your practical learning will complement your theoretical learning in Module 1. 

There is NO financial cost to you as a participant, as long as you are a current member of either Reigate or Croydon BKA. However there is a cost in terms of your time and your participation in assisting group learning, whilst also respecting others in the group, as those leading, presenting or assisting are all volunteers, each one at a different stage in their beekeeping journey, and many juggling full-time jobs and families.

The course arrangements are as follows:

  • Weekly meetings on Tuesday evenings at 8pm, on Zoom (cost to be met by Croydon BKA), led by Anna Slade
  • The first meeting will be on Tuesday 17th May at 8pm
  • Zoom recordings and study notes available for review for those who can’t make the weekly meetings, or are busy with their bees!
  • Shared participation in a correspondence course (cost to be met by Reigate BKA)
  • Access to resources on Dropbox (courtesy of Keith Mackie), where we can share presentations, study notes, past exam papers, and resources from previous groups
  • A WhatsApp group (managed by the Module 1 Leadership Team) where we can ask for, and share, advice and support, including from RBKA Master Beekeepers and more experienced members
  • Access to study materials from RBKA and CBKA libraries

If you are interested, or have any questions, please contact Keith Mackie on 07786 024325 or keith@mrmackie.com, Debbie Burney on 07810 172938 or debbie@mrsburneysbeeclub.co.uk, or Anna Slade on 07947 431053 or annaslade@virginmedia.com.

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to studying with you!

Kind regards

The Module 1 Leadership Team (formed of RBKA and CBKA members)

 

 

Chairman’s View – April 2022

 

Increasingly, it appears that what used to be regarded as unusual swings between wet, dry, warm and cold spring weather, has become the new normal. So once again, we need to be extra vigilant in monitoring the status and needs of colonies that might have made it thus far through the otherwise mild winter. Surviving the winter is only half the story. Thriving through Spring is even more essential.

For my part, I need to put my hands up to declaring that my single colony, itself a captured 2021 summer swarm of unknown pedigree, looked strong going into winter; but was found to have dwindled away to nothing by early this March.  So I for one will be starting again afresh this year … again.

You will all no doubt be busy from this month with actual beekeeping, having hopefully used some of the past few months to clean and prepare and restock equipment for the season that starts NOW.

If you are still looking for extra equipment or find you have spare equipment … our returning ‘RBKA Auction of Bees and Beekeeping Equipment’ on the 30th April should be a must to attend.  If you are wanting to off load surplus equipment, you need to Register lots as soon as possible … HERE 

But the Auction cannot and will not happen without many members helping our Auction Manager and Auctioneer, Vince Gallo. Some volunteers are required during the preceding days, but a good number are essential on the day itself. If there are enough volunteers, then helping need not prevent participating as bidders as well. Please contact myself or Vince directly as soon as possible to offer to help please.

And while on the subject of volunteers….  the summer season of beekeeping also heralds the start of local village shows. Many such events invite RBKA to attend with a display stand from which we can promote the Honey Bee, the craft of Beekeeping, RBKA, and sell a little of our honey, or members honey, to an always appreciative audience. But, guess what, although guidance, advice, equipment, leaflets, cash float, card reader and honey stocks can be provided; we still need volunteers. In the first place to take on the management of a stall at an event, and then a few more volunteers to help the stall manager operate the stall during the event. Already, we have 7 bookings that we have accepted. The first is on May 2nd, not that far off now; with others during the rest of May, June & July. If we cannot adequately resource an event, then we will need to withdraw from it. This will be deeply disappointing for both RBKA and the village shows.  At the time of typing this, none of the events have allocated managers. Do please take look at the events listed on this website under EVENTS > Shows & Fetes. And then please contact our External Shows Coordinator, Geoff Pye, for more details of an event that might be near you.  

I now look forward to greeting and meeting many of you, including some new faces from the 2022 Winter Course, at Henfold on the 6th April for the first of our summer season weekly meetings.  These meetings will then run right through to the beginning of September.  

Returning to the topic of weather, it currently looks as if we may not be able to open up hives for regular inspections on the 6th if the air temperature is too low or a passing shower of rain (or snow!) interferes with plans. But do not be put off, Jim Wynn will however still be able to organise Trainees, Beginners, Basics Candidates and Tutors into hive groups, ready for when we can lift the lids. 

And of course we will all have the opportunity to share news of each others tales of woe and successes, over cups of tea, or coffee with biscuits.  Just don’t ask me how my bees are! 

Richard Bradfield
Chairman
1st April 2022
mob: 07923 600266
richard.d.bradfield@btinternet.com

 

Reigate Beekeepers BeeNews – April 2022

 

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…]

Reigate Auction of Bees & Beekeeping Equipment – 30th April 2022

The date for our annual Auction of Bees and Beekeeping Equipment is set for Saturday the 30th April, at the Mickleham apiary and Village Hall.

Lot Registration is now CLOSED*

Key Dates and Timings:

  • *Contact Vince Gallo by the 16th April if you wish to sell bees. 
  • ALL goods should be registered for Auction by Tuesday 26th April. 
  • A Catalogue of Lots will be was available by 29th 15th April from our website(s).
  • Lots to be received on site between 8:30 and 10:30 on Auction Day.
  • Viewing will be from 11:00am on the day of the Auction.
  • Auction Commences at 12 noon on Saturday 30th April.
  • Pay for successful purchases once all bidding is complete.
  • All bought and unsold items to be removed from site by 5:00pm. 

[Read more…]

Chairman’s View – March 2022

 

The end of the three months of meteorological winter, and commencement of spring on the 1st of March has been heralded by the delightful wide spread sights of blooming daffodils. It is all too sad that hearts remain heavy with the sights of and news from Ukraine. We can only hope for a better spring for all. 

Our ‘beekeeping year’ is more conventionally divided into Winter & Summer seasons, with March being the final ‘semi-dormant’ winter month. As such, this month is the final opportunity to prepare your equipment, and yourselves for April … the first active month of summer beekeeping. Your bees will hopefully be gearing themselves up. Are you going to be ready for what is discovered during those first tentative hive inspections?

During February we were delighted to welcome and listen to Norman Carreck expanding upon his article in the August ’21 BeeCraft, ‘Applying IPM principles to varroa control’. 

With no apologies, the IPM theme is continued for our March Winter Meeting talk, when we will be welcoming back Steve Riley from Westerham Branch of Kent Beekeepers. During December 2019, Steve presented his talk at the Woodhatch Centre, ‘Non-Treatment for Varroa’. An eventual spin-off activity from that talk was the Queen Cage making Workshop run by Vince Gallo in October last year. The Workshop had been postponed from its planned date in April 2020. 

This time Steve will be with us in the pavilion at Henfold to provide an update on his quest for Varroa Resistant bees, and endeavouring to dovetail nicely with Norman’s February presentation (view here).

And being the last Winter meeting, I expect there will be many members wanting to share, face to face (still respectably distanced please) their beekeeping experiences, observations and questions. Not just from the past winter months, but after the past two years of virtual meetings. Therefore, the usual post talk Q&A session will be a more of an informal after-show gathering, with Cheese, Wine and soft drinks provided, in addition to the regular teas, coffees & biscuits.

Some things will not have changed from the distant times of real Winter meetings.  Please sign-in on arrival in the pavilion, and a £2 per head donation towards refreshments will also be requested.

And if you haven’t picked up the message yet … the Winter Meeting on the 2nd March is at Henfold, please aim to arrive from 7pm for a prompt 7:30 start.      

In last month’s Chairman’s View, I made reference to the possibility of courses or projects that you would like to see being considered by RBKA. Especially ideas for which you could perhaps provide a lead role in organising and managing.  Well, I am delighted to report that we have an example of one such project being prepared for launch. 

A long held ambition by many a member to get ‘into’ Queen rearing is set to become a reality as plans are being finalised to repurpose the Vigo Apiary as a ‘Nuc generating’ site. 
A generous donation by Andrew Buchanan of one of his reputed ‘gentle’ colonies to RBKA, has come at a time when the role that our Vigo Farm apiary can usefully provide was being considered. 
Instigated by Colin Clement, this Queen Rearing Project will be overseen by Colin, with Operational activities of a project team being assembled and led by Peter Scroggs at Vigo; meeting during Thursday evenings. Colin & Peter would welcome donations from members of spare Apidias and Nuc boxes to kick start the equipping exercise.
An objective will be for RBKA to become self sufficient in creating viable 3 frame Nucs from known and desirable stock to support our own apiaries, potentially selling surplus stock to members. 

More project ideas, plans … and project leaders welcomed.     

Whist mentioning the ‘selling of bees’, the date of our ‘returning’ real Annual Auction, is provisionally set for Saturday the 30th April, at Mickleham Apiary/Mickleham Village Hall. This is a great opportunity to buy needed and sell surplus equipment and colonies . Full details will be on the Members website by the end of the first week of March. 

I have been a little remiss in not mentioning the great work that Sue Scates has been getting up to EACH month. Well done Sue on the sourcing (chasing) and pulling together BeeNews content and bringing topical items and glorious splashes of colour to our screens. 

I am already now looking forward to a busy RBKA Summer Beekeeping Season ahead, with loads more activity to participate in and celebrate. 

Richard Bradfield
Chairman
1st March 2022
mob: 07923 600266
richard.d.bradfield@btinternet.com

 

Reigate Beekeepers BeeNews – March 2022

 

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.   

 

 

Condolences – Alec Bourhill

It is with great sadness that during January, news of the passing on 31st December 2021 of Alec Bourhill, aged 95, was received.

Alec, an Honorary Member Of Reigate Beekeepers, served as Vice Chairman in 1992/3, was Treasurer from 2000 to 2004, managed our Buckland Apiary until a just few years ago and only stood down from active participation in the Swarm Collecting team two years ago.

RBKA Members are kindly invited by Linda Heggie (Alec’s daughter) to attend the funeral and/or refreshments afterwards.

Please note that the venue for the reception has changed from Newdigate Village Hall to the Plough at Leigh:

  • 21 February 2022 11am at Randalls Park Crematorium, Leatherhead
  • The Plough Inn at Leigh from 12:30pm for refreshments.

Alec’s family have chosen Bees Abroad as a charity to which donations may be made in his name.

https://www.funeralguide.co.uk/obituaries/96835

Andrew Buchanan recalls…

My abiding memory of Alec is of a shy man who, if asked, was only too pleased to help another beekeeper.

In my case, when I was running some 30 or so colonies and had quite a lot of supers to empty of honey, Alec came to my aid.

He had an extractor which could take about 20 frames at a time and, if I could get my frames to his barn, I could use it – with his help.

Alec was a generous, keen and loyal member of RBKA who enjoyed being involved with our many and varied functions for very many years.

Gill Simpson recalls …

A regular supporter of our annual Beekeeping and Honey Show, Alec would always provide his Tombola Drum for use on our Tombola Gift Stall.

Adam Leitch recalls …

Alec used to do an ‘annual jar run. He picked up all the members jar orders in one go on a big trailer from a supplier in East London and brought them to the apiary (then at Mickleham) for members to collect their individual order. A warm and engaging character.

Richard Bradfield  recalls …

A quiet, well respected friend of RBKA, and a frequent visitor to the Summer evening meetings. During the pandemic lockdowns Alec relied almost exclusively on his printed copies of BeeNews, delivered by post, for his contact with us. When during 2021 we were able to return to Henfold in number, Alec became a very regular visitor; enjoying again the opportunity to sit and watch the activities and to meet with long time friends again.

Reigate Beekeepers BeeNews – February 2022

 

Chairman’s View – February 2022

 

The lengthening days are most welcome and and the sunny spells, doubly so. A number of you have been reporting and delighting in the sights of your bees flying on the warmer days. Lovely to see your photos and read your stories on the RBKA-Crew WhatsApp group.

We received the sad news at the beginning of January about the passing of Alec Bourhill.  An obituary can be seen on the Members Website and in this months BeeNews. 

For those that knew Alec, we now have details of and an open invitation to attend the funeral in Leatherhead and the reception afterwards in Newdigate Village Hall.

Whilst I am still very much in off-season mode, a very brief (short-sighted) Chairman’s view this month.

I am wondering if the January Zoom talk that provided fascinating, and in parts very explicit, insights into the role of pollen in forensic science, has got you thinking about extending your beekeeping interests into microscopy. 

Previous committees have considered investing in sufficient suitable microscopes to enable us to run courses in microscopy. But the investment would be significant and would need to be founded on a genuine demand and commitment from enough members to utilise such a resource. Do let me know if such an activity would be of interest.

And while you are putting your thinking caps on… If not microscopy, are there any other courses or projects that you would like to see being considered by RBKA. Especially ideas for which you could perhaps provide a lead role in organising and managing.   

Your Committee can not, should not and are not doing all the doing. But we are very open to considering new (or old!) ideas that, that if approved, can be undertaken by sub groups of members.

The next and final two Winter Talks are focussing on Varroa.

This month, (Feb 2nd) Dr Norman Carrek is presenting ia Zoom, IPM and Varroa control.

Then in March, we welcome the return of Steve Riley for his update on the presentation he gave us at Woodhatch in 2019 about ‘Non-Treatment’ for Varroa. This talk will be at Henfold and will be followed by an informal Cheese a Wine gathering to discuss whatever you wish.  NOT a party, but there could be cake!    

Richard Bradfield
Chairman
1st February 2022
mob: 07923 600266
richard.d.bradfield@btinternet.com

 

RBKA OnLine No.37 – The Role of Pollen and Spores in Criminal Investigation

Video recording of a talk from Prof. Patricia Wiltshire, of Southampton University (and MVDC Local Councillor for Ashtead), explaining the importance of pollen identification in modern forensic science.

… from the online Zoom Winter Monthly Meeting conference on Wednesday 5th January, 2022.

 

 

Chairman’s View – January 2022

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

May we all thrive and be productive throughout 2022.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Richard Bradfield
Chairman
1st January 2022
mob: 07923 600266
richard.d.bradfield@btinternet.com