Chairman Letter – Apr 2017

Dear Kennet Beekeeper,

At last the year is warming up and the oil seed rape is flowering and my bees, and I expect yours, are busy getting is as much of this yellow gold as they can. It is usually when this crop runs out that they get a bit upset and are not always as friendly as you once remembered them.  But this is the time we will expect colonies with older Queens to think about swarming.  Remember that the Queen’s pheromone is at its strongest for the first 18 months of her life – so if you have a Queen older than that take a good look through your brood on a warm day and check for Queen cells.  David Brown (our Apiary manager) would like to hear of any good swarms to add to colonies in the Apiary.

Some of you will be interested in the petition going to Andrea Leadsom – Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – about the pesticides, called neonicotinoids, which are believed to be lethal to honey and bumble bees – as they scramble their memories, and damage their navigation leaving them lost and confused. If you are interested go to

Don’t forget the Bath and West Show 31 May to 3 June.  If you would like to enter you bee products (last date for entry 10 April) or help steward please contact Chris Rawlings on email:-  You should all have been sent an email on 31 March with full details – Please take another look at it.

We are hoping to arrange a Apiary Safari where the local Bee Inspector (myself) comes round officially and inspects members colonies for bee disease.  We will start or finish at our apiary and I would hope visit two or three member’s apiaries.  The idea is that a group of about ten gets the chance to see how others keep their bees and see the inspector checking for problems and making records for Bee Base.  Could be interesting – are there any volunteers who would like to be one of the Safari Apiaries? Please let me know ASAP.

It was decided at committee that we would try and have refreshments at meeting before the lecture or talk began.  It will mean that we will start the talk about 7.40 after you have all got your tea or coffee and had a good chat.  If any feel this is not a good idea let me know.

We need volunteers for our stand at Fates, Fairs and the County Honey Show.  It can be a really enjoyable time showing people bees in the observation hive and just talking bees.  If you would like to help please contact our Fate manager:-  Katriona Richardson on email:-

You may not know but the Association has a petrol strimmer and we will hire it to members of the price of two 1lb pots of honey that is  £6×2=£12.  If you are interested contact John Barber our Secretary.

I have had only 4 people wanting bee packages this year.  I now have a price for them which is £135 each but I must have a least 10 orders to make it worth my while to order and collect. Due to arrive about 19/20 April.  So should there be anyone out there who wants bees could they contact me now – so this is really ‘Last orders please’.

Our talk this Friday 7 April is on ‘Small scale Queen rearing‘.  It is by Kevin Pope who has just been made our new Regional Bee Inspector (my new boss). Kevin is a great expert on bee breeding and I think you will all find his talk enlightening.  I am putting plans together to breed queens this year so I will be most interested in this talk.  Queen breeding for yourself should be a major part of your beekeeping experience – so do all turn up at Bishop Cannings village hall for 7.30 this Friday.

All best wishes to all members

Robert Carpenter Turner

Chairman Kennet Beekeepers

Tel: – 01672 852265    email:-