Chairmans Letter – October 2018

Dear Kennet Beekeeper,

I think you should all know that this week Asian Hornet has been found at two sites in Hampshire. I have been working at both sites and it occurred to me that we, as beekeepers and the general public, are not doing enough to find this pest. I would like to suggest to all members, those with bees and those without, that you set aside about 20 minutes this weekend and go and look for Asian Hornets. This is the best time of year to do a AH search.

For those with bees go to your apiary taking a chair and sit down for 20+ minutes and just watch the hive and see if you can see any foreign invaders. For those without bees, and this of course applies to everyone, beekeepers or not, find a sunny hedge of flowering ivy – it should be covered with wasps and the small stripped ivy bee. Put down your chair and just watch the hedge for 20+ minutes. You will be amazed at the insect life there is there. If you see a large blackish hornet, with a flash of yellow that could be the Asian Hornet. If you can see the legs and they are yellow it may well be the hornet. It might be fun to get all the family out before Sunday lunch and do some hornet searching – if we all do it that will be about 120 little search areas checked in Wiltshire.

Last Wednesday I was having lunch with one of my inspector colleagues in his car, when an Asian hornet flew through the open car door and back in again and out of the hatch at the back! If you see something that you think could be this hornet, try and take a picture and email it with details of where you saw it and your contact details and email it to You could always send the photo to me as I should be able to tell!

Next Friday 5th October at 7.30 is our AGM when you can vote for a new Chairman – I say this every year and no one comes forward. If you really wish me to remain your Chairman I am still happy to do so. I should have a little more time for the Association as I am retiring from being your bee inspector. At the same time as the AGM the judging will be going on for our own KBKA Honey Show. Our judges this year are Pam and Bill Clark who were with us in 2015 – last time when they judged for us they made most constructive and helpful comments. Our schedule is the same as for the Wiltshire show and can be found her : uploads/2018/09/WBHD-Show-Schedule-v2.pdf  Please put in an entry.
Registrations can be submitted via email or entered on the evening. All at Bishop Cannings village Hall, SN10 2LA. Please bring your show entries as near as 7.00 pm as you can.

The following day is the Wiltshire County Honey Show at the Corn Exchange, Devizes. I do hope you can support this by entering the competition, which must be registered in advance. All details at:-
There are really interesting lectures as well.

Hope to see you there.

I am sorry that I go on about the Asian Hornet – but NOW is the best time of year to find them – so do try and spend 20+ minutes looking for them on some likely ivy. By the time you get this four nests will have been destroyed over the past few weeks.

All best wishes to all members

Robert Carpenter Turner

Chairman Kennet Beekeepers

Tel: – 01672 852265    email:-