Chairmans Letter – June 2019

Dear Kennet Beekeeper,

2019 seems to be the year for swarms, and with my experience I am ashamed to say, despite removing Queen cells, doing all the correct artificial swarms manoeuvres, I have had two swarms. It has been really interesting as I have two colonies which are showing no signs of swarming, no polished Queen cups, etc. But others that are making many queen cells even after they have just got their new Queen into lay. My advice is really to give yourself time to take a good look through your bees and check for eggs or see the Queen and then shake the bees off every brood frame and examine carefully every frame and remove all polished or laid Queen cups. Good luck!

My request last month for help with Anaphylactic shock and use of an EpiPen resulted in an excellent response, and my thanks goes out to those who came forward. The outcome will be John Barber giving a short talk on this matter at one of our Bee Chats Club evenings and additionally I would like to share with you a very good website which offers free courses and training.

Another good thing to share with you, especially for those with apiaries on or near to farm land – is registering on BeeConnected:- This is a liaison between farmers and beekeepers and gives a warning should there be any spraying due to take place. I have just registered, it is very easy to get your apiary on their map.

One of our members said to me this month “they had a bee problem and didn’t want to call and disturb me.” Well, now I am a retired bee inspector, I am happy to advise those with beekeeping problems. You are welcome to call my land line or send me an email with photos of the issue, if possible.

On Saturday 29 June the Canals and River Trust are holding a Discovery Day and KBKA will be there with our observation hive along with many other attractions. This is a new venture for us and I hope it may become a yearly event – so do come along and find us. Let me know if you would you like to help at our stall and/or have honey to sell?

Is there anyone who wishes to sell bees, or still wants bees this year? Please just let me know and I will put you in touch. Also, there is a request for beeswax. A new craft-based company are setting up in Marlborough – the full details of which are not yet known but they are willing to buy your wax. I would say don’t sell it too cheap remember a 1lb of wax take the bees about 5lbs of honey to make. If you are interested in selling your wax please contact Adrian Cross directly on Tel 07867 786860, or by Email at

This coming Wednesday 5th June, at Bishops Cannings Village Hall SN10 2LA at 7.30 will be our first summer evening of Bee Chat. I have invited our Regional Bee Inspector Pete Davis and our new Seasonal Bee inspector Avril Earl (also a member of KBKA and here is her email should you have a problem I hope you all have some good questions lined up for them. I shall ask Pete to bring us up to date on the Asian Hornet and any other relevant bee information.

Late news in: There are eight active colonies, and 2 empty hives (all polystyrene) along with other associated equipment for sale. William Dennis hung up his bee suit in 2016 and is looking to sell at @ £50 per colony, discounted since they have not been inspected for 3 years. If you are interested, please call William directly on 07870 909613 or email at

It going to be a good year for Beekeeping – the swallows are back in my garage after three years away – and they have told me!

With best wishes,

Robert Carpenter Turner

Chairman Kennet Beekeepers

Tel: – 01672 852265    email:-