Chairmans Letter – August 2019

Dear Kennet Beekeeper,

Wednesday 7th August, at Bishops Cannings Village Hall SN10 2LA at 7.30 is our next meeting of informal Bee Chat. Our own John Barber will be giving an important short talk on Anaphylaxis shock. All beekeepers should know a bit about this. I will follow this with a short question and answer time about your current beekeeping problems. Hopefully, we may be able to solve some of your queries.

Apiary Manager. David our hard working apiary manager would like to lighten his workload and just be in charge of Caen Hill Apiary. This means that we need a new manager for our Horton Road apiary. The role of Apiary Manager is really the most important position for the whole of KBKA, and takes time and dedication so I am looking for a new Apiary Manager. Please will all beekeepers consider if they can take on this important job – David and I will give as much help as possible to settle them into the role. I am hoping someone from the Apiary Team will step forward before I have to send in the pressgang!

The National Honey monitoring scheme is a FREE service and gives you a breakdown of the pollens that are in your honey. If you were to have this done privately it would be fairly costly. So do go to this website
They will be accepting 2019 honey until November so there is lots of time to take part and allow them to monitor the flowers and habitats your bees are feeding on across the UK. If you have any further questions please email

Honey Shows. We are now entering the time of the year when we all need to be thinking about preparing and getting our honey and bee products ready for showing.
The FIRST show you need to think about is our own KBKA Honey Show on Wednesday 2 October followed by the Wiltshire Bee and Honey Day on Saturday 5 October of which full details including schedules for both events, along with the lunch booking form for the 5th October are attached to this email. If you wish to volunteer to help with the WBKA show I know that would be much appreciated. For our own show we have honey Judge Suzy Perkins with steward Angus Boyd from MBKA – who himself has won best in show for Wiltshire at the Bath & West. If you are a real sucker for Honey Shows there is the Bristol Honey Show and Festival at the end of August – it is worth having a look at their website which might give you some ideas for our show:-

CBPV. Perhaps one of the most useful things I can write about in this letter is toraise awareness of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus. Not yet in the press, but the idea being that should your bees show any signs of CBPY, just remove the floor for two  weeks making certain there is a drop of 10ins below so that any dead or ill bees really fall out of the hive and cannot contaminate the others. Simples! But you can’t do it at this time of year as the WASPS are just beginning to be a problem. Set you wasp traps in your apiary now!

Amelia Threadgould is a student at Warwick University and is studying for a Masters in Food Security. Her thesis focuses on hobbyist beekeepers and hopes that some of you would be kind a do her survey which aims to help identify challenges that are faced by today’s beekeepers. Survey link:-

Finally, I have been advised of an opportunity for someone in the Marlborough area or further afield if you are happy to travel, who would be interested in keeping a hive or two at Rainscombe Hill Farm, Clench Common. The bees would be sited on the land used by Greatwood Charity and Alex Shaw would be delighted to discuss this further with anyone who is interested. Alex can be contacted on 01672 514535 or email Alex at:

Sorry there is so much to read – I hope you find it useful. Hope to see many of you on 7th August – do have some questions with you.

Remember all attachments for the Wiltshire Bee and Honey Day are at the bottom of this email!

With best wishes,

Robert Carpenter Turner

Chairman Kennet Beekeepers

Tel: – 01672 852265    email:-


Wiltshire Bee and Honey Day – 5 October 2019 – A Great Day Out

Excitement is already building for this year’s Wiltshire Bee and Honey Day which is taking place on Saturday 5 October at the Corn Exchange, Devizes.

Check out the show schedule attached and decide which categories you’ll be entering – you’ll notice we’ve added some more open classes for children, novices and nonbeekeepers this year, so it’s an even greater opportunity to involve the whole family.

The day will include an exciting programme including some interesting practical talks. Lynfa Davis, a Master Beekeeper based in Wales and regular contributor to the

BBKA News, will talk about:

• Comb – how and why bees make it and how to manage it

• Honey bee communication – a look at how bees share information and communicate with each other

Norman Carreck has kept bees for nearly 40 years, and has been a bee research scientist for twenty eight of those at the University of Sussex. In November we’ve secured him to talk to Kennet BKA about lifelong bee health. At the show he will be talking about: “The future for local bees in Britain”

There’ll be other activities to keep the children busy, including candle rolling and exploring a virtual hive. For the grown-ups there will be honey beer and mead tasting. There will also be a selection of bee-related products to buy at the trade show. What’s not to like?

For those who’d like some refreshment there will be a tasty lunch on offer at the Corn Exchange for £6.50pp – we don’t have catering onsite, so lunches must be booked in advance. Please find a booking form as an attachment.

So if the date isn’t already in your calendar, put it in there now and spread the word. It promises to be a really good day.

We need you! On the day…

If you can lend a hand as a helper or steward, even for just an hour, email Sophie at – the more volunteers we have, the easier the job will be.

Sell some of your own honey and/or candles…
There will be a stall selling honey and candles from members taking part in the show on the day or registered volunteers helping with the event (10% of sales will go to WBKA.) Last year, over £750-worth of honey and candles were sold; this year, we aim to sell even more. If you’d like to sell your products on the day, please email