Chairmans Letter – September 2020

Dear Kennet Beekeeper, 
I do hope you all are keeping well.  I am just so sad that we still cannot hold our usual monthly meeting in the usual way and all meet up together.  The social side of KBKA is really important,  and as soon as we are aloud, we will be holding monthly meetings again back in Bishop Cannings and enjoying a bit of bee chat face to face.
In the mean time we will continue with our monthly Zoom meetings to which we have had about 45 people at one time. Do remember that if just want to watch you can turn your ‘off’ video camera and microphone,  which should also give you a better bandwidth, and then none of us will be distracted by the other activities going on in your home!  If you have a question during the meeting just send, via the zoom chat button, a question mark ‘?’  You don’t really need to type the question.  I see your name come up with the question mark and I know you wish to ask something so, at the right moment, I will ask you to ask your question.
Our next club Zoom meeting will be on Wednesday 2 September starting at 7.30 pm but you will be able to join from 7.15 pm. I am really pleased to have our own Richard Oliver hosting the discussion which will be on:-
Autumn Management – Preparing for Winter
  • Introduction – setting the scene.
  • What is autumn management seeking to achieve?
  • What are the 10 main causes of winter losses?
  • What can the beekeeper do to prevent each one of these causes affecting his colonies?
  • Having participated in the discussion, when should we start preparing our bees for winter?
  • Summary
 KBKA Zoom Club Meeting.
Autumn Management – Preparing for Winter, By Richard Oliver
Time: Sep 2, 2020 07:15 PM
Join Zoom Meeting (details within members email)
Some of us will have had bumper honey crops this year and may want some extra ideas of ways to use it.  Here are 17 ways to cook with Honey, well worth showing the cook in the family, and getting down to some seriously good eating. For all the recipes go to:
Wasps.  At this time of year we can all find wasps troubling our colonies.  The first thing to do is reduce the entrance to one bee space, on all small colonies. Next to double check that all boxes are totally wasp prof, they will get in under the roof or thought two supers not fitting together.  Use gaffer tape to tape over any joints they are getting through.  Tom Seeley in his book The Lives of Bees say that the average entrance to a wild bee colony (through a tree) is a tunnel 6 inches long which the bees can better defend from predators.  Try making a 6 inch entrance out of a piece of hose pipe.  I have found that helps as a wasp does not like meeting a bee in a tunnel.
The BBKA have had a few inquiries recently from members asking for help to access the online  BBKA News magazine archive or asking for copies of old magazines. Did you know BBKA has a digital version of the magazine? Diane Drinkwater, Vice Chair, and Chair of the Communications Committee has put together a useful page on the website to help members make more use of this resource:  Also at the bottom of this newsletter you will find a list of FREE webinars hosted by BIBBA as part of their National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP)

Talking of getting perpared for winter Colin Taylor is again offering bee food:-fondant and syrup at preferential prices. Apifondant @£19 a box (5×2.5kilos), syrup at £19 per 12.5 kilo jerrycans. Collection only from Colin Taylor at Leaside, Lavington Rd, Potterne.SN10 5RF. 01380816564. I am not sure you could better these prices.

We are coming up for our AGM.  Do any of our members wish to join the committee or have some new ideas that KBKA should be doing?  I have been your Chairman for far too many years and will carry on if that is the wish of the membership.
Don’t forget to enter  the KBKA Photo Competition.  We have had several entries already. If you are up to changing the name of your jpg files to YourName1.jpg  for class 1Close up’, or YourName2.jpg  etc for class 2 ‘Queen Bee’,  it would be helpful.  But keep the photos coming – don’t forget there is the first prize of BeeCraft for a year. 
Hope to see, or hear,  many you at our Zoom meeting. 

Keep well

All best wishes
Robert Carpenter Turner

Chairman Kennet Beekeepers

Tel: – 01672 852265    email:-