Chairmans Letter – December 2020

Dear Kennet BeeKeeper,

May I start by welcoming all our new members to KBKA and invite them to contact me should they have any questions about the Association or problems with their bees.   As most of you know at this time of year all of us should “heft” our hives  and make sure they weight about 20k (40Lbs) so they have enough store for the winter. .
With this lockdown still going on it looks as if beekeeping life may only get back to some sort of normal when the vaccination is rolled out.  Hopefully that will be when the bees wake up properly around Easter time and we can start our programme of apiary visits and education.  I have not put together a full programme for this year as it really does depend on lockdown measures that are imposed by those in government. However I feel it is really important that we get our live face to face meetings going as soon as possible.  The social side of the association is almost as important as the beekeeping.  I have still to meet some of our new beekeepers from last year let alone those joining in the past few months.  Your KBKA committee is fully committed to getting the best talks, education and practical skills sessions ready for you to join as soon as we are allowed to do so.
The first two talks of the new year are booked as zoom evenings.  And to start us off on Wednesday 6 January at 7.30 pm we have a famous name in BeeKeeping.  I have booked the double act of Clare Densley head of Buckfast BeeKeeping and her second in command Martin Hann who will be talking on Chronic bee paralysis Virus – “A look at CBPV and how it can manifest in your colony. How to recognise the signs and what you can do about it!”  This is a subject we will all need to know as advice is changing and the latest information will be useful – so do put it in your diary.  Also the following month we have “Our own. Our very Own!”  (as they say in the Music Halls) Richard Rickets who is going to give us a zoom talk entitled Rolls-Royce to Rajasthan on Wednesday 3 February also at 7.30 pm.  Full details of all events will be sent out to members.  
You have all heard my views on Wiltshire BKA and things there are, I hope,  changing – hopefully for the better.  At a very difficult meeting on 22 November the Chair resigned (and no one wished to take his place) and the following morning the secretary also resigned.  So as I write there is no Chair and no Secretary in place.  Is there anyone amongst our membership who would consider taking on these roles?  If you feel you can help please do contact me and have a chat about it.  I would like WBKA to be a positive organisation for all beekeepers in Wiltshire (including Salisbury which left two years ago).  
On a happier note we have our next zoom meeting on Friday 4 December logging in from 7.15 pm for a start at 7.30 pm.  This is replacing our annual pub skittles night and will be a KBKA Christmas Beekeepers Quiz.  Sophie, our membership secretary, has kindly created a quiz designed to engage the whole family, not just the beekeepers in the room. We are not going to make it too long, something like from 7.30 to about 8.45 pm ish!  I hope that you and your nearest and dearest will open a bottle and join our KBKA effort to shake off those lockdown blues.  I have decided that I will offer a Chairman’s prize, of a bottle of wine, to the best funny hat seen on screen.  You don’t have to wear it all the time, but there will be a moment when you will be asked to show it off to its best (and your) advantage. The Chairman will be the judge of this so he does not have to be wearing one himself – a clever plan!

Here are the details to join KBKA Christmas Beekeepers Quiz:-
KBKA Christmas Beekeepers Quiz
FRIDAY Dec 4, 2020 07:15 pm.
To join zoom Christmas Quiz (see members email for details)

Other news, Joyce Nisbet from BBKA is seeking views about the Convention 16-18 April 2021.  It would be helpful if members were willing to complete the short anonymous electronic questionnaire available at:  The questionnaire will be available until 9th December 2020.

Module 2 – following on from Emma Morley’s earlier email.  Honey Bee Products and Forage, it is still not to late to register your interest. At the end of the course you will have learned how to make quality honey products that may be new to you such as chunk honey or sections and a variety of wax products from candles to polishes. You will also have a better grasp of the reproductive process in plants and the type which give the best forage for your honey bees. If you think you may be interested do email Richard Oliver at .   Lockdown is a good time to get reading those bee books, and Dick Church is happy to arrange a meeting at Bishops Cannings Village Hall where Kennet BKA library is stored.  If you wish to borrow books just email Dick at  or phone Dick directly on 01380 828597.  If you have not studied any modules yet remember they are all supposedly of a similar standard so you can start anywhere except Module 8 which has to be done last. Most people have found Module 2 to be one of the easier modules and so a good place to start.
We are still trying to locate the member who sent over membership payment under the reference 7*7 to come forward as we have been unable to associate your payment. If you have made a payment and not yet heard anything, please get in touch with Sophie at
Finally, if you want to make some great Christmas presents take a look at Sophie’s great YouTube on dipped beeswax candle making.  It inspired me to get going and so far I have made 14 great looking candles,  and my test one has been burning for 12 hours and is only half used.  Really rewarding.
Hope to see you on the zoom quiz on Friday evening.

All best wishes for Christmas and the New Year

Robert Carpenter Turner

Chairman Kennet Beekeepers

Tel: – 01672 852265    email:-