Chairmans Letter – April 2021

Dear Kennet BeeKeeper,
May I start by wishing you all a Happy Easter Holiday. 

Tuesday 30 March was the warmest day of the year so far – so I inspected my bees for the first time. It is always good to open a colony for the first time that year and see what is, or is not, going on in ones hives.   They have all had the same treatments and enough food but one was bursting at the seams and needed supering, my best colony last year was the worst with only a quarter of a frame with brood, and the two Nucs I thought might not get through winter were thriving and one needed hiving!  

Our next zoom talk is this Wednesday 7 April at 7.30 and will be given by Jo Widdicombe the BIBBA President and is titled:

“The National Bee Improvement Programme”
Imports of bees and, in particular, queens have been rising rapidly in the past decade. The Healthy Bees Plan, 2009 (England and Wales), identified imports as a possible biosecurity risk to our bees, as does the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 (published November 2020). A reduction in the number of imports, can only be achieved if an alternative is provided, along with a good reason for choosing that alternative. The National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP) aims to make an alternative available as well as a reason for making that choice. Now is time for beekeepers to help transform our beekeeping landscape by supporting, and participating, in this Programme. NatBIP is designed for all beekeepers to take part in and promote as a sustainable system of bee improvement, whatever their experience or beekeeping circumstances. This is something that has never been attempted before and represents an ambitious project for beekeepers and their bees. 

KBKA talk:- 

Topic: National Bee Improvement Programme by Jo Widdicombe
Time: Apr 7, 2021 07:15 pm join early meeting to start at 7.30 pm
(See Email for Zoom details)

Can you help BBKA office answering Swarm calls?   Could that be you?    During the swarm season the BBKA receives hundreds of phone calls from the public asking for help with swarms.  If it is a genuine swarm call, we give them the contact details for a local BBKA swarm collector.  The office team are seeking beekeepers to help us answer some of the calls by volunteering to have calls redirected to their own mobiles or land lines for an hour or so a week. The caller would not be able to identify your mobile or land line number as they will have rung the BBKA swarm help line initially and then the call is diverted.  The swarm line is open between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Fridays but busy times are late mornings onward. It will be easy for volunteers to opt in and out of the system so this is not a forever commitment.  We will arrange a zoom meeting for potential volunteers to discuss how this will work in practice.  If you want to consider joining the team and would like more information (without committing yourself) please email me:

Apiary News.  The A-Team are starting to do wonders with the apiary.  I am hoping to hold members open days by late June when we will invite you there to discuss bees and open hives and show you what is going on.  Watch this space for dates.   

Asian Hornet. AHAT training is a module on the BBKA website and is easy to complete. In readiness for the Asian Hornet arrival, I would like to encourage you all to take this course.  It only take a short time. Here are the links:- For the training: know more about the hornet:-

An important date for your diary is Saturday 9 October 2021 when we have the Wiltshire Bee and Honey Show in Devizes.  I am sure there will be volunteers needed so do watch this space, and do get your Honey and Bee products ready for showing – need to really do a big splash to make up for having to cancel last year. 

Finally, I have attach details of the BBKA  Spring Convention.

Best wishes,


Chairman Kennet Beekeepers Association