Chairmans Letter – May 2021

Dear Kennet BeeKeeper,

Beekeeping now really starts to get going in May, so be prepared for swarms, putting on supers and generally inspecting your bees.  In the Horton Road Apiary we have started to paint the social area and to   make the place more pleasant to visit.  Dick Church has kindly given KBKA two colonies, so we now have six, in the Apiary.  In one of the original colonies we had one pink marked Queen who was refusing to lay any eggs over the last two weeks so last week we removed her and put a new frame of eggs into the hive, from the bees provided by Dick. Hopefully when the A-Team takes a look next Monday (weather permitting) we will find new Queen cells and that colony can start the season with a new Queen.  

Note for your Diary. In July we are, hopefully,  allowed to get back to normal.  A date for your diary should now be  Wednesday 7 July at 7.30 when we can, for the first time for two seasons say “Meet the Membership and talk Bees”.  I hope this will be a sociable occasion where we can all meet each other face to face, see old friends and hold a general discussion about how all our bees are doing during this season.  I hope all those who the committee have yet to meet, can be there so we can get to know you all, and you get to know us. This will all be at Bishops Cannings Village Hall SN10 2LA.

Asian Hornet.  Wiltshire BKA are looking for a new Asian Hornet coordinator.  Are you that person?  This could be an interesting role being in contact with the other Associations within Wiltshire and perhaps running a trial emergency test run.  We have 160+ members in KBKA and I really do hope that someone offers to do this.  I shall wait in anticipation to hear from several of you wanting the job – please don’t let me live in hope!

I would really like to encourage all those that have never taken their BBKA Basic Exam. It really is easy and fun and gives you a feeling of achieving something in your hobby.  Also, we like members to have done their basic exam before they go out and collect swarms. If you want to do the exam contact our education secretary Emma Morley on email:-

KBKA is looking for a Honey Manager to keep a record of our stocks of honey, jars and perhaps help extracting and bottling.  Maybe finding outlets to sell our honey and keeping a record of what is sold and checking that the money has gone to the treasurer.  You will need some space to hold the stock, and it would be good if you could attend some of the fetes and fairs where honey is sold. Let me know if you are interested.

Honeybee Times Editor.  WBKA are looking for someone to become editor of this electronic local beekeeping publication. For someone with writing and publication skills this would be a nice job.  Only one, or more if you have the time, publications a year.  Let me know if you are interested.

Our next Zoom talk is by Richard Oliver on managing swarms – on Wednesday 5th May login from 7.13 pm for prompt start at 7.30. “Swarms – Whys and Wherefores” and will be a topical and practical talk on what beekeepers can expect to find in the coming main swarming month of May, June and July. All who are worried about dealing with swarms should be watching this talk from Richard who is one of our members.  Have your questions ready.

KBKA talk :-

Topic: Swarms – Whys and Wherefores by Richard Oliver
Time: May 5, 2021 07:15 pm join early meeting to start at 7.30 pm
(See Email for Zoom details)

COLOSS Winter Loss Survey 2020 : Kennet area COLOSS English survey for 2021, COLOSS is again asking for your help in disseminating and completing the Spring Hive Losses Survey for this year.  COLOSS would like to invite all English beekeepers to complete the hive loss survey; in particular they would like to get a better handle on data for our Kennet  area.  I would like to invite all KBKA members to complete the survey.  Last year they received 1255 valid responses which represents about 4% of all beekeepers in England, this year they hope to  improve on this and get a more accurate picture of Winter losses.  I have done the survey and found it interesting – you can print your answers out at the end which is nice.The survey can be access through the following link:-

Hope you are all keeping well.

Best wishes,


Chairman Kennet Beekeepers Association