Chairmans Letter – July 2021

Dear Kennet Beekeeper,

I am very aware that I have still to meet many of our new beekeepers.  With yet more COVID rules we will have to change our next meeting on Wednesday 7 July from the village hall at Bishops Canning to a zoom meeting which was when I had hoped we could all meet face to face.  This zoom meeting  will be a general discussion for you to ask questions and hopefully get an answer or if you are lucky several answers!   I will act as chair and our panel of experts will be Richard Oliver and Richard Peterson. That should be confusing with two Richards!  Here are the details:-

KBKA Beekeepers Question Time

Topic: KBKA Beekeepers Question Time
Time: July 7, 2021 07:15 pm join early meeting to start at 7.30 pm
(See Email for Zoom details)

Also the Apiary Open date has had to be moved.  It will now be Saturday 24 July at 10.30.  Bring your bee suites and we will demonstrate several methods of checking for Varroa.  We will demonstrate the Varroa Wash, and counting mites on an insert board that has a covering of Vaseline.  To start the demo, we will sprinkle icing sugar on a colony and count the mite drop at the end of the session.  Everyone should know about varroa.

Bath & West Show is smaller this year and being held 27-29 August, if you would like to help with the bee stall please contact Chris Rawlings on email:-

Wiltshire BKA has no spray liaison officer so I need to encourage our members to register at which aims to bring farmers and beekeepers together, by keeping beekeepers notified when a neighbouring farmer is applying insecticides to their crops.

I am always looking for new sites for KBKA to have a permanent teaching apiary.  Our Horton Road site is really good but it belongs to the Crown Property portfolio and we only have a rolling 6 month tenure.  If I can get the Crown to give us a lease on a pepper corn rent then we would be able to apply for a grant to do it up.  So if you know of anything that might be suitable do let me know.

Our branch Treasurer Willian Allen, has given notice that he wishes to retire at our AGM in October.  The role of Treasurer is an important position in KBKA – could you do this important job for us?  It would be good if you could volunteer for this – please let me know.

Now we are in the beginning of the honey extracting season.  KBKA has two extractors, one a 4 frame radial with a small leak and is kept at Dicks (email:- and can be hired at a cost of £10.  Kept at my house, a much heavier metal stainless radial extractor taking 8 super frames or four 14×12 brood frames  with a base board that can be attached for greater stability, can be hired for £13. We need members to offer to do some club extracting – so in the hope some members will help and the extractor will be FREE to you – all we ask is that you put the honey into honey buckets ready for bottling.

An opportunity has been offered to keep bees at a property in Axford between Marlborough and Ramsbury. Sitting on the river Kennet, with an orchard, meadow and gardens would seem an idyllic site to locate your bees. If you are interested and want to take a look, please contact our secretary Elaine, on her email  (Click to send Email to Secretary)

Finally, as an FYI the film HONEYLAND, which some of you have seen but others may have missed. It is being shown at the Trowbridge Town Hall on 23rd July 2021. If you are interested please find the details in this link:

Hope to see many of you at the zoom meeting or the Apiary open day.

All best wishes,

Robert Carpenter Turner, KBKA Chairman