Chairmans Letter – November 2021

Dear Kennet Beekeeper, This week I and several other members of KBKA, attended the funeral of Geraldine Lenert.  If you did not know Geraldine she was a leading member of West Wilts BKA and an expert at preparing honey and bee products for shows. She was always willing to share her knowledge with everyone and was our honey judge several years ago. There was a great turn out many in Bee Suits. Geraldine’s passing will be a great loss to West Wilts. We were advised that there should only be family flowers so with the unanimous approval of your KBKA committee we will make a donation of £100 to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.  If you wish to add to that the Air Ambulance donation website:- 

Our next meeting is Wednesday 3 November at Bishop Cannings Village hall at 7.30 pm.  I am sad to have to tell you that our speaker, Kevin Pope, is badly ill with COVID despite having had 2 jabs and as I write to you, he has had to cancel. We will hold the meeting as usual but have an informal discussion about bees and any related topic you care to mention.  I will ask Kevin for next year,  possibly January.  I was hopping for a good turn out for the talk as Elaine will be collecting payment for those wanting to go on the Skittles night out on 3rd  December.  If you are coming do remember to bring £8.00 to secure your place, this can be by cash or card payment. 

Module Study Group. Richard Oliver will be running a a Module 3 course this winter – that’s Honey Bee Pests, Diseases and Poisoning. Whilst I would hope that many on the course will wish to take the exam, just acquiring the knowledge is more important and will help make you a better beekeeper – taking the exam is not essential. Please contact Richard directly ( if you are interested in joining the study group, details of days and times are still to be decided. This particular module has lots of overlap with the Honeybee Health Certificate (the follow-on practical assessment from the Basic exam) so if you’re already thinking about doing one, you might consider both.  

Bee Buddy Volunteers. 
Our beginner’s course will take place again from February 2022. This year we had 30 students and we expect a similar amount next year. To this end, we need some experienced beekeepers who can buddy up with newbies to make sure that they have a sounding board for any issues that might arise during their first season. We all remember what it felt like to get our very first bees and how daunting it can be to come up against problems in your first year. As a bee buddy, you don’t need to be the font of all knowledge – even those of you who have been keeping bees for a couple of seasons will be able to help a complete beginner – I bet you know more than you think!  If you would like to help one of our new beekeepers; even if it is just by being on the end of a phone, please let Emma know so that she can add you to the list. Buddies will be paired with newbies on a geographical basis. 

Hive and frame assembly.  
We have had a number of request about this and I know how important it is to put your new hive flat pack together correctly.  So hopefully, in January, we will arrange a session for any member unsure about putting their hives and frames together.  You need to have your new equipment ready in the flat and bring it along to the session and either David Brown or myself will  help that you are put it together correctly.  We will try and book Bishop Cannings Village hall either on Saturday or a Sunday for this hive assembly session. If you are interested please respond to this by sending me an email. 

BBKA have advised us that our Public & Product Liability cover for BBKA members has been placed this year with Aviva Insurance  (last year’s insurer was Hiscox) consequently the Insurance FAQs have been reviewed and the document has been placed on the website for members to access. Further information can be found on the BBKA website and if you need a reminder on how to log in and navigate around the instructions are in this link do take a moment to read it. Finally, below you will find a Happy Halloween message to all beekeepers along with a link to a survey about varroa, which should you wish to complete it will take around 10 minutes or so. 

So is it a Trick or a Treat?   

Happy Halloween to all KBKA
best wishes