Chairman’s Letter – Mid March 2023

Dear Kennet Beekeepers,

As the start of our beekeeping year starts to ramp up, there are a number of notifications to send out to you which merits an additional mid-month edition of our newsletter.

The first of which is to let you know that this season Richard Oliver will be running an improvers course which is aimed at experienced beekeepers who have either been keeping bees for a few years or already taken their Basic assessment. The sessions will take place on Saturdays and some evenings from the end of April and will be a mixture of theory and practical at both the club apiary and at Richard’s home apiary. If you’re interested in taking part, please contact Emma Morley so that she can add your name to the list.

The course will broadly cover:

  1. Handling skills
  2. Comb change
  3. Making nucs
  4. Diseases
  5. Swarm control
  6. Queen rearing
  7. Finding and marking queens (practicing on drones and workers)

2. Chippenham Eco event, is taking place on Saturday 15th April 2023 as previously advised in Roberts newsletter, if you would like to sell some honey or products please contact Elaine for more information. 

3. Avon Beekeepers have on the same day as the Chippenham event (15.04.23), extended an invitation to all KBKA members to join them for their spring study day. Please find attached their PDF providing all the information.

3.The Bath & West show will shortly be upon us and I would urge you to think about putting in an entry or helping at the event, or even better BOTH! Please see the attached document from Chris Rawlings who is coordinating the event.

4.There is also an update from Bees abroad, one of our Wiltshire Bee & Honey Day sponsors: Bee Part of the Green Story!

Celebrate World Earth Day and World Bee Day (April 20 – May 20) with Bees Abroad! Celebrate the role bees play, caring for and protecting our environment and support transformational projects across Africa.  

Follow the story, from elephants and bees in a Ugandan village, to crop pollination for Bee Farmers on Crutches in Sierra Leone, to protected forested areas across Africa where bees are saving trees. Celebrate the value of honey, generating income and improving livelihoods for beekeepers. Get involved and help raise funds to support beekeeping projects that will improve livelihoods for economically and environmentally disadvantaged communities across Africa. 

5.Finally, we have been approached by a PhD student, Morgan Morrison who is studying pollinator conservation and citizen intervention at Royal Holloway, university of London and needs our help, if you are interested in helping to save important flower visiting insects all from the comfort of your garden? The study requires participants for the citizen science study ‘Optimow’. 

As members of a beekeepers association, your interests and existing knowledge could make us great participants for the study. Morgan’s research is looking to explore the best way you can mow your lawn to make your gardens a better place for important pollinating insects. The study would only take 15-20 minutes a week, all from your garden in May. If you are interested in taking part you can sign up using the following link to the google form which provides more details and to register your interest? (See Email for details)
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact Morgan by email (See email for details) Please note: The email address has been created for the study and is not Morgan’s academic email. If you’re apprehensive to click unknown links please google ‘mark brown lab optimow’. This will provide you with information and a sign up page. 

Best Regards

Elaine Lewis

KBKA Secretary