Chairman’s letter – April 2023

Dear Kennet Beekeepers,

This coming Saturday 1st April a from 2.00 pm, is due to be the first Open Apiary session at our new apiary site. As always, opening up the bees is very much weather dependant, and the forecast for Saturday is not great. It may be that the afternoon session at the apiary could be cancelled and the best way to keep informed is to join our KBKA WhatsApp group so that you get an immediate notice. For those attending the frame making session in the morning in Bishop Cannings village hall, will happen whatever the weather. A useful tool to locate the new apiary is the app What3Words: (See email for code) and this code will get you right to the gate!  I hope! 

Our next talk on Wednesday 5 April at 7.30 pm  is The Plight of the Bumblebee by Gill Perkins.  You are welcome to bring guests to what I am sure you will all find an interesting talk by the CEO for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.  Bumblebees are endearing and familiar insects and  share a unique relationship with humans but their welfare is often framed in terms of threats to human interests such as economic impact, food security or production of goods. Gill will explore how these amazing creatures have their own intrinsic value and how all of us can help them to thrive. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was started in 2006 by Professor Dave Goulson and his PhD student Ben Darvill when their research showed an alarming decline with two species becoming extinct. All happening at Bishops Cannings Village Hall SN10 2LA .  Hope to see you there.

Mentors.  There are several new beekeepers who would like to find a mentor or even a bee buddy. If you feel you can offer to help some new beekeeper (and it should not be doing their beekeeping – it is just having someone around when they open their hives for the first few times.) could you let Sophie  know that you are willing to help.  As we cover such a large area it is sometime impossible to find an experienced beekeeper  near you – but it should be well worth asking.

Improvers class.  Richard Oliver is offering to take some improvers sessions to help members become even better at handling their bees and Queen Rearing. 

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.  This is aimed at experienced beekeepers who have either been keeping bees for a few years or already taken their Basic assessment. 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)

If you’re interested in taking part, please contact Emma ( so that she can add your name to the list.

Bee Craft are looking for new photos of Chalk Brood.  If you find any in your colonies this season do take a few shots – rather nice to have your photos in a bee publication – and send them to Richard Rickitt email:-

Wiltshire BKA are having a bee stand at the new Eco Festival at Chippenham Town Hall on Saturday 15 April.  If you wish to help out and have the opportunity to sell some of your honey then drop Elaine a line at

For those new to beekeeping it really starts to get busy in next few weeks so –BEE PREPARED

All best wishes