Chairman’s letter – June 2023

Dear Kennet Beekeeper,

There have been so many swarms this May some days up to 6 on our swarm list, if I remember correctly.  So for the next club meeting on Wednesday 7 June at Bishop Cannings village hall 7.30 pm I will be bringing in two empty hives to demonstrate how to do an artificial swarm and add to Richard Oliver’s talk and show the use of the Cloak Board in beekeeping.  I hope Richard will join in with this open discussion.  The artificial swarm always looks complex in books but with my demonstration (it will be  with empty hives)  you will either fully understand the process or go away even more confused than ever!!  But next club meeting is next Wednesday and will be a bee discussion evening. I hope all members attending will bring up any questions or problems they are having this season.  We are also going to have a BOOK AUCTION of some of our old library books – so bring some cash along.

The 2022/23 Winter Survival Survey. The BBKA would like you to take a few minutes to complete this short, anonymous questionnaire.  The questionnaire will remain open until Sunday June 18th.  Quite thought provoking as you have to remember what happened to your bees last winter!

A special offer has been made to all members by The Screening Room at Parade House Trowbridge is delighted to offer you a reduced rate for tickets for our showing of the extraordinary documentary HONEYLAND on Thursday 15th June at 8pm. To book tickets just go to:- (and to access please see email).  I have seen HONEYLAND and I can thoroughly recommend it. – quite an eye opener as to how some people have to live!

Honey Manager & Team.  We are looking for someone to manage our honey extraction and honey sales.  In the past all new apiary equipment has been largely funded by our honey sales. With that in mind I need to tell you that our KBKA Committee unanimously agreed to spend up to 4K of the clubs money (that we have been saving over the years to make improvements) on building the new Honey Kitchen for extraction.  When this is fully working we hope that members without equipment at home will take full advantage of the facilities. These will also prove to be a fantastic training facility for new beekeepers and those wishing to improve their honey extraction techniques.  A great facility at our apiary  for our club to have. So with these exciting development in sight would you like to be KBKA Honey Manager or part of the Honey Team? Remember our club is run and maintained by volunteers, your club needs you!  To express your interest please let Elaine our Secretary know:-

June KBKA diary:-

  • Sat 3rd June – No Apiary Session
  • Wed 7th June club night at Bishops Cannings Village Hall, doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
  • Sat 10th June – Open Apiary, where beginners and experienced beekeepers alike are encouraged to attend.  1pm-3pm 
  • Sat 17th June – No Apiary Session
  • Sat 24th June – Open Apiary, where beginners and experienced beekeepers alike are encouraged to attend.  1pm-3pm 

The Basic Bee Exam.  For all BeeKeepers.  There is still time to put your name down for the Basic assessment this year. It’s a great way to build confidence in your knowledge. The pass rate is over 90% and provided you pass your entry fee will be fully refunded.  What is ther to lose?   At the bottom of this email I have included Andrea’s, one of last year’s students, when she shares her experience with us, including some useful tips. If I have persuaded you to take the Basic please contact Richard Oliver:-

Do go to one of KBKA Apiary visits on a Saturday.  Elaine has given the apiary two very comfortable sofas and, when I was there last, I felt like just drinking tea and have a chat about bees – which I did!  A big thank you to Jeremy for all the very hard work he has done to get the place up and running – I hope over the summer that all members go and pay a visit, and if they have time, please volunteer to help out. Bring your CLEAN bee suit if you have one, but there are a limited supply of club suits that can be used on the day.  

Out Apiary opportunity at Marlborough. We have been approached by a gentleman in the Marlborough area who owns a 3 acre field that is being made into a flower meadow. If you are interested in this opportunity give Elaine a shout for more details.

Finally, Elaine is looking to see if she can trace the beekeeper who keeps bees at the Ramsbury Estates at Marlborough? If it is you or if you think you know who it is, please could you drop Elaine a quick email. Many thanks

Hope to see you at some of our events – and do come and say hallo.

All best wishes,