Chairman’s letter – October 2023

Dear Kennet Beekeepers,

You will be getting this October News Letter a few day early as I want to remind you to check on the deadlines for entries, and to register should you want to sell your honey, all at the Wiltshire Bee and Honey Day on Saturday 7 October.   Also some of our Beekeeping Modules start at the end of week!

First of all our next club meeting, on Wednesday 4 October, may well be of interest to other friends of yours as this covers “Wild pollinators and how we can help them”  by Simon Smart. Simon is a Conservation Adviser and works with a group of local farmers who have formed the ‘Pewsey Downs Farmers Group’, a collection of neighbouring farmers working collaboratively to enhance the local landscape for wildlife. The group was formed in 2016 and now includes more than 20 farmers, covering over 10,000 hectares on the chalk downland and Vale between Devizes and Pewsey.  I have heard Simon talk and I would recommend his talk to anyone interested in our local countryside.  So open to friends and family.

In January 2024, our Wiltshire BBKA delegate will be attending the BBKA’s Annual Delegates Meeting.  This is the meeting when we can raise questions about the running of the British BeeKeepers Association and make suggestions for making BBKA better.  If you have anything you would like to put to the management of BBKA please let me know within the next two weeks, and I will forward it to the delegate at our next WBKA trustees meeting. 

December Club night, will be the night of our Annual Skittles Challenge, and it takes place on Friday 1st December at the Conservative Club, Long Street, Devizes. Along with an evening’s entertainment of skittles there will be a buffet and Tea and Coffee will also be served. The bar will be open for those who wish to partake in a drink. Tickets are £15 per head (including the skittles and the buffet.) Elaine will take payments by cash or card at the October club night on Wednesday 4th October, so book early, for this fun night!  Or contact her directly at for alternative payment arrangements.

Education News:

The following training will be available over the winter months:

Module 2: Honey Bee Products and Forage. Rachael Banyard will be running a Module 2 course at the Lansdowne Hotel, Calne from 7 to 9pm on:

Starts 28th September then 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th October and 2nd November with a practice exam on 9th November. The exam date is Saturday 18th November.

If you need any further information, please contact Rachael directly at:-

Module 6 or 7Subject to interest. Richard Oliver will be running either a Module 6: Honey Bee Behaviour or Module 7:  Selection and Breeding of Honey Bees course by Zoom starting in late November and running through to late February. The exam, for those who wish to take it, is on 23rd March.  Please let Richard Oliver know your preference for 6 or 7. Richard can be contacted at

Microscopy Group

After a lapse of three years due to Covid Richard Oliver will reconvene the Microscopy Group over the next few months. Anyone is welcome. Location: Garden Room of Easterton Village Hall, Easterton, SN10 4PS. What3Words: (carpeted.exhale.editor) will deliver you to the car park!  Time: Sunday mornings 09.30 to 12.30 including setting up and packing up time. Any further clarification can be found by contacting Richard Oliver at

Dates: 5th November, 3rd December, 4th February, 10th March and 7th April

Asian Hornet:

Are we at Kennet fully prepared for the fight against Asian Hornet?

As I write this there have now been 54 AH nest destroyed this year – I think 51 more than last year!  So this is a growing pest to BeeKeepers.  Do we have more members willing to join the Asian Hornet teams? The role of an Asian Hornet team is described here – Do please all take a look:-

Hopefully you now have your bees almost ready for the winter and you have treated, or started treating for varroa. 

I hope to see many of you at Simon Smarts talk on 4th October and meet ALL of you at the  Bee and Honey Day.

Best wishes