Chairman’s Letter – December 2023

Dear Kennet BeeKeepers,

My last newsletter for 2023 and how the time flies by when you are a beekeeper – there are always things to be doing.  So I start by welcoming all new members to KBKA and wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year.

The last event of the year on 1st December is the annual challenge for the highly prestigious challenge cup of a skittles player mounted upon a beehive, won last year by Martin Phipps.  I hope you have by now received your email confirmation of payment from Elaine, for those wishing to attend.

Monday 1st January at The APIARY  12.00 noon on New Years Day KBKA get together for all members. We will first demonstrate trickling Oxalic Acid for varroa on a few hives, followed by a social gathering when you bring some mulled wine and mince pies etc., to share around. Bring your bee suits if you want to see and/or help with the Oxalic acid treatment.  But just bring yourself dressed up warm, and stay in the shelter of the apiary buildings and have your first bee chat of the year.

Wednesday 3rd January at 7.300 our first club meeting of 2024 which will be a general discussion about Asian Hornet and all the steps we can do to check if it is about, when to check and how to do it.  We will be showing the Asian Hornet BBKA official U Tube videos.  However on the 6th January there is South West Beekeepers Forum Asian Hornet Conference. The conference is at The Canalside Conference Centre, Marsh Lane Bridgwater TA6 6LQ.  Wiltshire BKA will refund the ticket charge of £10 to all who attend this conference and have passed the BBKA Asian Hornet training exercise. I would like to encourage those who have done the BBKA exercise to go, share a car and claim back your £10. Click HERE FOR TICKETS KBKA is  the biggest Association in Wiltshire but we do not yet have a AHAT team leader.  Could that be YOU ! 

Saturday 27th January at 9.30am-1.00pm at Bishops Cannings Village Hall, Our annual frame making morning. This session is ideal for beginners to learn how to assemble frames correctly and for those who are more experienced, your knowledge is welcomed in helping out the newer beekeepers. This session also servers to get ahead of the game in frame assembly in support the needs of the club apiary. More details will be in the January newsletter, but for now its a date for your diary. 

We now have dates for Richard Oliver’s module 6 study sessions that start in December.  Study sessions will take place on Monday evenings, 7pm-9pm via Zoom on the following dates-

11th December: Introduction, 8th January,15th January, 22nd  January, 5th February, 11th February, 19th February

As with any other of our study groups, you can attend without taking the exam at the end. The content of the study and background reading involved will help you become a better beekeeper.  Further detail do contact Emma on

Additionally, Rachael Banyard is prepared to run an in person study group for module 3 starting 25th January 2024 for 8 weeks meeting at the Lansdowne Arms hotel in Calne 7-9pm. Please let Emma know if you are interested in attending the sessions and this will be Co-ordinated through to Rachael.

A PhD student, John Futcher studying at Kingston University, is looking into how computer vision can help beekeeping.  He is conducting a  completely  anonymously survey into beekeepers’ attitudes towards varroa. Please go to:-  and do the survey, it just about monitoring and treating techniques, using computer technology.  Closes on the 16th December 2023.

All best wishes