Chairman’s Letter – February 2024

Dear Kennet BeeKeeper,

Here is my second NewsLetter of the year.  I try to get most news in this one monthly letter so you don’t get several odd but related bee emails during the month. This is my drive for less emails – but one important one you all read!

First of all by now you should have all received, in the post, the KBKA 2024 Programme of all our main events during this year. Do keep it handy.  Each month I will enlarge on all the events for the coming month and give further details about the talks and the speaker.  Also additional apiary news, educational courses news and any Asian Hornet information will appear in these monthly letters.

On Wednesday 7th February at Bishop Cannings village hall 7:30 pm we have a talk by a very experienced beekeeper Dave Bonner who will be speaking on “Queen rearing on a queenright colony – using the Miller method and a Cloake board” For those of you who have no idea what a cloake board is now is the time to find out, but far more importantly it is about rearing you own queens.  This talk is followed next month by “Sex and the virgin queen” so both talks are a must for anyone rearing their own Queens.  Hope to see you there.

Kennet Beekeepers needs YOU!  Asian Hornet.  With a club the size of Kennet there must be one of you who would take on being the lead and contact for the AHAT (Asian Hornet Action Team). There is an opportunity to work with honey production to ensure that we provide a continuous supply to 2 local retailers and we also need someone to stand as Treasurer at the next AGM, and someone to replace me as Chairperson.  I have been doing it for, I think 11 years, and I would like to hand on to someone who would enjoy this post as much as I have. Could it be YOU?

Just for the record KBKA has ordered 40. Gard’Apis – Complete Asian Hornet traps.  These are the traps that do not catch the European Hornet and release the smaller insects while trapping the Asian Hornet. These traps cost £25 but we hopfuly have a special bulk order with Hampshire BKA and I can sell them for £18.00 – do you want one?  If so email me.

The Basic Assessment.  I would like to encourage everyone to take this fairly simple course to increase your beekeeping knowledge and skills, even if you’ve been keeping bees for a few years already. If you started beekeeping just before the Covid lockdown you will have missed some of the formal learning opportunities that would otherwise have been available. Also, if you took part in one of our 2023 beginner’s courses, the Basic Assessment is the next step for you.  All information is at the bottom of this email together with a glowing review about the course – go on contact our Education Sectary,  Emma ( and book on for the Basic Assessment – you will not regret it !

There are several other bee courses posters attached at bottom of this page – do take a look.

Finally the Wiltshire BKA (of which you are all members) holds its annual AGM TOMORROW on Tuesday 30 January 2024 at the Corn Exchange, Devizes at 7pm. Followed by the Annual Winter Lecture, which this year will be given by BeeCraft co-editor Stephen Fleming; he will be speaking about The Magic and Mystery of Drone Congregation Area (DCA).  Stephen is taking a DCA walk for KBKA members on Saturday 20th July so this will be a good introduction to this subject – I expect this to be one of our most popular events – so do turn up for his talk.

All best wishes