Chairman’s Letter – April 2024

Dear Kennet BeeKeeper,

First of all we have our next lecture and talk on Wednesday 3rd April at Bishop Cannings village hall.  So far this year I have been very disappointed at numbers of KBKA members that have turned up for the talks, we have averaged only about 30 people per talk out of a membership of over 150 ! This talk is by Clare Densley and Martin Hann, the famous duo from Buckfast and they are here in person to talk about “Sex and the Virgin Queen”.  Now what more appealing title could you have !!  They will be coming all the way from Buckfast Abbey,  that’s about 120 miles and then going home that evening so a round trip of 240 miles – so that is why I want to get them a good turnout.  Do come,  and remember you can bring family or friends as your guests.

Swarms.  We are now entering the swarming season and all members, especially those registering to collect swarms, are recommended to go to our Swarm Collecting and Training session on Saturday 6th April from 10.00 – 12.00 at Bishop Cannings Village Hall.   A useful reminder and discussion session for us all.  No registration just turn up.  

Asian Hornet.  The risk is still very much with us and I have had the following information from the BBKA. This document is well worth reading and will give you the answers to your questions.

  1. Asian Hornet Risk Assessment
  2. Protocol for Spring Trapping of AH Queens
  3. Protocol for Asian Hornet Monitoring Traps
  4. BBKA Insurance FAQs (with added AH questions)
  5. If you have any questions or comments please send them to

You all now know about Asian Hornets and may know that we have already had sightings in the UK this year. We needs verifiers and people to set out bait stations. Will you help? What is involved?  When an Asian hornet is reported to the NBU without a photo, they have to check if it is an Asian Hornet before they send out a team to deal with it. This is where verifiers come in. The NBU/AHAT Branch lead will ring the verifier in the postcode nearest the sighting and ask them to put out a bait station and watch what comes to it. You will get guidance on how to do this.  Email Sophie:- and say ‘YES to AH Verifier’.  We would also like to invite you to set up a bait station in a sheltered part of your garden/windowsill where you can observe insects coming and going during the day. To take up this offer, email Sophie:- and say ‘YES to a bait station’ and we will send you instructions on what to do.  Meanwhile, please contact the editor of your local parish magazine and ask them to publish an article about Asian Hornets. Here is something they can use:  If you have already done this with your article, please send a copy of the article to Sophie. 

See below for details of FREE online talks during April.

The bees are hopefully avoiding the raindrops and will be bringing in the stores. Just check they have enough food for next few weeks, throw out any mice, and remove or close up any colonies that have not made it through the winter.  Good luck with you beekeeping.   I hope to see loads of you at this coming Wednesday’s talk:-  “Sex and the Virgin Queen”

All best wishes