Chairman’s Letter – July 2024

Dear Kennet BeeKeeper,

We are now halfway through the year and the nights are getting longer again.  It has been a fairly hard year for our bees with the very wet winter and they now seem to be making up for the winter losses with many swarms.  So this is an interesting year for all of us.

Our next meeting is at Bishops Cannings Village Hall on Wednesday 3rd July @ 7:30 pm, when we have a talk by Liam Olds on “Wiltshire’s Wild Bees, with a focus on Morgan’s Hill Nature Reserve”. This talk will discuss the fascinating lives of Britain’s solitary bees and bumblebees, covering aspects such as lifecycle, behaviour, and nesting and foraging preferences, with a focus on the special species found in Wiltshire and at the nearby Morgan’s Hill Nature Reserve.  You might want to take a walk up there before the talk to see what you can find.

On Saturday 20th July we hope to have a Drone Congregation Area walk with BeeCraft’s Stephen Fleming. Stephen is away at the moment but has told me he is worried about the weather and finding a good DCA this year.  He writes:-  I am concerned about the weather – we need at least 19C, sunny or sunny intervals without too much breeze  – and that isn’t very common at the moment. However, the forecast should be able to tell us that with reasonable accuracy three or four days ahead. So please bear with us and I will email you all three or four days before the event with the details of the place and time.  But it will be in the afternoon. If the weather fails us it will be postponed to Saturday 27 July in the afternoon.  The last time we did a walk with Stephen it was quite thrilling and sort of exciting watching the drones suddenly appear as if from nowhere to chase his Queen lure. Well worth putting in your diary – now!

Do you have a garden or field frontage on a main road?  If so the Wiltshire Beekeepers would like to ask you if you would be willing to put up a poster (not for the political Bees United Party – I think we will all have had enough of politics for weeks!) but for the Wiltshire Bee and Honey Day,  advertising the event the week or so before 12 October. If you can do this without upsetting anyone or causing a blind spot on the road, Sophie would love to hear from you at email:-  The hope is that we can bring this Honeyshow to much wider public attention.  

Despite my best efforts, I am failing to get anyone to take over from me as your KBKA Chair. I will be retiring later this year. Please put yourself forward. You will get an excellent committee who will support you all the way.  What does the job entail? Chairing our KBKA Committee about 6 times a year. Arrange with our Secretary about the meetings and check the agenda before it goes to the committee. Write a monthly newsletter.   I tend to be aware of most trends in beekeeping, read most of the bee press,  and check up on what NBU (National Bee Unit) is doing and who is our Bee Inspector.  I put the year’s programme together but that could be done by others. I try to attend all club lectures/meetings and committees and hope to be at several Apiary days.  I am a Trustee of Wiltshire BeeKeepers which has four meetings per year. Do call me if you think you could take over – it would be great for me to know that I had passed on the batten to someone who wanted to help guide KBKA into the future. 

Hope to see many of you at Liam Olds talk this Wednesday – it will be fascinating.

Best wishes