Chairmans Newsletter – June 2021

Dear Beekeeper,

I must start this month’s newsletter about Swarm Collecting. It has come to our notice that a member has been charging for swarm collections.  This is not KBKA nor BBKA policy to charge for swarm collections as this is a free service carried out by approved members.  In future we will remove any member from the swarm collecting list should it be found that charging has taken place for this service. BBKA covers all members for public liability when collecting swarms to the sum of £10,000,000.  This insurance is made null and void if a charge is made. We are a responsible beekeeping Association and our reputation is paramount. If you should hear of a swarm that needs collecting, please contact our swarm coordinator Paul Bollen, on swarms@kennet-beekeepers.co.uk or 07966 150 603 he will contact the nearest approved swarm collector to the area. Please do not put it on the club’s WhatsApp group as I did by mistake earlier this week, as we wish to monitor the effectiveness of how well we are doing. 

At last we are seeing some warm weather and those new to beekeeping will realise how the bees suddenly become busy and the Queen begins to lay and all those colonies that were thinking of swarming will do so in the next few days!  Also some will lose their bees if they have not checked the level of stores during the wettest May I have known.  So for beekeepers now it is ACTION STATIONS – you must check your bees.  I hope that most of you are saying to yourself “Why is Robert writing this – I know this”. The answer to this is because every year the bees catch out some beekeepers by either swarming or starving – And I don’t want it to be you!

The first Apiary open day for all members is scheduled to be 10.30 am on Sunday 4 July unless the Covid rules change.  This will be at our Horton Road Apiary (see email for details on location) .  It will be the first time members will be able to meet for over a year. Bring your bee suit and come and see the apiary and meet the “A-Team”.  We will open a few hives and do a bit of general discussion. 

KBKA next talk:

Topic: The Inspector Introduces Herself with Avril Earl
Time: June 2, 2021 07:15 pm join early meeting to start at 7.30 pm
(See Email for Zoom details)

Having our bee inspector talk to us is a good reminder for all new members and to remind the rest of us to register your hives/update your details on BeeBase at the National Bee Unit:http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm? That way you will be kept up to date with diseases and pests in your area. You can use http://www.gridreferencefinder.com/ to identify the exact grid reference of your apiary.

A reminder that many members are finding the KBKA WhatsApp group to be very useful as it is where you can get immediate answers (not always correct!) to beekeeping questions. If you wish to join just go to: https://chat.whatsapp.com/DgkS2BzNhk52EMqbheS0Rm – although you may wish to silence notifications as it is a large and active group.

As most of us seem to increase our colonies during the year, could I remind you that you must have the correct number of colonies insured for bee Disease Insurance.  If you could reassess the number of colonies you plan to keep this year, and if necessary upgrade their BDI insurance. This usually only costs £2-£3 extra for a few extra hives. If you need to increase the number of hives just talk to Sophie. membership@kennet-beekeepers.co.uk

Finally, I have attached the latest news from BBKA and an invite to the BDI AGM for those members who are interested.

All Best Wishes,

Robert

Robert Carpenter Turner, KBKA Chairman