Chairmans Letter – August 2022

Dear Kennet Beekeepers, 

The year is passing by rather fast and we have a drought that will make nectar supplies a bit short for some bees.  Now is the time to take your honey and really to begin to prepare your bees for winter by making sure that there is a low varroa count.  At the club apiary over the past 6 weeks we have done several checks for varroa and found it thankfully low.  

At the apiary on Wednesday 10 August at 6.00 pm we are going to put clearer boards on all hives with honey and the following day again at 6.00 pm we will remove all cleared honey and hopefully treat all colonies for varroa with Api Life Var thymol strips. All members are welcome to come to these apiary visits. You may like to see this YouTube video:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IXgOdSTggs.  Why treat all the hives?  Some of the hives have shown that we have DWB (deformed wing virus) a virus that is brought on by varroa, even though varroa did not show up strongly in our tests.  All advice shows that you treat the whole apiary to beat varroa and not just the odd hive, so that is what we will do this year.  Remembering that all the bees born in September/October need to be extra healthy as they are our winter bees who look after the colony and it’s Queen for nearly 5 months.   

Talking of Honey.  This coming Wednesday 3 August at 7.30 pm we have a really practical talk ‘Preparing honey and bee products for show’ by Chris Rawlings.  Chris knows almost everything there is to know about making you honey look really good,  and there are no slides at this talk,  just practical demonstration of how to make the most out of all that comes out of your hive.  

Its all about the Presentation, and look out for an email from Elaine early next week with all the details about our Kennet Honey show, which takes place in September. 

Honey bee health day. We now know so much more about the Asian Hornet and no doubt Nigel Semmence, the NBU’s Contingency Planning and Science officer, (and he used to be my boss) will cover this and SHB (Small Hive Beetle) and Tropilaelaps in his opening talk. He will be followed by John Geden, our Regional Bee Inspector. After lunch there will be three workshops covering Apiary Hygiene, Varroa and AFB and EFB. There is EFB in the county so this is the ideal opportunity for you to see and handle infected frames so that you know what to look for. A must go to for everyone!

Date:  Saturday 3rd September 2022

Location:  Market Lavington Community Hall, St Mary’s Road, Market Lavington SN10 4DG

Timings:  09.30 for a 10.00 start. Finish by 16.00

Register:  The event is free.   But everybody’s asked to register to give an idea of numbers attending. The link is: https://bit.ly/beehealthwilts.

Refreshments available but bring your own picnic lunch.

Richard Oliver who is running the event could do with a few more helpers;  raoliver.64@gmail.com.

So I hope to see many of you at one or better still all of these events.

All best wishes

Robert

Chairman Kennet Beekeepers Association