Witney Bees Winter Talks #2 by Ged Marshall

Witney Bees are pleased to invite members of OBKA to the second of their winter talks by an authority on bees Ged Marshall – ‘Master Bee Farmer’:

‘Swarm control – without nine day checks’

The talks is at 1930 hrs on Wednesday 14th November in the Wesley Room in Witney.

Full details, including a bio of Ged, are in the Events calendar.

Beginners Course 2018 – Achievement certificates

Congratulations to everyone who successfully completed the course this year. Hopefully many of you will get your first colony of bees next Spring and start the exciting and absorbing experience of seeing your colony develop successfully. If you would like to receive a Certificate of Achievement – the criterion being attendance at four or more of the training sessions – please email me and I will send it to you by return.

Pete Chaunt

Do you have any honey for sale?

Ian Gorlay (ian.gourlay@plants.ox.ac.uk) has contacted to Association to ask if anyone has 30lb  tubs of honey to sell. He tells us:

 

‘Not a good year for me? Lost 2/3rds of my stocks and all of Bridewell’s by late spring!

 

However, regained numbers by mid summer thru mostly swarms entering empty hives! Including one at Bridewell on our first open day in May (numerous visitors informing me of a swarm going down thru’ the vinyard to empty hives)!

 

Never the less virtually no honey (except the one at Bridewell)! I conclude a combination of new colonies and everything drying up in such a hot summer?

 

I just wondered if (anyone at the Association ) might have some honey for sale in 30lb tubs, say three or four.’

 

If you can help Ian please contact him directly using his email address, above.

Asian Hornet identified in Fowey, Cornwall 04 Sep

Government announce the National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in the Fowey area of south Cornwall.

See Here for full details.

Be vigilant!

59th BBKA ADM – Your input requested!

The Annual Delegate Meeting is held in January each year. Each Area Association Member (AAM) is invited to send a delegate to receive a report from the Executive Committee for the previous financial year, to elect Trustees, Members of the Exam Board and to vote on propositions setting the policy of the BBKA.

 

Peter Chaunt is the OBKA rep at the 2019 ADM on 12 January 2019.   If any member of our Association has a burning issue they would like discussed at the above event, would they please send him a draft proposition (max 250 words) by Friday 28th September. This can then be discussed at our OBKA Committee meeting on 1st October, and if supported will be put forward to the BBKA by the 19th October deadline. If a proposal involves a financial outlay, an estimate of the cost must be included in the proposal.

PoshBee – Participate in a BBKA / EU Bee project

BBKA are very fortunate in being part of a brand new, exciting project, involving many European countries and funded by the EU. The project, named PoshBee, is designed to determine the exposure of bees to a range of chemicals and assess the levels of pests and diseases and nutritional status, and the impacts these may have on the health of honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees in a field realistic way rather than in laboratory studies. Prof. Simon Potts (Reading University) and Prof. Mark Brown (Royal Holloway College) have been the guiding lights in getting this application drawn up and finally approved.

 

This is going to be a wonderful opportunity for some of our members to take part in real scientific experiments and initially we are looking for volunteers in Kent and in Berkshire or Oxfordshire who would be interested in taking part next year.

 

For further information including how to take part please see this leaflet:  PoshBee introduction call for volunteers

Beekeepers fear Asian hornet fight is being lost

Beekeepers in Jersey are becoming concerned that they are losing the fight against the Asian Hornet; some 7 hives have been lost in the last week to them.

For more information please see this article from the Jersey Evening Post,

Can you help with the Training Apiary Bee Garden?

The Bee Garden adjacent to the Teaching Apiary needs your help. A small group of volunteers meet every other Sunday morning from 10.30 to 12.00 weather permitting. Our group has for one reason or another dwindled over this summer and we are looking for members to bridge the gap. Summer holidays, ageing relatives and a future replacement hip are all factors which have impacted on our time. Over the last few years we have made quite a difference to the garden and this summer we have seen many honeybees, bumbles and butterflies on the shrubs.

 

If you can spend an hour or so please join us on Sunday 12 August at 10.30 and bring along your favourite gardening tools. If you want more information you can contact Merilyn Rees on 01865 764295.

Help a business with their apiary?

An organisation based in Didcot wants to keep bees on their property and has asked OBKA if there is anyone who might be able to help them. For more information contact the OBKA Chair, Phil Sharman.

BBC Book of the Week – Buzz – all about bees!

This week the BBC’s Book of the Week is BUZZ: THE NATURE AND NECESSITY OF BEES by Dr Thor Hanson. The first episode was today and was fascinating, about how bees came about (from wasps, he speculates).

 

The BBC’s web page for Buzz is https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b8mz2f 

 

And more details of the book can be found on Dr Hanson’s website https://www.thorhanson.net/buzz.html