Dorset beekeeper Chris Slade is blogging about Lecture Day and declares that in spite of a long journey through Storm Dennis "It was worth it though and I’m glad I went."
Read all about it here: https://chrissladesbeeblog.wordpress.com/
We hope all who attended enjoyed the day and look forward to evaluating the online survey feedback.
There were more than 220 beekeepers at this year's annual Lecture Day held by SBKA on Saturday (Feb 15) - a record number for us and we sold out for the first time.
If you attended we will email you a short survey about the day in due course and we'd be grateful if you could complete it. Meanwhile, we will be looking at how to accommodate more beekeepers in future years.
Here's a snapshot of the day taken by our education officer Richard Bache MB. Our main photo shows Clive de Bruyn in full flow talking about how to go from winter to Spring.
The Annual Lecture Day on February 15 is FULLY BOOKED. It's great that so many of you are coming to this event and we're sorry to disappoint anyone who hasn't bought a ticket yet.
After Lecture Day we will review arrangements to see if we can accommodate more people in future years.
If you've bought a ticket but can't make it - let someone else come in your place
And remember to bring your ticket - either a prepaid paper ticket or an Eventbrite ticket - without it you won't be admitted!
SBKA has published a digital version of the Year Book for the first time.
Online publication makes the Year Book available to nearly all members, saves on the cost of print and is more environmentally friendly.
The Year Book is available for SBKA members to view and download in the members' only section of the website.
If you requested a printed copy through your Division's Secretary or Membership Secretary, it will be available after Lecture Day (Feb 15).
Thanks go to Year Book editor Bridget Knutson and officers from all Divisions who supplied information.
Somerset BKA’s new education support group, made up of four Master Beekeepers, has launched with a flying start.
There’s been an overwhelming response to news of our first county-wide queen rearing course, ‘How to rear your own queens when you only have two or three hives’.
Within hours of sending an email to members the course was three times over-subscribed. Currently tutors are looking at additional dates and will inform anyone who has registered an interest in due course.
Also, the training day later this month for members interested in taking the BBKA's honey bee health certificate is full.
Meanwhile, the group publishes articles in SBKA’s newsletter and on the website.
Somerset BKA with Devon BKA - on behalf of the South West Beekeepers’ Forum – organised a practical one-day training event for about 150 members of the region's Asian hornet action teams on January 25.
The event was hugely successful and elicited comments including: 'Congratulations on today - a Triumph'; 'It really was a key event and a turning point in AH control in the SW'; 'THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TODAY!!!'
The programme included workshops, presentations, displays and discussions to help AHAT members to learn new skills, share good practice and discover the latest developments.
Speakers included Dr Peter Kennedy of the University of Exeter and Dr Sarah Bunker, author of The Asian Hornet Handbook; Jersey’s Asian hornet coordinator, Alastair Christie, shared his experience tracking the non-native hornets on the Channel Islands.
Somerset’s Asian hornet action team co-ordinator Lynne Ingram said: “We are on the Asian hornet frontline here in the South West and this training day was a great opportunity to prepare ourselves for the season ahead.
“Asian hornets don’t respect boundaries so it was important to start preparing to work together across the region. Although it was mainly beekeepers who attended the event, one of the key messages to get across is that Asian hornets are not just a problem for beekeepers.
“We now know that these hornets build nests in garden hedges, bramble patches, in holes in the ground and also on buildings. We will be working hard to educate the public so that everyone can recognise a hornet and report a sighting. With thousands of people looking out for them, we have some chance of slowing the invasion.”
SWBKF Chair Peter Darley commented: “I certainly learned a lot from some very good speakers and workshops and came away with a far clearer idea on how to proceed in our preparations to fend off the coming invasion…All of us can learn from Somerset's lead and, as a Forum, we are lucky to have them and their experience to show us the way.”
Asian hornets (Vespa velutina nigrithorax) have distinctive orange faces, yellow tipped legs and are smaller than the bright yellow striped European hornet. They are a notifiable invasive species and sightings should be reported immediately:
Thank you to all SBKA members who completed our annual end-of-season survey.
The findings reveal that on average members have more colonies at the end of the season than at the beginning and most enjoyed an excellent harvest.
Summary: On average a member has five colonies going into winter (one more than in the Spring), harvested up to 50 lbs per productive colony and 175 lbs in total.
Based on the findings provided by the 222 members who completed the online questionnaire, the total membership harvested more than 60 tonnes or 134,000 lbs from nearly 4,250 colonies.
For a detailed breakdown of responses to each question, take a look at the January newsletter.
Our latest newsletter is available now! Click on the link to find out about forthcoming events, the results of our recent surveys and a feature from Tricia Nelson MB about nest temperatures. It's another good read!
Wishing all SBKA members and all beekeepers the happiest of happy new years! Here's hoping that the roaring twenties ushers in a decade of rewarding beekeeping with healthy and happy bees!
Anne Pike, Chairman SBKA
Mark and Christine Gullick (Burnham-on-Sea division) triumphed at the National Honey Show at the weekend when they were awarded a trophy and lots of prize cards.
They received the Burnett cup after being placed first with their two section squares (photo left) in the open class and were placed in 15 of the 22 classes they entered.
Their success reflects their skills both as beekeepers and the care and hard work they put in over the past season to produce so many very high quality exhibits.
1st for 2 section squares in the open class and the David Burnett cup.
1st for Natural crystallised honey in the open class
1st for soft set in the NHS class.
2nd for honey for sale display open class
2nd for beeswax flowers
2nd for a honey jar label
3rd for a beeswax cake in the NHS class
3rd for 1 section square in the NHS class
3rd for a frame suitable for extraction in the open class
4th for soft set honey in the open class
Vhc in a "for sale" display of honey (extracted comb and beeswax)
Hc in the open light honey class
Hc in the three different types of honey class
Hc in the two jars of dark honey NHS class
Hc in the display of home produced products
Anne Pike, SBKA Chairman