The AGM of the SBKA will be held on Saturday, 10th March 2017 at the Wedmore Golf Club, Lascott Hill, Wedmore BS28 4QT
Location map at http://www.wedmoregolfclub.com/visitors/location/
Hosted by Wedmore and Cheddar Division.
The speaker will be Dr Peter Kennedy of the University of Exeter who will speak on a project aimed at using radar to study Asian Hornet
The cost of a one-course lunch is £9.50 including tea/coffee. A two course meal will cost £15.00 and a three course meal £18.00.
Tea and coffee will be available throughout the day priced at £1.20 per cup.
Dr Peter Kennedy is a research Fellow at the University of Exeter and his research looks at ecosystem service provision by insects, with particular emphasis on pollinator ecology and behaviour. He works to establish techniques and capabilities for cutting-edge research into the effects of environmental change on invertebrates. He also develop new projects linking ecosystem service provision with landscape users and businesses. He is part of a team, part funded from Somerset BKA research funds, that is looking at the feasibility of using radar to track Asian hornets and identify their nests quickly.
1200hrs- Arrive and Welcome
1400hrs- Welcome by SBKA President, Ken Tredgett
1405hrs- Lecture by
1505hrs- Afternoon Tea
1530hrs- Annual General Meeting
If you like to mark your queen bees according to the internationally understood colour code relating to the year in which they hatched, make sure you have a red marker in your kit.
Not only does the colour indicate the year, but it also makes it easier to find the queen during a hive inspection.
There are five queen bee marking colours that follow the recognised colour sequence – as queens do not live more than five years, the colour code starts over in the sixth year.
A common mnemonic to remember the colours is "Will you raise good bees".
White – years ending in 1 or 6
Yellow – years ending in 2 or 7
Red – years ending in 3 or 8
Green – years ending in 4 or 9
Blue – years ending in 5 or 0
Here is the SBKA January 2018 Newsletter - Happy New Year!
ASIAN HORNET - Open Meeting
2.00pm - 5.00pm on Saturday, 20th January, 2018
in Harberton Parish Hall, Harberton, Totnes, TQ9 7SD
Our guest speaker will be Martyn Hocking from Woolacombe,
who will be talking about his experience of finding Asian Hornets in his apiary.
After which, there will be a discussion about a range of issues that have arisen.
Beekeepers from across SW England and representatives of organisations with a special interest in the Asian Hornet have been invited.
Parking is available, though to help reduce numbers of cars, if possible, please share lifts.
Afternoon Tea and Cakes
Please contact Jill & Ken Beagley if you would like to attend.
As we are expecting much interest in this meeting, we would appreciate being contacted by anyone wishing to attend, so can have sufficient refreshments available at the hall during the meeting and we can put anyone needing accommodation in touch with the local B&B’s in the area.
A follow up article has since been written by Martyn, in which he makes various suggestions about how beekeepers can be given better support should they find themselves in his situation. This second article will be printed in the December/January edition of ‘Beekeeping - Devon Beekeepers’ magazine’.
Martyn feels that there is only a short time in which to get organised and prepared for the arrival of the next Asian Hornet queen, if we are to have any chance of keeping this non-native species out of the UK.
We have invited beekeepers from across SW England, in the hope that representatives from each county in the S.W. are present to share experiences and thoughts for the future and there are already beekeepers coming from Cornwall, Dorset, South Gloucestershire and Bath. We would be most grateful if you could please advertise the above information to all beekeepers in your branch.
We are also hoping that representatives from other organisations with an interest in the Asian Hornet will be present at the meeting and we are in touch with the Devon Non-Native Species Initiative.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Jill & Ken Beagley
The South West Counties Joint Consultative Council has changed its name to the snappier sounding South West Beekeepers’ Forum.
The Forum brings together beekeepers from across the region to discuss ‘matters of concern and interest to beekeepers, including but not limited to the policies and activities of the BBKA’.
To go with the new name there is a new constitution and the draft is out for consultation ahead of the next meeting of the Forum on November 28.
If you are interested, please take a look at the draft (as below) and send your comments to SBKA delegate David Charles: email@example.com
The environment secretary, Michael Gove, told The Guardian this week that the UK will back a total ban on insect-harming pesticides in fields across Europe.
The decision reverses the government’s previous position and is justified by recent new evidence showing neonicotinoids have contaminated the whole landscape and cause damage to colonies of bees. It also follows the revelation that 75% of all flying insects have disappeared in Germany and probably much further afield, a discovery Gove said had shocked him.
Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticide but in 2013 the European Union banned their use on flowering crops, although the UK was among the nations opposing the ban. The European commission now wants a total ban on their use outside of greenhouses, with a vote expected in December, and the UK’s new position makes it very likely to pass.
Click to go to the article in The Guardian
Mark and Christine Gullick from Burnham Division triumphed at their first outing at the National Honey Show. They won two firsts – for their honey jar label and a frame suitable for extraction - against very stiff competition. Many congratulations to both of them who have enjoyed great success this season - they won Best in Show at the Bristol Honey Show as well as many prize cards at the Royal Bath & West Show.
It's fantastic to see two Somerset beekeepers do so well in such a prestigious competition and give us some really good news at the end of a season which has been so difficult for so many of us.
Today we issued a press release about this season's honey harvest to coincide with the BBKA's publication of the annual honey survey.
According to the survey, beekeepers in the South West saw their honey crop drop to 18 lbs per hive. But many of our members are reporting far lower totals.
One of our Vice Presidents, who has been keeping bees for 61 years, says 2017 is the worst season ever and averaged just five pounds per hive.
The reason? The weather is the main culprit: A great early Spring when colonies built up rapidly followed by a hot June and wet July - if only the weather of those two months had been reversed...
SBKA Lecture Day takes place on February 17, 2018
Location: Edgar Hall, 8 Cary Court, Somerton Business Park, TA11 6SB
Tickets: include the day's lectures and light refreshments but not lunch.
Tickets at £5 are available from Divisions' Secretaries, by cheque from SBKA Treasurer Mrs C Kennedy, Allways, West Shepton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 5UH and online (cost £5.90 including 90p booking fee) - click here.
Tickets for the SBKA Special Lecture on April 25, 2018 are FREE! To register click here
Location: Edgar Hall, 8 Cary Court, Somerton Business Park, TA11 6SB