North Herts news by John Hill

Once again, I am writing this early because of holidays interfering with the submission date for copy to the editor. So I hope the news is not `old hat'. At this point in time we are all either feeding, or treating for Varroa. What a strange year it has been. All my colonies have been gradually building up from the `stressful' winter. As a result, I have had no honey deposited in the supers, and Frank E. who keeps his bees in the same apiary as myself has also had a disastrous time. Between us we have lost four colonies out of eight. On the other hand, some of our members at Nortonbury have had very good yields, and specially some of the newer members I'm pleased to add.

During the hot weather in August, we paid a visit to Andy Johnston's Apiary in Shillington, (a joint meeting with Bedfordshire BKA.), -- 25 in total turned up, with about 8 members from North Herts. Quite a number of queens were marked that day, and most hives were thriving, although a small number were suffering, and trying to survive. One hive was packed solid with waxmoth remains, with hardly a bee therein. Fortunately, that one was in the minority. Andy was well organised and sported a note-book, in which he recorded all the relevant details etc. A lesson to be learned by all of us present. The highlight of the visit was, dare I say it, the tea, which was consumed with relish, and was beautifully prepared by Val. Both Andy and Val were duly thanked by both visiting N. Herts. and Beds, representatives, and we all expressed our support in the usual manner before resuming our feast, and umpteenth cup of tea! Thank you both once again.

Our first meeting of the Autumn/ Winter programme will be on the second Tuesday in October (viz. the 10th to be precise). This to be held, as usual, at the Friends' Meeting House, Sollershott East, Letchworth, commencing at 7.30 p.m. At this time, ( mid-August), the details of the meeting have not been decided, but the next Newsletter will have fuller information. Put the date in your diary now! We hope that all the newer members will attend! I expect we shall hold a forum comparing experiences of treatment, with some expert controlling the proceedings!

Members may be interested to learn that Peter Heath's test for Varroa immunity to Apistan, that he did for one of our hives at Nortonbury in July, only turned out to be 60-70% effective. He recommended that Apiguard should be used this year. But we all guessed that didn't we?

Now to July/August's poser re: the eight wine glasses. "First move 2 and 3 to the far end; then fill the gap with 5 and 6. Fill the gap with 8 and 2; then finish with 1 and 5." Incidentally, I think we've had enough of these puzzles (Hooray?), so, in future I'm just going to stick with `sayings and quotations' or even a bit of poetry.

So.... here's a tiny bit to finish off:- "Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind". James Russell (1849- US Poet and essayist).

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