St Albans news by Anne Wingate

Now the winter rest time for bee keepers is nearly over I hope you have taken advantage of the sales to purchase some equipment for swarm control, new brood and super frames where required and enjoyed reading some bee books/magazines. There is so much to learn about bees and bee keeping.

The new procedure I promised I would do this year was to put solid floors under the varroa screens. I did this in mid January in order to provide extra warmth for brood rearing. I found last spring the colonies in National hives were on a smaller number of frames than the two colonies in WBC hives. Despite all the talk of global warming there was a very cold spell last February and another predicted this winter. The catkins are already producing pollen in some warmer hedgerows and when warm enough the bees are flying.

Please inform me ASAP if you wish to receive Herts Bees by email rather than a printed copy.

Bishops Stortford news by Alan Lewis

May I wish all beekeepers a Very Happy New Year.

I do not have any news except to say that the Bee Craft were asking for the subscription by the 30th November the cost being £19.80, I apologise for making a mistake last time, I ran out of water. Also the bee keepers subscription for the coming year is £16.00 plus £2.00 for four or five colonies and £5.00 for those who do not keep bees, payable to our treasurer Mrs V. Edel. Please send cheques made out to: B.S.B.K.A.

Our next meeting is the AGM on Wednesday the 14th March at 7:30pm at (details in newsletter). Please be aware that we wish to elect a new secretary.

West Herts news by Andy Clavey

The date of the WHBKA AGM is Tuesday 27th Feb at 8pm. Lindsay and Diane Bruce have again kindly offered to hold the event at their home (details in newsletter).

Three Rivers council have contacted me about there intention to create a web page containing details of locally produced food & produce. If you live in the Three Rivers area and want to be included on the web site please let me know and I'll pass on your details.

Keep a close eye on your hives! Lindsay Bruce had a Langstroth complete with bees stolen from Sarratt last summer. Strangely the thief left an empty run down National in its place.

South East Herts news by John Mumford

A Happy and prosperous 2007 to everyone, and their Bees!

The winter is almost over and my bees seem to have come through it very well. I should have a few surplus Nucs ready to go around the middle of April. The bees are flying strongly when conditions allow and by the number of bees in the ‘Play Flights’ it looks as though the queens have been laying all winter. Keep an eye on colony stores.

A couple of colonies are now dropping quite a few Varroa kites (6 to 10 per day). Is it that there are more mites in the colonies, or that the Thymol Treatment is beginning to work again now that temperatures are increasing? The only was to ensure that the number of Varroa mites won’t build up to dangerous levels before the next autumn treatment is to apply a spring treatment around the middle of March and remove it when the supers go on in the middle of April.

Our 60th AGM is scheduled for 8.00pm on Thursday, 15th February 2007 at the Hoddesdon Baptist Church Hall, where all members will be welcome. We need to elect a few officers and finalise the 2007 Programme of Events. Copies of last year’s AGM Minutes, this year’s Agenda and Accounts to December 2006 are enclosed.

The next Committee Meeting is schedules for Thursday, 29th March 2007 at Heaton Court

Welwyn news by Peter Mathew

The Welwyn AGM will be on Thursday, 15th March, details to follow.

We are always sorry to hear of losing a long standing member and friend. And, say farewell to Keith Cox who is 'down sizing' and retiring from beekeeping. I am sure we all have very fond memories of garden meetings in his wonderful walled garden. We wish Keith and Amy every happiness for the future.

Another past member is clearing his garage and is happy to donate odd and ends for anyone starting out. Please e-mail me for details. Or, contact Dale directly on 01707 ....... The equipment is National.

Wishing All A Happy 2007

North Herts news by John Hill


Another year, another resolution. Will we keep them, I wonder? Bees don't have to worry about the pressures and stress of modern life, they don't have resolutions to think about. All they have to consider is survival, food, and intrusion by both pests and beekeepers (however, some beekeepers could be regarded as 'pests' by the hive occupants).

Time moves inexorably on. My bees were flying on Christmas Eve. The weather is still so warm, relatively, that I've a feeling the Spring* is going to be rather different this year. It was very wet last year, so perhaps it might yield a good honey crop this time round. Last year was disastrous for me, I had no crop at all, mainly because my two remaining colonies were so weak that it took them most of the year to recover, and I lost one colony.
(* It was Michael Flanders, of Flanders and and Swan fame, who said “Spring... I enjoy that; I missed it last year, I was in the bathroom.”)

Looking forward to this year: we will have a new Chairman, and possibly a new Secretary at the next AGM. Frank E. and myself have been in these posts now for thirteen years, “man and boy”. We are tiring, and N. Herts BKA needs 'new blood'. So start thinking folks. We are a thriving group, we have a fine sprinkling of new members, some beginners, and some experienced. You need to be neither to make a success of being the Chairman. And wouldn't it be nice to have a lady Chairman for a change?

Incidentally, the Christmas Party was very popular. It was nice to see so many attending, there was a total of 26 folk, and we made a 'profit' of £56 to boost our funds. The raffle only made about £8 - the prizes were so good!

Now what about our 2007 programme? Well here it is:-
In summary:

13th February, AGM and Meeting at Friends' Meeting House, Letchworth,
N.B. The AGM is usually in March, but has been moved because of:

13th March, Microscopy Meeting at Marriott's School, Stevenage, at 7.30 p.m.

Please Note:- Dates for Apiary Meetings for the 'Season' will be decided at the AGM, and published in the newsletter as usual.
So, here is some more information about the meetings in February and March. It has been decided to hold a preliminary discussion at the February AGM/meeting on aspects of bee anatomy, and bee diseases, (and how to recognise them), plus pollen, etc. and prepare ourselves to use microscopes to examine the 'wee creatures'. This February meeting will follow a, hopefully, short AGM with No Honey Tasting this year. Then in March we all assemble at the school above and, with the Marriott's school's kind permission, use their equipment to view the various items in which we, as individuals, are interested. To assist us at both meetings, Andy Johnston, (North Herts and Beds member) and Oonagh Gabriel (formerly Herts Secretary), will carry the discussion, tell us what to look for, and how to view bees and pollen etc. They both have considerable knowledge of the subject and techniques, and we are grateful for their promised assistance. I'm sure members, especially beginners, will find these two meetings extremely interesting. We will have maps available at the February meeting to show you the way to the school in Stevenage for the March meeting.

So to finish with, look at the following:
These letters belong together for a reason, what tenth letter should be in the -- position?

There was an old man of Calcutta,
Who coated his tonsils with butter,
Thus converting his snore
From a thunderous roar
To a soft oleaginous mutter. (Ogden Nash 1902-71).

Wanted - New Treasurer for HBKA

A Treasurer is required to keep our finances in order. You do not have to be in the financial business as long as you can add and subtract! You will need to attend 4 Executive Committee Meetings a year and the AGM where the audited accounts are presented. Please phone Philip Manning on 01707 xxxxxx or me for further information.
Anne Wingate
Chairperson HBKA