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).

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