Phillip Manning presented his Treasurer's report and reported a surplus of £568 for the year giving us a balance at 31st December 2006 of £4636. (This does not include the balance of funds held by the divisions.) Phillip warned us that we must continue to undertake activities for the Hertfordshire community in order to retain charitable status. The capition fee will be £15.50. There is still confusion around the change to the constitution of BBKA and the impact on when the capitation fee is due and how much. (I will try and get clarity on this in a future newsletter.)
Phillip was stepping down from his position as Treasurer. When asked how long he had been doing it he said "It is too long to remember." The committee had not received any nominations for his replacement and so a proposal was made to outsource the book-keeping to a commercial company who were offering special 'charity rates'. Before we could vote, Tom Chapman very kindly volunteered to step into Phillip's shoes so we are most grateful to him and wish him the best of luck. A vote of thanks was given to Phillip for his long service as Treasurer.
The new officers are as follows:
- President - Peter Hills (Welwyn) (rotating position, not elected)
- Chairman - nominated by county executive
- Treasurer - Tom Chapman (newly elected)
- Secretary - Helen Irving (re-elected)
- Auditor - no change
- BBKA delegate - John Brooksbank
- Examinations secretary - Robin Dartington (but will try to persuade a division to take this on)
- 3 National Honey Show representatives - John Mumford / Robin Dartington / TBA
- Bee World organiser - rotated around divisions (but not with the presidency)
Special recognition was made for long service to beekeeping but, as that person wasn't present to receive the award, the name of the person shall remain anonymous for now.
The date of the next AGM is to be decided.
There followed two very interesting talks by Andy Wattam (local bee inspector) and Norman Carreck (Entomologist and recently ex Rothamsted). A full report of their talks will be in next month's newsletter but here are some of the highlights:
- The recently reported heavy loss of colonies in the US may be due to the over-use of varroa treatments or over-use of antibiotics
- Research into the promising fungal treatment for varroa mites has been halted - no funding
- 660 research posts have gone since 2000, including the bee unit at Rothamsted
- Varroa doesn't kill. It is a virus (e.g. Slow Paralysis Virus) that the varroa mite passes from bee to bee that kills.
- There is lots of evidence to suggest that an interaction between the life-cycles of bees, varroa mites and viruses is the cause of a rapid decline in bee numbers during the winter months. This has been recently experienced in the US. (Didn't we have our heavy losses 12 months ago with some people reporting an 80% colony loss?)
- Norman was surprised to see Apistan still on sale in Hertfordshire when pyrethroid resistance is already here.