NE Herts news by John Hill

Another Summer nearly gone, and what have we beekeepers to show for it? At least the colonies seem to be increasing in size and creating some food for the Winter, but the ‘Boxwood Bunch’ have not produced much crop worth extracting, although a couple of supers need some attention, mainly from swarms. The ‘indigenous’ colonies are just about pulling themselves together, but it’s getting rather late in the season, and we’ve now come to treatment time. I’ve had a go at making some Thymol ‘Patties’ this time. F.E. managed to get some crystals from Thornes (all done in a rush,.. the making I mean.. which beekeeper plans ahead?) Well, fortunately I decided to heat the fat in the kitchen, and to mix it with the sugar and Thymol outside on the lawn!! Organic Chemistry was my bete noir!! Good job I did, ... because the Thymol smell is very penetrable, and afterwards my clothes all smelt as though I just emerged from a heavy day on the ‘ointment’, and had to commit all my clothes to the wash, even down to my vest!! The ‘patties ‘ I created by scraping some on to ‘fairy-cake’ , greaseproof, papers ...32p for 100!! The paste was quite mouldable but I had to add about 30 grms more fat that the recipe amount of 200 grms to make it so. Let’s hope it does some good,..BUT don’t make in in the house unless you want to smell like a refugee from a chemical factory! I put 3 patties per hive, directly on top of the brood box (moving any sealed crop first!).

I missed some of the Summer meetings due to holiday and trips to family etc. but F.E. gave me some notes, which I repeat below verbatim:-
“At Roman Gorski's apiary meeting (a first for the North Herts Beekeepers), 13 visitors turned up, including welcome guests from St Albans. The rain stopped as we arrived, and started again as we were leaving. Somebody must love us! However, the conditions were not propitious for opening hives, so Roman showed us some of the more even-tempered colonies amongst the 30 or so at his crowded apiary. Despite this, several stings were suffered as a result of bees chasing us, presumably from the less well-tempered colonies.

There was plenty of evidence of good husbandry born of years of devoted experience. There was a wide-ranging discussion of many aspects of beekeeping, which was followed by a very agreeable tea which had been prepared under trying and windy conditions.”
I did go the Nortonbury meeting, along with about 15 attendees, including some new prospective members, also in attendance was Peter Heath who led the practical aspects and contributed markedly to the discussion.... “Thank you Peter, from all who went along”. We had some wonderful ‘al fresco’ refreshments.... shades of camping. The ladies did some very smart cakes and sandwiches,” thanks again”. About five members had their hives inspected, and all were thriving and in good order,....(the bees I mean!). One hive was abandoned tho’ and was rather overcome with moth and other intruders,... No bees!!!

There was also a meeting at Pat Veasey’s apiary, but unfortunately I cannot report on it as I wasn’t there and it’s rather along time back too. But no doubt the refreshments were excellent, as usual,...let’s get our priorities right!! Thanks to Pat and Jennifer.

Well, at the time of writing , our last meeting will be in two days. Andy Johnston is having a joint meeting with Beds, group. I’ll report next time.

Just space for last edition’s puzzle answer: "There is one sec. between two strikes, therefore it will take 11 secs. for the clock to strike 12 times".

And a little more! "If one half of 24 were 8, what would one third of 18 be?"

Did you know that the word........"Uncopyrightable" is the longest word in ‘common use’ with no letter appearing more than once. Here’s another long word of 45 letters which is in some dispute because it is really a made up word........ "Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis", which is a lung disease,... perhaps our bees could get it?!!!

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