North Herts news by John Hill

“It’s all over bar the shouting”, I suppose that is an apt saying as far as the end of the beekeeping year of 2007 is concerned. (Wondering where the expression comes from?... I’ve just looked it up in Nigel Rees’s recent book “A Word in Your Shell Like” (£8.99 Collins), a book of curious Phrases, and it says that it is of sporting origin, generally attributed to the shouting aspect of the crowd in appealing against the referee (in Boxing), the earliest use of the phrase was used was in 1842).... Now back to “them bees”,..... it’s been a ‘funny old year’;... some of us have had reasonable-to-good yields of honey and others, like me and FE who missed the rape and field beans, have had what can only be described as a disastrous time. Although during the past month or so, the two/three colonies of mine have increased in numbers quite markedly, and have taken down large amounts of syrup feed. I treated them with Thymol/sugar/Pura mixture, as advised... the bees didn’t seem to have taken much notice of it, and now have had a second treatment after two weeks. So much for science! No sign of Varroa whatsoever,.. even before treatment with the “miticide”. The latter means “any drug or agent that destroys mites”, (according to my dictionary ,....found by accident, the word not the dictionary!).

Andy Johnston’s meeting at Shillington was well attended by about 25 beekeepers from both Herts. and Beds. associations. What could be described as a very lively session or two transpired as a number of hives were opened to display the various features and idiosyncrasies of Andy’s techniques. Quite a number of attendees were literally covered by the inquisitive “inhabitants”.

Some wonderful refreshments followed, prepared by Val,... thank you both for making the event so worth while, ... “feed the mind and the body”.

By the time members read this, the event “Bee World” will have happened, and I hope will be reported elsewhere,... I should warn North Herts. members that we are organising next year,!!! So I hope quite a number of you attended!

I can now mention the details of our first two Winter/ Spring meetings at The Friends’ Meeting House, Sollershott East, Letchworth, at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday October 9th, and November 13th. 2007. Our new Chairman, Graham Beasley has been very active in persuading the attendance of two well known speakers to come and give us the following talks and promote discussion and to share experiences etc.
  • Tuesday , October 9th. Andy Wattam, the East Region Bee Inspector will give a talk entitled, “Integrated Pest Management, (with reference to EFB and Oxallic Acid Treatment)”.
  • Tuesday, November 13th. Martin Buckle, from Beds. Association, will speak about “Honey, ... it’s Bottling and Presentation for Showing”. Members are asked to bring samples for, what might be called “Constructive Criticism”!!!
PLEASE NOTE: Members from other areas are cordially invited to both these meetings, as always.

Let’s hope we get plenty of support for both these talks as both speakers are coming some distance to be with us, and I’m sure we are in for two very interesting evenings.

I’ve ‘blathered’ on rather a lot, and I know you just can’t wait for the answer to last month’s puzzle!.. and with space at a premium, I’d better “get on with it”. The answer was “Four”. If you want to know how to get to this you will have to ring me!!!

Here’s a difficult one! What major scientific blunder did Shakespeare include in “Twelfth Night”?

Now finally:
“Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward. Laughter means they trust and like you!” Attrib. to Carol Channing,... Star of US cabaret. b 1921.

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