North Herts news by John Hill

Once again, bees tucked up for the Winter apart from a final ‘dribble’ of Oxalic Acid Solution in December? They seemed to have gained some strength in the last two months or so, and they certainly took the feed syrup down with enthusiastic gusto! Let’s hope the forthcoming Winter months are not too severe, and Varroa don’t get the upper hand in early Spring. Things tho’ never turn out to be as you expect them to be..… such is life!! (Keep taking the tablets!).

We had an extremely good turn out at our first meeting of the Autumn period, when 20 members listened to Andy Wattam, the Regional Bee Inspector, give a lively talk on “Integrated Pest Management Relating to Bees”. This title sounds an awesome one, but the review that Andy gave covered, in a very light-hearted manner, was a complete gamut of the examination and treatment of the various diseases and pests associated with our “hobby”. His ‘Rogue’s Gallery slides were of high quality and very informative. All who attended, I’m sure, were extremely grateful for Andy coming all the way from Loughboro’ on a rather ‘dirty night’ to entertain us and share his knowledge with us. Considering that the postal-strike was in force, which preventing members receiving their ‘Newsletter’ in time, the turn-out was commendable,... (thanks to the many ‘phone calls our Chairman made).

Now to Details of our next Meeting: As usual on the second Tuesday in the month, viz: November 13th at the Friends’ Meeting House, Letchworth, at 7.30 p.m. start we are welcoming Martin Buckle from Beds. Association to talk to us about “Bottling, Labelling, and Exhibiting Honey”. Members are especially asked to bring in a sample of their produce for “constructive criticism”. “Bring a Jar and Learn a Lot”!! It is hoped too that at this next meeting we shall have some information about the Christmas Party,... at a ‘straw poll’, held at the October meeting, there was quite a response for one!!!

After the November Meeting, there will be a break until after the New Year, with the next one to be held in Letchworth in February 2008 (the 12th to be exact). So mark the date in your new diaries.

Now the answer to last month’s ‘Teaser”...the blunder in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night:---- ‘The identical twins Viola and Sebastian are different sexes. This is impossible!!!

Here’s this Month’s teaser. “A mother only has five potatoes, but six children to feed. How can she feed them equal amounts of potatoes without any using fractions?”

Now here is a couple of verses by Walter de la Mare from his poem called trees, there are four short verses but I relate here the first and last:
Of all the trees in England,
Her sweet three corners in,
Only the Ash, the bonnie Ash
Burns fierce while it is green

Of all the trees in England,
Oak, Elder, Elm, and Thorn,
The Yew alone burns lamps of peace
For them that lie forlorn.
I must admit I do not understand the meaning of the last two lines, I would be interested to learn from anyone who reads this to advise please. Perhaps it is because the Yew of course dwells in Churchyards where people ‘lie forlorn’? But why ‘burns lamps of peace’?

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