December 2009 / January 2010

Editorial by Paul Cooper

Welcome to the winter edition of Herts Bees.

This will be the last edition until February. By then the queen will be starting to lay again and the colony's demand for winter stores will begin to increase and hence may be prone to starvation.  More on that in the next edition.  Meanwhile all we can do is check that our hives are mouse and woodpecker proof and suitably weighted down if they are exposed to strong winds.

There is not much news this month except for updates on the winter meetings and plans for your AGMs.  If you need to know when they are happening then please check the online calendar for details of all meetings across Hertfordshire.

Have a very Merry Christmas and I wish everyone a Happy New Year.

North Herts news by Christine Phillips

The Letchworth Greenway was opened in 2003 and at an interesting talk last Tuesday we learned of the miles of hedgerows and thousands (27,000) of trees that have been planted along it so far, and of the picnic sites and education areas created. More woodland, hedgerows and community orchards are planned, and this winter the wide field margins of the Letchworth Farms Estate will be sown with wild flowers. All bees in the area should be very pleased as well as other insects, birds and small mammals.

Volunteers wanted at Willian Apiary

We are lucky enough to have been given an apiary site on the Greenway which is in a wonderful place from the forage point of view, but at present is not sufficiently separated from the public along one side. To remedy this Letchworth H.F. will provide us with plants for a mixed native hedge. When they arrive help will be needed to put them in. Although we can't set a date until they come, if you would like to be involved please give me a ring on 01462 623826.

N. Herts Christmas Party

The Christmas party is almost upon us. If you missed the last meeting and would like to come, or need directions to Boxwood give me a ring. (number above)

Next meeting

February 16th 7.30pm at Howgills. Roger Patterson's talk “A New Approach to Beekeeping” should be entertaining and, he says, will include something about nucs.


March 16th – usual time – usual place

Hope to see most of you at Boxwood but to those unable to come all the very best of Christmas wishes and a happy New Year.

St Albans news by Christine Aitken

Honey Show held on 27th November at the United Reformed Church Hall, Chiswell Green, St Albans. 

With 43 people attending our Honey Show and Social, 15 jars of honey to taste and judge, lots of gorgeous food and plenty of time to socialize - we had a really good evening. Competition for the Cup resulted in:

1st  Anne Wingate  -  2nd  Stuart Thorne  -  3rd  Andrea Hill

Our Chair - Eileen Remnant also presented certificates (and badges) to Peter Swinn and Maureen and Stuart Thorne who had passed the Basic Beekeeping Examination in 2009.

We are indebted to Philip Remnant for his professionalism sorting out the entries and providing scoring sheets and final report.

And finally a big thank you to Anne Wingate for all her efforts making our Honey Show such a success. 

Beginners Course 2010

St Albans Division will be holding another Beginners Course starting in February 2010. The course is oversubscribed but 30 applicants have been lucky.

Waitrose Community Project

St Albans BKA were recent beneficiaries in the St Albans Branch of Waitrose Community Project. The collection which took part in June 2009 resulted in a cheque for £292 being received by Anne Wingate and Christine Aitken at a presentation party in October. The money will be used towards producing nuc's for our Beginners. 

Anne and the representative of St Albans Branch of Waitrose

AGM on the 22nd January 2010

St Albans and District BKA members are invited to the AGM and Wine and Cheese Social on Friday 22nd January 2010 at 8.00pm at the United Reformed Church, Chiswell Green, St Albans.

The Minute Book will be available 15 minutes before the meeting if you wish to read the Minutes from the AGM 2009.


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Approval of last AGM Minutes
  3. Committee's report
  4. Approval of 2009 Accounts
  5. Election of Officers
  6. Any other business

We already have nominations for the committee, but if you wish to become involved in your Association - please feel free to offer.

After the short business of the evening we are delighted to have Garri Wiest, one of our members, to give us a talk on beekeeping in Portugal entitled:

O Mel produto tradicional da Beira Litoral, Portugal.

As well as keeping hives at Ashridge, Garri also manages some at his home in Portugal and learning about Portugese methods of beekeeping should prove fascinating.

Please don't stay away because this is the AGM. Make the effort to join us, hear what your committee have been doing on your behalf and let us know what you would like us to do for you in the future. This is your Association and your involvement can help to make us stronger.

We intend that the business will be completed quickly and then we can listen to what promises to be a very interesting talk from Garri followed by plenty of time to talk 'bees' over a glass of wine.

SE Herts news by John Mumford

The November Winter Meeting talks on ‘Honey and Pollen Yielding Plants’, given by Derek. and one on ‘Pollen’ given by Roy  turned out to be most interesting. Alas not many turned out to learn about these vital necessities of bees, and how these essential ingredients are gathered, stored and used.

I have quite a bit of Association honey in 30lb tubs going for a song, at £2.00/lb. to SE. Herts members. The tubs belong to me and are returnable!

Our next Committee meeting will be at 8.00pm on Thursday 14th January 2010 at 13 Heaton Court.

Please take note that the AGM will be at 8.00pm on Thursday 11th February at Pinewood School - I have sent out travelling instructions to all members on previous occasions; but if you need a further copy please give me a ring. We don’t want to hear any feeble excuses for your non-attendance do we!

I trust you and your bees will enjoy the Festive Season, and wish you all a Prosperous and Happy New Year.