by Derek Driver (SE Herts)
Recently, talking to a group of students on Barnet’s Beekeeping course, I advised them to visit as many apiaries as possible. So they could see various types of hives and management styles, plus experience all sorts of bees and to handle short lugs, long lugs, and various sizes of frames. By doing so their knowledge and experience would greatly increase and assist them in managing their own bees.
Many seemed to be surprised when I mentioned that in our division everyone had their own apiary and this was also the position for most beekeepers. Although I understand why one or two groups allow new beekeepers to place their hives on association sites. To allow them to stay on year after year is in my opinion not good practice. There comes a time when newcomers must stand on their own. Experienced members I’m sure would be only too willing to advise and assist if asked, with regard to assessing a new site.
Most members unfortunately seldom attend other divisional meetings so may I make a plea that in 2010 everyone does their best to visit another divisional meeting. Its always interesting to see how other groups work and meet members to discuss common problems and solutions. Beekeepers are a friendly crowd and only too wiling to help new members.
I understand from Barnet members that this year they intend to “break out” and come to other divisional meetings, so if you see a new face at your next meeting then ensure they are made most welcome. You never know it might be me!!
I do hope Barnet’s secretary will keep us all informed via the newsletter, of all the meetings they intend to have this year. Once we get out of this ice age I’m sure our bees will make up and go like the preverbal clappers! So may I take this opportunity to wish everyone the best of beekeeping for the forthcoming season.