Bishops Stortford news by Jane Moseley

WELCOME all our new members. Our membership is now around the 35 mark,  which is fantastic and we hope that you enjoy attending the Apiary Visits, which enable you to have a nose into other folks Hives and to get your hands on frames etc which we hope proves to be useful experience before you get your own Hives. For those with Bees it gives you an insight as to what you may or may not want to see in your own Apiary.

As secretary I endeavour to keep you up to date with what's going on where and when, with a mini review of what happened at the last Apiary Visit incase you missed the meeting. If you take pictures at the meeting, please send me a copies and I can include them in the email review.

A Big Thank you to Julia and her husband for hosting the latest Apiary visit.

For those who couldn't make it you missed a great learning experience down at the Allotments and some scrumptious cakes!

Julia has one hive which had a case of the *Vanishing Queen*. Dennis, our Chair, was called in to get to the bottom of what was going on as the Bees had appeared to swarm as they hung off the rear of the hive, but all rehoused themselves quite quickly. There didn't appear to be an issue,  as everything seemed to have settled down and eggs were present, on the next inspection. Queen cells were present and Julia was keen that today we would be able to get to the bottom of what was going on.

It seems that the clipped and marked Queen had fled and as a flightless lady she was rendered useless, so yes they had swarmed. Eggs were present but the give away was 2 in a cell - a worker had tried to gain the crown and this was reconfirmed by the number of Drones present. With no brood the only option is to re-queen, but how would we be able to achieve this all in one afternoon, it looked like a delve into Julia's purse to buy a Queen :(

BUT no, the tale has a happy ending as John Palombo, came disguised as a Knight in shining wellies, despite having problems removing them unassisted. He has a Queen cell, with which he had just created a nuc and he offered it to our damsel Julia, who's bees will hopefully no longer be in distress.

After such a close inspection, I think the majority of those in attendance managed to get a good look at what was going on, a cup of tea was much needed. We regrouped back at the Old Police Cottage and were welcomed by 2 super dogs who were very friendly and well behaved and had a good old natter about what was what. Malcolm High from South East Herts came to the meeting and it was so nice to welcome him, so many new members & interested parties to the Apiary visit. Malcolm invited everyone to attend the SE Herts meet which he was hosting the following afternoon. - More on that below.

Dennis & I popped round to have a look at Nigel's Bees, what a great location - babbling brook nice level ground, wind protection from established trees and wide variety of food sources for them locally. His Bees were doing very nicely and we saw both Queens and they were laying well. And here is a pic to prove what a tidy spot he's got - see attached.

Next Apiary Meeting

Our next Apiary Visit was scheduled to be at Alan's but unfortunately as is without Bees at the moment following a disastrous winter and as a consequence the meeting will be either hosted by Sherri or myself on 12th June To be confirmed this week. Obviously I will let you know.

Our membership numbers have increased massively over the last month and as a consequence it would be really helpful to all hosts if you could please let us know if you think you will/won't be coming, we don't want anyone to go without cake, tea or a seat so it just helps if you could let me know by return email, or call the host direct - thank you.

With thanks

The WI have very kindly donated £200 to the Stortford group to help us with our Bee Keeping, how we use those funds has yet to be determined but a letter of thanks has been sent. While in thanking mode, Valerie who used to be our group treasurer and has been BeeKeeping for over ?? years is to have her years of service to BSBKA recognised with a commemorative trophy, presentation will hopefully be at the next meeting. Both Valerie and Stan have a wealth of Bee knowledge and are honorary members of our chapter.

Latest Vanishing Queen Update

Julia re-queened her Hive with that donated by John, so all should be well!

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