September 2010

Incorporating news from July & August

Welcome to Herts Bees after a summer break.  This newsletter is long overdue but hopefully worth the wait.

How should I summarise the summer?  It was late (frosts in May), a good honey flow in June/July, cold & wet in August (again) and a good year for all insects including bees, wasps and earwigs! I hope you had a successful beekeeping season and are well into your winter preparations of treatment and feeding.

It was disappointing to hear of the hive thefts in St Albans. The measures some people will go to!

Capel Manor is happening on 18th September. Please go along and support South East Herts who will be putting on the show. 

Finally the way that articles are submitted will be changed to ensure a more timely publication in Herts Bees. Articles should appear within a day or so of submission. A monthly summary will still be circulated. 

Paul Cooper

St Albans news by Christine Aitken

Winter meetings

15th October 2010 at 8.00pm at Chiswell Green United Reformed Church Hall.

Speaker will be Emma Wright of Rothamsted. After the refreshment break it is proposed to have a review of the beekeeping season with a question and answer session. These are always lively discussions and with so much knowledge amongst our membership - there is a lot to be learned by us all.

26th November 2010 at 8.00pm at Chiswell Green United Reformed Church Hall is our Honey Tasting Show and Social.

4th February 2011 at 8.00pm at Chiswell Green United Reformed Church Hall is our AGM.

Apiary visits

During the summer months our Saturday afternoon sessions at Prae Wood Apiary have welcomed many interested visitors. Some have made it a one visit only, realizing the commitment needed, but quite a few have found it so fascinating that they wish to learn more. They have put their names on the waiting list for our beginners course (Feb/March/April 2011) in the full knowledge that we are over-subscribed but that they may be lucky when the time comes to book themselves on the course.

Apiary visits are now ended until next Spring. 

Membership of St Albans BKA has now reached - 80

It is gratifying for the committee that all our hard work over the past few years is now paying off. Declining membership over the last twenty years meant that about eight years ago we were down to 23 members. At this point the momentous decision was taken to actively encourage new members. Richard Peterson focused us on the possibility of doing a course and the committee decided to run with it.

A Beginners Course was put together by Eileen Remnant and all the committee were encouraged to learn to become tutors. We applied for a Lottery Grant and purchased a projector and laptop. David Brown arranged for us all to have instruction in creating Powerpoint presentations which was a steep learning curve for most of us.

Over the years we have perfected our technique, learned much and are still learning, moved with the times and embraced all that has been thrown at us. Our 'Hives for All' scheme, again made possible by a grant, gives our beginners a hive and Nuc of bees for their first year at our apiary, plus a mentor. All members on this scheme have gone on to purchase their hive and colony from us at the end of the year (we then have the funds to replace these items for our next intake the following year).

By encouraging our early beginners to become tutors and very importantly 'mentors' at our apiary sites for our beginners in their first year of beekeeping we have produced an amazing group of younger members with loads of enthusiasm and new ideas.

And now we are proud to announce our membership has reached 80 and still climbing. Granted the BBKA initiative and media coverage has been a real Pandora's Box but without the dedication of the committee past and present we wouldn't be in this healthy position.

We now have a vibrant, growing association - so a big thank you to everyone who has made this possible. 

Around the Apiary

Varroa treatments are now in place at our apiary sites and winter feeding will commence shortly. Reminders regarding this and woodpecker guards will be posted on the St Albans BKA 'blog' in due course.

West Herts news by Margaret Tighe

August has been an interesting and busy month. In the middle weeks of the month I heard about two swarms which were collected in the Oxhey area, and another one collected by Diane Bruce which was a "starvation swarm". When I heard this I did not know what this was so Lindsay Bruce kindly explained to me (and I apologise to the readers who already know this) that bees will swarm at this time of year if there is not enough food in the hive. They take the queen with them and go in search of a location where they can find more food!

Once again there were two good apiary meetings this month. At our most recent meeting a fast clearer was put on one of the Association hives and, after half a day, three supers of honey were taken off. Some of this honey will be given to Croxley House by way of payment for use of their grounds, and hopefully the rest will be made available for new members to purchase.

Bishops Stortford news by Jane Moseley

The most recent meeting was at Tony and Pat O'Conner's house. It was a good meeting with 26 people present and plenty of cakes and tea!

Next Apiary Visit - Saturday 11th September.

What will you see - 5 Hives all of which have done OK, have tried artificial swarms and just recently have been trying out no sugar syrup - just honey stores, but it is time to reduce them down and get them ready for winter - even though 4 of the 5 are rammed to the rafters with Bees and food!

In addition to the Hive inspection we will also be having a honey tasting so be sure to bring along a jar of yours to share with the rest of the group - the range of flavours was amazing last year, obviously followed by Tea and Cake!

So that I can get my baking started and dust down me best china, I'd be most grateful if you could let me know if you will be coming - tel: 01920 463645, email:

North Herts news by Christine Phillips

David Massey and John Brooksbank held a very interesting open day at their apiary in Charlton on Saturday 17th August. The Charlton site is on waterworks land and has been used by N. Herts beekeepers since 1943. There are plenty of trees and shrubs and surrounding fields supply extra forage, the only drawback being the occasional need for the waterworks to flush out their pipes which causes the site to flood. David and John were well prepared, with a shelter in case of rain and even a toilet tent! Tea was made and cakes eaten. It was a pity that apart from David and John's  families only two of us turned up. The date was on the calendar part of HertsBees website, but perhaps the lack of a July newsletter or perhaps just August holidays prevented more people coming along. So here are some photos to show what you missed.

John makes his own foundation. If you look carefully you can see the newspaper he uses instead of wires to strengthen it.John's homemade smoker

First indoor winter meeting:

October 19th at 7.30pm at Howgills, South View, Letchworth.

3rd October - Another chance to talk about bees and sell honey at Codicote Garden Centre.

SE Herts news by John Mumford

The HBKA will stop sending Divisions printed copies of Newsletters in 2011, but will continue sending it out by e-mail. This will increase divisional costs which for us will mean an increase in subscriptions for 2011. The committee propose to increase subscriptions to cover the increased costs, and give those who receive the Newsletter by e-mail a discount. All this will need to be decided at the next AGM.

The beekeeping season is nearly finished for 2010. Just the last of the honey extraction to be done and the storing of empty supers protected from the dreaded wax moths, ( frost will kill all stages of wax moth). And any feeding necessary should be completed by the end of the month. And most importantly Varroa control.

At the association apiary meeting on Sunday 5th. September we took three well filled supers off, and Tom Dawson kindly took them away to extract the honey - thanks Toms. We put the Varroa treatment on the one hive and straighted up another that had been taken over by a swarm. Roy Cropley marked and clipped the swarm Queen, but they will need about 6-Killogrammes of sugar in syrup form to ensure they get through winter.

We have a couple of events coming up which need some attention.

1. Saturday 18th. September 2010 : -

SE Herts will be heading up a show at Capel Manor with help from the Bishops Stortford Division and we aim to put on the following stalls.

At the moment I don't know at what time we can start setting up on the Friday afternoon, however we can get on to site at 8.00am on the Saturday. The Show will be open to the Public from 10.00am till 5.00pm on Saturday.

We will need some volunteers to man the stalls ! - Please let me know if and what time you can give - please don't just turn up on the day - it make me look a right twitt when one minute there is no-one around and the next minute those who have volunteered for a slot are swamped with casual helpers.

Please let me know on 01992 624639 If and what times you can do - I can then make out a rotor.

  • A Sales Stall  - Honey will be sold at £4.50 per Lb. & £2.50 per ½Lb. The association will deduct 10% from all sales.
  • An Observation Hive.
  • A Honey Extraction Stand by Bishops Stortford.
  • A Candle Rolling table.
  • A Childrens Bee Picture Colouring Table.

  2.  Saturday 9th. October 2010 : -

Possibly the most enjoyable event in our calendar. Daphne Rooke who has headed up the groups who have done the catering for many years, has decided that "enough is enough", and it's time for someone else to take over, (I know exactly how she feels).

So we need a volunteer to head up a catering group, and volunteers to help out. Daphne has indicated that she is prepared to give all advice necessary to her successor.

So members, members partners, and members children. get it all for FREE ! Visitors will be charged £5.00 per head.

Please let my know what help you can give!

Presidential reports

by Jane Moseley

July 2010

....and all for 12 Jars of Honey

Following Christine’s clear instruction the Apiary was found nestled in woodland minutes from the City Centre. As the traffic roared past, an air of calm descended as everyone gathered in the late afternoon sun. We congregated in a semi circle, surrounded by beautiful trees with lush green grass beneath our feet and all eyes focused on Eileen who was opening the meeting with a talk about Varroa. The presentation was packed with information and resources were distributed as reference items with encouragement to access them on line rather than wasting association resources on printing. One of the Key issues raised was that of co-ordinating the Varroa treatment within the apiary so that all Hives were treated at the same time, something that was unanimously agreed.

St Albans Prae Wood Apiary has been on the existing site since offered by the Gorhambury Estate for a 12 jars of honey a year, which still standstoday. The apiary is protected by trees and there is a small clearing where the Hives are situated but is now almost at capacity. A second site has been acquired which expands their offering to both new & existing members, which is key as this chapter grows year on year.

Although some members keep their colonies off site, new members are encouraged to take part in the Hire a Hive scheme that St Albans offer,which supports new members with a Mentor and the opportunity to buy the colony after your first year, which definitely seems to be working for everyone.

One of the concerns raised before tea & cake was circulated, was theft. This appears to be a growing problem and it was suggested that the Hives be branded so that another BeeKeeper would know that they were being sold stolen goods. An ongoing debate for their recently launched website which appears to be going well and being used by the members.

As the homemade scones, ginger cake and other yummies appeared miraculously from their on site hut along with steaming cups of tea the meeting dissolved into groups chatting about their personal Hive concerns, before drifting offto attend their particular Hives. From the road it looked as though a top secret experiment was taking place.

A thoroughly enjoyable and informative afternoon. Thank you for your hospitality and warm welcome

Apologies to West Herts & Welwyn - due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to attend your meetings BUT I will be coming soon!

August 2010

August is a funny old month, people on holiday, awareness of the changing seasons as summer draws to a close. As honorary President I have failed in getting to see as many groups as I had hoped this month due to personal commitments, that said September is already packed with dates in the diary for meetings I hope to attend.

I did manage to get along to the Hatfield Country Show, where Welwyn Beekeepers were spreading the word and selling their wares. While there I managed to have a chat with Peter Fogle, their Chair, about how the group is now flourishing and they have applied a clear structure to their group which now has nearly 60 members. Having a clear structure to their branch has been the making of the group in Peter's view and they have just been invited to take on a second Apiary site. 

Interestingly I noted that Welwyn are selling their honey for £4.50 per lb, I think this is marvellous and is the rate that we should all be charging.  I don't know if anyone from the county has entered the Honey Show, if so do please let me know as I'd love to check it out when attending the event in October.If you have Good Luck with your entry.

Sorry it's short this month but am sure that you are all too busy with Varroa treatments, holidays and the like to be reading this from me.

Bee-ware, thief!

There have been an increasing number of hive thefts this year. The St Albans group lost two complete hives in August from their Prae Wood apairy and as a consequence have moved all remaining hives to the St Albans group's other site. This was clearly not a random theft as both hives were full of bees and must have been stolen by someone that knows how to handle bees. The police have been informed.

One way to discourage theft of hive parts is to personalise them as Inga Armstrong has done with a rather interesting design. The technique is called pyrography and if anyone is interested then contact Inga via the St Albans group.

Has the World Gone Mad?

by Derek Driver

Recently at a dinner, the lady next to me mentioned that she belonged to the W.I and her group had bought a new hive for one of their members. Intrigued, I asked, how many colonies did the recipient have? The reply was, none. I then said, oh, she’s going on a beekeeping course? No, was the reply. Now I was puzzled, so I then asked why did the W.I. buy her anew beehive? Back came the reply, to help the bees of course!! This set me thinking as over the last few years there have been reports of individuals and small groups receiving cash ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds, “to help the bees”!  I was reminded of when I was twenty and in the civil service. (Not for long) There were individuals who with Machiavellian delight would write wonderful eloquent reports on major schemes / projects, ticking all the political correct boxes, including of course "education, education, education" thus persuading the finance department to fund these projects, none of which these individuals believed in. Surely all funds gained by members, should be sent to BBKA, to be totally spent on research for the benefit of every beekeeper in Britain and not just be used for the benefit of the few, who know how to tick all the correct boxes ?

Tree Bumble Bee, or New Garden Bee

by Peter Mathews

These bees, which were first reported in the New Forest in 2001, seem to be increasing numbers in a big way. They favour settling in elevated locations like trees as their name would suggest. Last year  Welwyn had a dozen or so calls from people with bees in their bird  box. These were identified as the tree bumble bee. From some of the calls, you would think it was our fault that they had bees rather  that blue tits.

Tree bumble bees are readily identified by the 'ginger' patch behind  the head and white tail. Many web sites are out of date and give them scant mention. The BBC Gardeners' World site doesn't mention  them at all, whilst others describe them as rare.

So far this year they have been the most common bumble bee reported.  Admittedly, we only get reports of bees that are in obvious places.  The tally of 'bees in soffits' reported in the Welwyn area so far  this year is estimated at over 60 calls. I have fielded 11 in one  day. All appear to be tree bumble bees. Members are reminded that  they should not get involved. Removing the colony would almost  certainly involve some building work such as lifting tiles. You are uninsured and are at risk! Any damage caused would be your responsibility.

BBKA Membership Cards

by Peter Mathews

You should have received your 2010/11 membership card together with the June "BBKA News". If you have "BBKA News" and no card, you probably tossed it in the bin with the letter and envelope! If you have neither then contact your branch Membership Secretary who will chase this up for you. If you are a recent member, then your membership may well be 'in the system'. With so many new beekeepers everyone is struggling to keep records up to date. [Note - BBKA registration is not included if you have only local, or social membership]. Keep your card in a safe place as you will need it for BBKA web access, discount from Stoneleigh, Booker etc. More importantly you will need it should you have to claim on your insurance. Do not lose it ! [ You know who I'm talking about !]

Can you help me? I have a swarm. In Spain!


As editor of Hert Bees I receive some interesting requests from members of the public. I recently received an email from Paul Hickling who now lives in Spain. Paul writes:

I used to have a house in Albury many moons ago and a menswear shop in Bishop's Stortford (Donald Hickling) and have lived in Spain since I left Albury in 1977 where I have a restaurant ( I wonder if you could give me some advice. We have a large bees nest above one of our doors that has been there a couple of months and I don't know what to do with it. Needless to say I can't get any information here. Questions: if I just leave it will they eventually go away? Can I take some honey and if so, how? Whilst we can use another door to get in the house it is inconvenient but in no way do I want to hurt them. If you can help me I would be most grateful.

I gave them some advice about smoking them, being extremely well protected and the possibility of taking some honey but when he sent the picture (top-right) I advised seeking the help of an expert as the bees seemed well established. The next email from him contained a picture of an improvised bee suit and his thanks for helping him obtain some wonderful honey for his breakfast. The suit is made from a ski suit & gloves, some wide-brimmed hats, nylon netting and lots of sticky tape.

If anyone is going on holiday to Malaga then I'm sure Paul Hickling would welcome a fellow "beekeeper" into his restaurant.

Monthly Tips

Feeding Reminder

Bees are fed a substitute for nectar which is made by mixing and dissolving white sugar in hot water. Make sure all the sugar is dissolved. For autumn feeding mix one kilo of sugar with half a litre of water (2lbs:1Pint). For spring and summer feeding mix one kilo of sugar with one litre of water (1lb:1 Pint). The Winter feed requires a higher ratio of sugar to water. If winter feeds have too high a water content the bees might not be able to dehydrate it enough to prevent fermentation before winter sets in. Another way to feed in the winter months it to use baker's fondant (the soft icing on cakes) as this won't ferment and the bees can eat it straight away. Never use unrefined or brown sugar as this causes dysentery in the bees. There is no evidence that refined beet sugar is any better or worse than refined cane sugar. Sugar syrup has no smell to the bees, so add a little honey to make it more attractive and give it an aroma. A honey and water mixture can also be used as feed but be careful the honey you use is from a known and trusted source or you could infect your bees with foul brood or nosema spoors. Liquid feed is given to the bees in containers placed above the brood box from which the bees can help themselves. Access to the syrup is restricted to prevent the bees from falling in and drowning. Never put an open container of syrup in a hive or you will lose hundreds of bees. Most beekeepers use purpose made containers made of plastic and holding approximately one litre (2Pints) of syrup.Ensure the bees can’t enter the hive under the roof or you will encourage robbing. The feeders should be put on in the evening when the bees have stopped flying. Doing this allows the initial excitement of the bees to subside over night and reduces the risk of robbing. Reduce the entrance size to allow the bees an advantage when fending off robbers. Also, be careful not to spill syrup around the outside of the hive. Remember, pure sugar syrup has no smell and it is possible that bees will ignore the food just above their heads. To avoid this problem either dribble a little syrup into the brood to provide a trail to the feed or add honey or do both! 

Autumn Feeding

We are getting closer to that time of year when we feed our bees. It may still be a little way off, but thinking ahead can save you money on sugar. One of the benefits of BBKA membership is that we qualify for membership of Bookers Wholesale Stores [N.B. you will need to show your BBKA membershipcard!]. Bookers are far cheaper than the supermarkets. The downside is that they don't have a branch in every town. There are branches in Watford, Tottenham and Luton. If you leave things to the last minute, you end up either making a special journey, else going to Sainsburys etc. Plan now, and drop in when next passing that way.

For members with only a couple of hives, trekking over to Bookers may not beworth the petrol. Pound Stretchers are currently selling sugar at 59p/kilobag - this compares with about 97p in the average supermarket and may be abetter alternative. This is a special offer and price may go back to the previous price of 69p/kilo.

Earlier news

Bishops Stortford news by Jane Moseley (July 2010)

Top Bar Hives & Friendly Bees

Another beautiful sunny afternoon spent with 22 members of the BSBKA group and an interesting afternoon it proved to be. A big thank you to Paul and Julie Cooper for hosting the meeting and supplying us with never ending pots of tea and a wonderful selection of homemade cakes, including some made from their own honey.

We welcomed Carol & Steve Rogers to the group as new members, who have yet to get their Bees but like so many are avidly absorbing as much information as possible before they arrive.

Paul has 4 Hives, 3 of which are located on the edge of farmland in a neighbour’s field and one in his back garden. As a large group it was deemed that we stay in the garden a look at those there, Paul wanted to see how much had been capped and demonstrate how to remove laden frames from the hive with minimal excitement.

Before we got to see them he unveiled his Top Bar Hive which Paul had made this spring. Although it was without Bees at the time it was a great opportunity to see this up close and personal, hear about the problems he had encountered using this type of hive. Having adapted plans from the internet the Bees had rejected the new hive for reasons he could only summise. 

Prior to doing an artificial swarm with his ‘nice’ bees each of the Top Bars had been loaded with a strip of starter wax. This was done by melting a strip of foundation into the channel routed into the bar.  One of the bars had been given a section of drawn comb to encourage the Bees to follow suit. Two artificial swarms have been attempted in this so far, the first was done just before the frost snap in May and unfortunately the space was too large and they died as a result of the cold snap. A second attempt was made with another artificial swarm and they drew one comb and then decided that it wasn’t for them and departed. 

On inspection of the comb that had been left one thing was very clear to all of us, the cells that they had drawn were much larger than those on the imprinted foundation we all use! Why this would be? The primary notion, recorded on the web, being that these bigger cells help the Bees in their management of varroa, but beyond that we were all in awe. Paul had been toying with the idea of a Top Bar for a while and having now made one he will not be thwarted by its’ lack of success and has learnt so much by his first attempt that he will continue to get it right. Deemed a more natural form of Bee Keeping the Top Bar Hive is, for those who don’t know, a style of hive used in developing countries as it is a simple form of beekeeping. Honey taken is from the outer frames, pressed or used as cut comb, which is a premium product for many.

Problems encountered and questioned include the following - warping of the top bars, which Paul thinks is due to the quality of timber bought from the local DIY store, levels of insulation using the recommended ply density which Paul agreed should probably be greater based on previous experience. We discussed the pros and cons of Top Bar Hives and ultimately we found the whole thing to be VERY interesting.

We moved on to Paul’s WBC which housed a deep national and one of his favorite Queens, highly productive and importantly, as located in the garden - good natured. Unfortunately Paul had had an incident with an aggressive colony resulting in a family member being stung. So they had to go through Queen replacement, and what a lovely Queen she is too - a beautiful long golden body and a yellow bindi.

Although some frames were capped not as many were as ready as Paul had hoped within the 2 supers. The brood chamber was text book, with beautiful brood pattern, pollen, nectar and capped honey. This was an informative and exercise as so many new Bee Keepers were in attendance, brushing the bees off and removal of the laden frames was all shown so that everyone had the opportunity to learn. 

We were fortunate that Stan, one of the groups founding members was with us and shared his knowledge and experience with us. He was pleased to see a thriving group and that Bee Keeping was on the up in the area. Malcolm high also joined us for the meeting and it was a pleasure to welcome him.


St Albans news from Christine Aitken (August 2010)

Meeting –  held at Prae Wood Apiary

Saturday 10th July 2010 at 3.00pm

The last apiary members meeting of the season and on the topic ‘Current varroa treatments’ by Eileen Remnant was very well attended. Members, beginner beekeepers and visitors all enjoyed a very informative talk and discussion. The following is a synopsis of the talk.

Apiary visits

We are still welcoming visitors to our Saturday afternoon sessions and it was good to see Jane Moseley and a beginner beekeeper Ken from Bishops Stortford attending our meeting on the 10th July. Jane came as 2010 President of Herts BKA and says she is enjoying visiting all the divisions and nosing around the apiaries.

St Albans BKA ‘Meet the Public’ events in 2010

Our last event of the season will be at the Earthworks Open Day - Sunday September 5th (Hixbury Lane, St Albans). Co-ordinated by Eileen Remnant. Volunteers very welcome. 

Winter meetings

15th October 2010 at 8.00pm at Chiswell Green United Reformed Church Hall.

Speaker will be Emma Wright of Rothamsted.

26th November 2010 at 8.00pm at Chiswell Green United Reformed Church Hall is our Honey Tasting Show and Social. 

4th February 2011 at 8.00pm at Chiswell Green United Reformed Church Hall is our AGM.

Out Apiary sites

We have recently received offers of out apiary sites in Redbourn and Flamstead. We have a list of possible sites so any members looking for new locations for their hives may like to contact committee members:-

Robin Moore on 01582 762508 

or David Brown at 01582 715575 


Bishops Stortford news by Jane Moseley (August 2010)

Great Amwell Scout Group at the Ware CarnivalAnother Balmy Summer Afternoon

......saw us all convene chez Dennis Osbourne. A fine strong group of Bee Keepers gathered in the garden before making our way to the Orchard where Dennis keeps 3 of his 5 Hives. On entering it was a case of choose your spot n get your gear on, much to the amusement of the residents of the house opposite, ready to inspect the Bees.

The first colony was the result of an artificial swarm that was done in June. It was as a small colony. Dennis saw her emerge from her cell at the beginning of July and so he was keeping a close eye on her build up. Although not seen there were signs of expansion plenty of packed brood stores et al

Hive two was again on the build and was doing OK and this is where Dennis gave an introductory talk about feeding and Varroa. A demonstration of the equipment was given and quantities of sugar needed for feeding in the build up to winter. We were also given an insight into the Varroa treatment he will be using this year - Apiguard pre-sealed and easy to apply.

Hive 3 was doing well and had 2 supers on which were capped and ready to go. Yum! Our non Bee Bee Keepers (does that make sense apart from in my head?) were able to get an idea of the weight of a frame of food again to get a sense of how heavy a super can be.

As we moved into the Brood Chamber it became more hands on, Lesley christened her new gloves and others got a chance to have a good look at what a brood frame should look like and the Queen was spotted.

The wasp catchers were doing their job but there were still plenty hanging around making a nuisance of themselves much to everyone’s annoyance.

Dennis reassembled the hive and we then transformed ourselves to normal looking people and headed back to the house for a cuppa. Another wonderful selection of cakes and steaming teas were ready for us upon our return, where we undertook a survey of training requirements and Harvest Supper attendees.

All in all a wonderful afternoon and a big thank you to Dennis and his wife for hosting this meeting.


South East Herts by John Mumford (August 2010)

After one of the best honey seasons I can ever remember it’s important to get the honey off so that Varroa treatments can begin. But remember, a colony should always have a minimum of 10lbs.. of honey stores at all times and that it is most important that colonies can raise lots of young unparasitized healthy bees to see them through the winter.

Feed until they won’t take any more is a recipe for disaster. Combs full of stores will mean that the Queen won’t have anywhere to lay, and the bees won’t have any empty cells to cluster in at the start of winter. A colony will use about 1Lb of stores per week between the end of October and the beginning of February ((10 to 14 Lbs.). Then brood rearing starts and consumption quickly increases. If necessary candy can be give during February, and syrup in March, after which most bees will be self-sufficient.

SE. Herts will be providing a show at Capel Manor on Saturday 18th. September, together with some help from the Bishops Stortford Division. setting up time will be from 8.00am till 9.45am. the show will open at 10.00am. and close at 5.00pm. It would be nice to see some volunteers other than committee members. If you can help out in any way then please give me a ring. Hive produce for sale would be appreciated. Homey will be sold at £4.00/Lb and £2.50/½Lb.from which a 10% commission will be taken.


North Herts news by Christine Phillips (August 2010)

July saw  three apiary meetings in N. Herts, all well attended and each one different. The first, at Standalone had to be held in the evening after visitors to the farm had left and I'm told that the hives were very quickly looked at and much time was spent enjoying tea.

John and Frank hosted the next meeting in John's orchard. The bees were very well behaved and in one hive we saw how John and Frank had managed to cut out some wild comb from a well established swarm and attach it to frames. The bees were in the process of completing the job by joining up the gaps (see photos)

A delicious tea provided by Miriam and Pauline was enjoyed by all.

At Nortonbury a marathon session of teaching/inspection was led by Peter Folge. We started and 2.30 and, with a break for tea the last hive was closed up at 7.00pm. Some hives were full of honey, some were lacking in stores, some were good and strong, some needed uniting, some were quiet and some pinging off our veils, but by the time we reached the last one which was reputedly the most aggressive we were too tired to worry.

Thanks to Peter we learned a lot.

Next meeting: David Massey's bees at Charlton on August 21st at 2.00pm


Caddon Hives - Suppliers of low cost quality WBC and National Hives

Please visit our website for more details.

For orders of 10 hives or more we can offer a 10% discount plus free delivery to one address.


E.H. Thorne (Beehives) Ltd

After many weeks of hard work supplying orders over the beekeeping season, we are at last in a position to announce dates for our 2010 Open Day, Sales Days and Winter Sale.

The first one will be the Sale Day at our Windsor branch - Saturday 9th October.

Then the Sale Day at our Stockbridge branch - Saturday 23rd October

This will be followed by the Wragby Open Day on Saturday 20th November. It will be at our new premises at Rand - now renamed as the Beehive Business Park, Rand, Nr. Wragby, LN8 5NJ

Finally, our online mail order Winter Sale will start on Monday 29th November.

Keep an eye on our website and the beekeeping press for further details.

Just a note about our new premises. Thank you to so many of our customers for their good wishes on our exciting project to move our factory after almost 100 years on the same site. The builders are now knocking down internal walls to make the shop and despatch area and the dust extraction system will start to be installed in a couple of weeks. Then we will start to move, department by department, as quickly as practical.

But, for the moment, we are still at Wragby.

Gill Smith

E.H. Thorne (Beehives) Ltd, Beehive Works, Wragby, Market Rasen, LN8 5LA

Tel 01673 858555