Welwyn news by Peter Folge

We had our last apiary meeting of the season on September 11th. Our guest Jane Moseley from Bishop Stortford Div. (Herts President) attended. The weather looked like rain but held off until we had finished. Perfect timing! I have been very pleased with this year's apiary attendances; we averaged over 15 members at every monthly meeting.
Varroa treatments should have finished and feeding well underway. I have recently started leaving a super of stores (without queen excluder) on for all full sized colonies. After hefting and finding some of these to be quite light, these have had a supplementary feed to get them through the winter months. Few inspections will have been made since the end of July and ideally colonies should now be left alone and the last inspection should have been carried out to make sure brood is healthy - eggs and larvae present. This will make sure that colonies go through the winter in the best condition possible. The Beekeeping season seemed very short this year with a late start and what seems to be an early finish. I am pleased to say all new beekeepers that wanted bees received either a nucleas or swarms. Many newly seasoned beekeepers acquired their first honey crop and sold their produce at local event
Early in the year interest was shown by some of the Welwyn Beekeepers regarding finding, identifying and collecting wild mushrooms. I was surprised by the number of books that came along to a Welwyn meeting. I therefore decided to try something a little more radical later in the year and on Sunday (26th Sept) I organised a “Fungal Foray” in our local 'Mardley Heath' woodlan
Expressed interest was keenly shown and a merry band of ‘Hunter Gatherers’ arrived with welly boots and waterproofs. We found an array of different fungi including edible and a few poisonous varieties. Baskets and bags were filled and having spread out our spoils of the day and pictures taken, some very tasty Boletes ended up being taken home for the dinner table. (Mind you I have not heard from that member since!) It was suggested that we should organise this event again and include one or two other events to end the year.

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