December 2010 / January 2011

Editorial by Paul Cooper

May I wish all our readers a very Happy New Year.

What a cold December it has been - the coldest for over 100 years. Let us hope that the bees are tucked up and keeping warm.

The next issue of Herts Bees will be published at the beginning of February so please send me your divisional meeting date for 2011 by the end of the month.

St Albans news by Christine Aitken

St Albans & District BKA wish to send many congratulations to Jane Moseley, Secretary of Bishop's Stortford BKA who has just been appointed BBKA Operations Director/General Secretary. Jane is currently Honorary President of Hertfordshire Beekeeping Association.

Our Honey Tasting Social on 26th November 2010 saw a really good turnout of members and their families. See separate report written by Richard Peterson.

Winter meeting 

4th February 2011 at 8.00pm at Chiswell Green United Reformed Church Hall is our AGM. The minutes of the 2010 AGM will be available to view prior to the start of the meeting.

Your committee have worked hard during a difficult 2010 and have all agreed to stand for another year. Please come and support us and learn how your Association proposes to move forward and encompass beekeeping in the future.

There will be our usual Wine and Cheese Social afterwards which is a perfect opportunity to meet fellow members.

Prae Wood Apiary 

The problems associated with the Association Apiary are slowly being resolved. Our landlord, the Gorhambury Estate, have erected anti-personnel fencing on the roadside boundary of the Apiary which unfortunately leaves the site very exposed.

We have been fortunate in having a generous offer from Gristwood and Toms, a well established tree planting company whose head office is in Shenley, of 400 whips of beech, hawthorn and holly to plant as hedging along this boundary fence. They have also offered advice and help in the planting and Luke Adams, who has his apiary on their land at Shenley, is co-ordinating a working party to shortly carry this out.

It will take some years for the site to be less visible from the road and in the meantime the committee are considering how best we maintain this site, accommodate the increased interest in beekeeping and ensure the safety of our hives. 

Wishing all our members a happy and peaceful Christmas and an enjoyable beekeeping 2011.

Welwyn News by Peter Mathews

Heinz Folge
We were greatly saddened to hear of the death of Heinz Folge during a family holiday in Austria. He died peacefully in his sleep aged 85. He leaves his widow, Gertrude and son, Peter. Although Heinz was never a member of the association he was a well loved figure at many of our local events. He and Gertrude also hosted garden meetings over many years. And, I am quite sure he helped on our stall at more Welwyn Street Markets than any of our members. We will miss his anecdotes and stories delivered in his heavy German accent. Our thoughts are with his family in their sad loss.

North Herts news - December 2010

Last Tuesday Richard Smith described to us the intricacies of producing a beautiful jar of honey. With the aid of slides he took us through the various stages from extraction to creaming (with the aid of an electric drill and a paint stirrer), bottling and labelling. The creamed or soft set honey in the sample he brought was delicious and I shall be on the lookout for some fine seeded honey next year to try to do likewise. Graham brought along some very nice bramble honey for us to try which someone described as being like a liqueur.

Christmas Party

John and Miriam Hill have very kindly offered to once again allow us to invade their home, Boxwood, for the N. Herts BKA Christmas Party. This will be on:

December 18th at 7.30pm at Boxwood, Walkern, Stevenage, SG2 7AB

There will be a small charge of £4 to cover sundries. Will everyone please bring either a sweet or a savoury dish. There will be a raffle so any offers of prizes will be gratefully received. Please contact Helen or Ray to let them know you are coming : or 01438 236811

February meeting

We don't have a meeting in January, so the next winter meeting will be February 15th at 7.30pm at Howgills when Chris Woodward, Environmental and Pest officer from Stevenage will talk to us about insects and possibly more exotic creatures he comes across in the course of his work. NB We haven't got a volunteer to make tea and coffee at this meeting so if you haven't had a turn yet please get in touch with me (

Oxalic acid

If you have only one or two hives and are thinking of giving an oxalic acid treatment this winter Graham can provide suitably small quantities. Contact Graham 01438 369770.

Bishops Stortford news by Paul Cooper

A few of us met at the end of November to review the Course in a Case that Jane Moseley had kindly organised. We have decided to run a course commencing the first week in March and lasting six weeks.  Our apiary meetings will commence a week or so later and the course attendees will be invited to come along for some hands-on experience.

The course will be held every Wednesday from March 2nd - April 6th inclusive, 7.45pm - 10pm at the Main Hall, Bishops Park Community Centre, Lancaster Way, Bishops Park,Bishops Stortford, Herts, CM23 4DA.  The Community Centre, is situated next door to Tesco Supermarket. Free Parking!

Please contact Julia Saunders ( who is handling the bookings.

BBKA's new Operations Director / General Secretary

I am extremely please to be able to announce that Jane Moseley, HBKA's very own Honorary President and Secretary of the Bishops Stortford Beekeepers Association, has just landed herself the job of Operations Director / General Secretary for the British Beekeepers Association. This is fantastic news and I am sure that every beekeeper in Hertfordshire will join me in congratulating her.

She was selected for the job from nearly 90 applicants. As BBKA put it:

Jane probably better reflects the changing demographics of our membership and will bring a new and fresh look and energy to this challenging role.

Many congratulations Jane!