St Albans & District BKA Report for March 2011 by Christine Aitken

Our AGM on Friday 4th February was attended by 32 members and 2 visitors. In her report the Chair, Eileen Remnant, stated that the committee had recently decided to have designated persons to cover existing and new posts on the committee.
  • Education, Training & Beginners Course Officer to be Marian Whittaker. She agreed to be responsible for future Beginners Courses, continued mentoring and support afterwards and future BBKA exams.
  • Meetings Officer - Andrew Copley agreed to take on this role with responsibility to arrange Hall bookings for beginner’s course and winter meetings, Apiary and winter meetings content, Honey social and AGM. He would also produce an annual Members Programme for distribution.
  • Public Events Officer - will be Robin Moore. Each ‘Meet the Public’ event to have one co-ordinator responsible for arranging volunteer helpers and stand content.
  • Apiary Management Officer - Richard Peterson agreed to take on this role with overall responsibility to committee for Prae Wood, Oaklands and any future apiaries. Sub-committees to be set up.
  • Web Site Officer - Andrew Copley agreed to continue in this role.
Election of Officers – the present officers continue in office until 2012.
Chairman - Eileen Remnant
Treasurer - John Garbutt
Secretary - Christine Aitken
Committee re-elected were: Marian Whittaker, Andrew Copley and Robin Moore (in his absence). Other committee members are Luke Adams, Richard Peterson and David Brown. The meeting concluded with an excellent wine and cheese social.

Please note change of date Apiary Clean-up Day is Sunday 27th March (so as not to clash with the Herts. BKA AGM) We meet at Prae Wood Apiary for a 10am - 12pm session. Following on from the hedge planting working party earlier in the month it is planned to clear new areas where we can site the returning hives. This will be a large task so plenty of volunteers please. The Oaklands Apiary session is from 10am - 12pm.

Reminder Hertfordshire B.K.A. Annual General Meeting on Saturday 26th March at Tewin Memorial Hall 11.00 am to 5.00 pm

West Herts news by Margaret Tighe

The WHBK Association AGM included many "thank you's" to all the people who kindly give up their time throughout the year to ensure that newcomers to, and members of, the Association could receive advice, equipment, tuition and much more.

The work involved (as I'm sure many beekeepers reading this will agree) is not always easy or straightforward! Lindsay Bruce pointed out that his role of taking calls from worried members of the public regarding swarms which need collecting is made difficult, when the description of the location is inaccurate. He gave an example of arriving to collect "a swarm in a tree 'about' 6ft high", with a step ladder, and then finding it is more like 12ft high!

Sadly, for personal reasons, I am going to stop keeping bees and am currently looking for someone to adopt my bees! What a wonderful, unforgettable experience it has been for me - the kindness of fellow beekeepers, the smell of the honey as it is extracted, the hum of the bees on a summer's day …..

Solutions Magazine

The third issue of The Food and Environment Research Agency's new partner and customer newsletter - Solutions - is available to download now.  Please use the following link to download the current edition of  Solutions.

Updates from the National Bee Unit

Please find below a link to the recently updated Managing Varroa leaflet as well as the new Small Hive Beetle which contains a few small amendments.

It is our intention to have a limited number of hard copies available before April. If and when these do become available a note will be added to the website.

We hope that you find this information useful, any feedback is gratefully received.

Letter to the (outgoing) Editor

I was saddened to read the Herts Bees Newsletter for February 2011 and to learn that I would not be receiving it any more.

I understand that producing the newsletter must be a significant, difficult and time-consuming task.  You are to be congratulated on the contribution that you have given as editor.  I also realise that there are other sources of information and means of communication.  You suggest that the newsletter has become superfluous.  Perhaps I could give you another view.

I am no longer a member of Hertfordshire Beekeepers Association, age and injury having forced me to give up keeping bees a few years ago.  However, neither I nor anyone else has removed my name from the circulation list of the Newsletter and I remain interested in the art (or science) and like to keep abreast of developments.  The Herts Bees Newsletter has been my main, indeed only regular, source of knowledge of current developments, as well as providing news of my old friends.

I find that beekeeping increasingly crops up in conversations with friends, acquaintances and strangers and in such conversations I can sometimes correct misunderstandings and sometimes encourage people to think seriously of keeping bees themselves.  The newsletter has helped me to do this.

So thank you for your efforts as editor. They have been appreciated by me.  I shall miss the newsletter in future.

Yours sincerely, Peter Thring