South East Herts - April 2012

by John Mumford (Hon Sec)

The March Winter Meeting - a talk by Oonagh Gabriel about the BBKA Basic Assessment, was unfortunately poorly attended however it turned out to be most informative about a variety of subjects.

At the HBKA AGM the new Constitution was adopted despite a number of items that will have to be changed at some other time or other. The HBKA Treasurer presented the accounts which showed a very healthy surplus, no items were recorded for Fixed Assets : - Honey Show Cups - and a WBC hive presented by Mrs. Crawford a few years ago. The Bring and buy/Car Boot sale turned out to be quite popular with sales of around £120.00.

A mnemonic for remembering Queen Marking Colours -

Year ending with a 1 or 6 White or Grey
Year Ending with a 2 or 7 Yellow
Year ending with a 3 or 8 Red
Year ending with a 4 or 9 Green
Year ending with a 5 or 0 Blue

Will You Raise Good Bees

The bees have done very well during the recent warm unseasonable weather. I have been through all of my colonies (end of March) they are all showing lots of stored pollen and some fresh nectar. Four to Five combs of sealed brood seems to be the average - and that means that in the next two week some 16,000 to 20,000 bees will emerge from their cells. Supers will have to go on a couple of weeks earlier than normal (what is normal nowadays?)- not for honey storage, but room for the bees. The old combs that I put to the sides of the brood chamber have been removed and I will add frames of foundation as the bees need them.

Progress at the HoneyWorks Bee Training Centre

BuzzWorks Association, Hitchin

The site was obtained in 2008, cleared of scrub by hand and laid out with paths, hedges, a wild flower meadow, fruit trees, lawn and bee hives using voluntary labour and materials initially paid for by BuzzWorks Association Hitchin.

An Awards-for-All grant of £9,993 was obtained in November 2010 for shed bases and four sheds, a pond liner and pond plants, and a sensory garden that could be deferred if costs rose.

No allowance could be made within the grant limit for upgrading standard sheds for public use and fitting out the sheds to make them fit for purpose as a training and information centre for beekeeping. Sufficient local grants and donations were therefore obtained during the course of the year for necessary upgrading that needed to be incorporated while the sheds were being erected (increasing internal height and strengthening roofs; adding porches; ceilings and roof insulation; external and internal decoration).  A HCC Locality Grant of £1,000 has  enabled the social space between the two Training Sheds to be paved and roofed. Completing internal fitting out (Kitchen, Office/Club Room, Workshop, Exhibition on Beekeeping) and planting the Sensory Garden will depend on further funding. A Toilet Shed can now be built with a further HCC grant, for use by visitors and allotment gardeners, and a pre-existing private shed should be taken over for use as the Association’s Tool Shed.

HoneyWorks now meets the aims for a beekeeping centre and community garden.  
It is intended to complete its full development by end November 2012 with help from a second National Lottery ‘Awards-for-All’ grant.


Bee Shed with added porch and water tank

Wildlife pond

Exhibition Hut

Training Centre

Site for future Sensory Garden