Welwyn news - July 2012

by Peter Mathews

Whilst we did not enjoy a hot, sunny day we were extremely grateful for a dry morning. The Street Market is one of our more successful events as far as honey sales is concerned. A very late sale took our last jar for a complete sell out. Sales were up on last year with 107 honey sales made up of 85 1lb jars and 22 cut comb. Think we have always reckoned to sell 100 lbs during the 3 hrs. This is about 4x that of most other events.

A dozen of us enjoyed a wonderful afternoon hosted by Robin and Christine. Robin is the inventor of the Dartington Hive which offers a number of novel features designed to make your beekeeping that much easier. Construction is quite simple and is traditionally in marine ply, which is good for DIY beekeepers and those wanting to make savings. With a greater horizontal spread the full hive is lower than an equivalent National box—good if you are not very tall. The higher working height and smaller boxes are also better in avoiding back problems.

The Dartington, or in its manufactured form ’The Omlet Hive’ is very stable and is popular among the new roof top beekeepers in London. Older members will remember Dale Emery’s rooftop apiary in Welwyn Garden—Dale was one of the first users of the Dartington long hive.

We finished the afternoon with a wonderful tea and lots of bee talk. The weather was kind with a short sharp shower breaking a largely sunny afternoon.  Many thanks to everyone bringing cakes. Kerry’s chocolate cake was a winner.


We were very pleased with our visit to Knebworth Golf Course. The service track running alongside the greens and separated by mixed woodland leads to almost unlimited apiary space with good access, security with locked barrier and easy parking. What more do you want?  It is one of the best apiary sites we have been offered and is ideally located for most members. We will be following up on this, more to follow…....

A run on foundation means that we are out of stock of 14x12 foundation. We have plenty of foundation of super and std brood size, and all sizes of frames. We also have pins and Fumidil (Nosema treatment). I will be re-stocking in October…….must remember to get more 14x12.  I am also out of jars.

Peter Johnson  - We welcome Peter to the committee as Social / Events Secretary. If you have a new event etc please contact Peter first just to ensure we are not already treble booked. Also give Peter a call if you have any ideas for a meeting, offers of a garden meeting etc.  E-mail p.johnson293@ntlworld.com

We need helpers and honey at the Knebworth Show with 3/4 people to set up our pitch on the Friday.
Contact, Peter Folge:-   the_beekeeper@hotmail.com

I now have tickets for Hatfield House. Please let me know your preferred days.  It will make things easier to get tickets to you sooner rather than later. This is a very enjoyable day and is highly recommended. This year we have more space which we will use for a display covering bee diseases.
Contact :- petermathews@gmx.com

Don’t forget to check that your bees have adequate stores. With colonies at maximum strength and continued wet weather, colonies are consuming more stores than they ar bringing in. I have heard of people finding dead  colonies.

Herts Bees is back!  The Herts BKA website is up and running again with lots of news in and around the county, including this newsletter. You can find us at :- http://www.hertsbees.org.uk/

14th July, Saturday—Apiary Meeting at Raffin Green, at 10.30am

31st July, Tuesday -  Social and bee chat evening at The Waggoners, Ayot Green at 9.00 pm.
Suggested we might go through the syllabus for the Basic Assessment ? Or, whatever. Let me know if you want me to bring along frames or foundation. I will have tickets for Hatfield House.

11,12th August— Knebworth House Country Show, — organiser Peter Folge, setting up on the 10th

17,18,19th August— Hatfield House Country Show — organiser Peter Mathews, dropping off on the 16th.

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