Welwyn News - November 2012

by Peter Mathews

You should have received your letter reminding you to renew your subscription. If you wish to benefit from a discount on ‘Bee Craft’ then you should make payment without delay as the cut off date is 22nd Nov.

Please note the additional Bee Diseases Insurance. The number of colonies insured should be the maximum    number of colonies you expect to have next summer, and not the number you have now.

You are strongly urged to tick the Swarm Collectors box. The more members we have covering our area, then the fewer calls any one person will have and the shorter their journey to collect a swarm.  If you keep bees, then you should be prepared to collect swarms. But, please do not sign up if you are work away from home much of the time.  If you are already paid up, but didn’t tick the box, you can always change your mind.

Many thanks to everyone making prompt payment. This makes life so much easier all the way down the line.

Most of our new members have been asking for further training. Here it is!  Our first session is on Tuesday, 27th November, at Woolmer Green Village Hall at 7.30pm. We don’t have anyone to call upon to deliver this, so we will follow the old maxim……. ‘the best way to learn is to teach’. We can only start from where we are, unlike some parts of the country we don’t have anyone with the National Diploma or Master Beekeeper on the door step. The plan is to teach ourselves.  Many other associations have been doing just this for some years and it appears to work.  Bucks run study groups based on these lines. Three of their branches have got together and each is responsible for delivering two of the BBKA Modules. Material is prepared and delivered by group members.

These evenings are aimed at all members not just beginners. The plan is to follow the syllabus for the various modules, starting with Module 1. This Module is also an excellent preparation for anyone wanting to take the   ‘Basic’ next year. Although the evenings will follow the structure of the syllabus they are not intended solely for those taking the Module exams. In Bucks, only about a quarter of those attending the meetings are interested in  taking the exams. But, by following the syllabus we should cover everything in a logical fashion at the same time giving  preparation for those who do want to take the exam.

We intend opening the sessions to other branches, hoping that they will, in turn, pick up on this and  run similar sessions covering other Modules.

  • Introduction
  • Outline of the BBKA training scheme
followed by 2 short talks from the Module 1 Syllabus
More details to follow……..
After organising our highly successful beginners’ courses for two years, Rachel is stepping down from the job.  Would you like to take this role on? You do not need to have any great knowledge of beekeeping, just the ability to set up meetings, enrol candidates etc. We are all involved with publicity.

If you would like to help run our association, but are not happy as Training Officer then you may prefer to take over as Secretary ?  Tamara is prepared to move to training if we can find her a replacement. Secretary is our prime contact with the public as well as looking after our regular committee meetings.

We need more members to act swarm collectors— just tick the box on your subscription form or let us know.

This hive is illustrated in Bee Craft ( Oct 2012, p13—The Future Of Bee Keeping) . The egg shaped hives are a favourite of Heidi Herrmann of the Natural Beekeepers Association. Heidi demonstrated the hive on Country File, shown on BBC on 21st October (and available on i-Player for 12 days). Talking to the programme presenter, Julia Bradbury, Heidi described the Sun as a bee friendly hive. Ordinary beekeepers (eg Welwyn members) do not care for their bees, and as a result of years of poor practice their bees are now sick. Heidi is working towards healthy bees. Her hives are encircled by crystals which provide  natural energy to the bees helping their well being.    Ordinary beekeepers (Welwyn members again) have to dress up in toxic waste suits in order to inspect their bees. This just demonstrates how badly they are looking after their bees. The great advantage of the Sun hive is that no protective clothing is quite unnecessary…….at this point a distressed Julia asked Heidi for help with sting just  below her right eye. Hmmm, I will think about it especially covering my hive with cow dung.

  • 25, 26, 27th October  - National Honey Show in Weybridge. I can give you a lift, or take orders for equipment etc. Planning to go down on the Friday.
  • Tuesday 6th November  - Social Evening, Meeting at The Waggoner's, Ayot Green at 8.00pm
  • Saturday, 17th November—Winter Bazaar, Applecroft School, 11am—3pm    contact Phill Jepson
  • Tuesday 27th November—  ‘Further Beekeeping’ at Woolmer Green Village Hall, at 7.30pm
Further Ahead :-
  • Tuesday 5th March 2013 -  Welwyn BKA, Annual General Meeting at Woolmer Green Village Hall

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