Author Archives: John Preston

8th February 2016

Contact details for our new regional bee inspector -

Diane Steele
Office: 01243 582612
Mobile: 07775 119452

Also a reminder of notifiable diseases -

Asian hornet
Small hive beetle

If you think you have any of these in one or more of your hives then you must inform the bee inspector immediately.


John Preston

Chairman's chatter Feb 2016

I hope everyone has made their bee plans for 2016 and purchased extra beekeeping equipment in the winter sales. I have been cleaning all my spare bee equipment in the hope that I will be busy in a few months time. In a bid to be free of EFB we have been busy at the association apiary burning old frames and cleaning equipment. We will wait to have the seasonal bee inspector visit and then shook swarm all the hives. If you have any spare time please come and join us on the working party dates.

The beekeeping season has begun - here in the south the queens are only out of lay for a very short period. The days are now getting longer and I am sure my queens are laying a few frames of brood. The old bees are under a huge amount of stress and they are munching stores to produce energy and heat to keep the brood warm and feeding the young larvae pollen (protein) required for growth. Please heft your hives regularly and if in any doubt put a kilo of fondant and a kilo of pollen substitute on - this will avoid starvation. Also remember if it rains the bees cannot get out and collect nectar and fresh pollen which is so important for healthy brood.

We have made a few changes this year to Bee Banter. We have decided to go back to having one bee banter a month but alternating the pub venue. So the next Bee Banter is on 23rd February at The Rose and Crown in Mayfield then 29th March at The Crow And Gate near Crowborough. We can review this again in the future. Malcolm will bring a selection of bee books from the library. You can also look on the website and see the list of books we have and request to borrow a specific book.

Keep checking the website for events at our two apiary sites. This year we will be attempting several methods of queen rearing (yet again!). There are also some interesting open apiary visits to attend. Open apiary visits are a chance to visit members' apiaries which can be great for picking up tips on how to improve your beekeeping as we all do things in slightly different ways which makes beekeeping so interesting.

Can I please ask that you inform Rose Marie if you wish to attend any events - this helps us plan refreshments.

Helen Hadley


Happy New Year to everyone!

Well here we are starting to think about and prepare for next season - well I am anyway!

Maybe you've been putting together kit purchased at the NHS or in one of the suppliers' recent sales; possibly cleaning up old equipment not currently in use but you somehow know you will need in a few months time
when our darlings decide they want to swarm.

Maybe reading up on some new aspect of beekeeping that you have always wanted to do one season but have never had the time - until now perhaps?

Or maybe you have just stumbled across this page with a vague interest in bees and beekeeping - is this going to be the year when you start your beekeeping for real?

Then again maybe this short update will make you realise that the new season will be with us before we know it!

For those who couldn't make them we had a successful AGM and Honey Show back in November 2015 at Five Ashes and a pleasant seasonal meal in December at the Crow and Gate outside Crowborough.

The committee is currently firming up Bee Banter dates and venues and these will be published soon.

We are also looking at what internal events we will be offering and which external events we will be attending - details to be published in due course - on the website and via email.

This year the swarm list will be maintained in a slightly different way - details will be emailed to members in due course.

I will shortly be contacting those who volunteered to be the new swarm list co-ordinators so that everything is in place for our first swarm list in mid March.

Many thanks to all those who returned their survey forms at the end of last year - the results will be circulated shortly.

Finally please do try and attend as many of the Association events as you can - whether they are internal events (talks, open apiaries, improvers' group etc) or external events (summer fairs and fetes etc) they are always good fun - see you at one soon.

John P.

John Preston
Secretary HWBKA