Secretary’s Stuff


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

As well as our chairperson Helen Hadley being new to her role this year I have now taken over the Minutes Secretary role from Richard Randell and am slowly coming up to speed with the tasks involved.

Many thanks to Richard for handling over all the documentation and for his continuing support and assistance.

If you have any HWBKA queries that you think fall under my role then please email me John and I will do my best to answer them.

As a general note the committee tries to do all communication with members via email so please let me know if you change your email address so that we can update our records accordingly.

Likewise any changes to address or telephone numbers.

Thanks and regards.

John P.

John Preston

An outbreak of European Foul Brood within our association boundaries means that there are extra concerns and a need for thorough and careful checking of our bees and frames. Vigilance and quick reactions contained the outbreak, but the association would urge everyone to be on the lookout and report anything suspicious to the Regional Bee Inspector, Alan Byham, to be checked out. It is also very important to ensure that hygiene with hive tools and clothing is maintained, especially when visiting other apiaries. Disease is easily passed to and fro unless good hygiene is observed.

Fact sheet 6 – ‘Apiary Hygiene and Quarantine’ from the National Bee Unit gives the following guidelines:

Gloves. If you wear gloves to examine bees avoid those made of leather and use washing up gloves or similar. They are easy to wash off between colony examinations and are cheap to replace when the time comes. Also they give better ‘feel’ and make jarring the bees less of a problem.

Hive Tool. Wash your hive tool off between examinations. Use a solution of washing soda. It is cheap, dissolves propolis and also has anti-bacterial in properties.

Smoker. These are difficult to clean. However the barrel is not a problem as it gets hot enough to kill disease pathogens. The bellows can be scrubbed off using a washing soda solution.

Bee Suit. Though the risk of disease spread by a dirty bee suit is low they should be washed regularly. If nothing else it removes the pheromone left after a bee has stung the material thus reducing the risk of encouraging stings.

Sharing items between Apiary sites increases the risk of transference of disease. To read the full Fact Sheet please go to the Bee Base Website