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.