HBKA Members Honey Press
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Report From The Chair.

All the best to you and your family and your bees.
A month in 2017 has flown by and activity at the apiary won't have stopped. No doubt you will have been hefting your bees and giving them supplementary feed. I certainly have. And those who attended the masterclass by Willie Robson when he gave the  Rachel Lowther Lecture will know that the art and science of beekeeping is under greater pressure than ever. We can no longer be sure, if we follow tried and tested beekeeping techniques, that success is very likely. As I think I mentioned in my last notes the problems about maintaining productive Queens is a key issue in Willie's eyes. His suggestion about having two super frames in the centre of the brood chamber is worth considering this season. The area below the wax will be filled with drone brood on wild comb which should greatly increase the drone count in your hives. Will it work for you? Do report to the Honey Press later in the year.
You may have already received your invitation to the 60th anniversary Northern Beekeepers Convention entitled Beekeeping-Past, Present and Future. If you're a regular I hope you will get your application in soon, and if you haven't been before, I hope you give it a go. It promises to be a great day.  As well as the talks and stalls there will be a display telling something of the history of the Convention and of the Northern local associations which support it. Should you have anything about the history of Hexham Beekeepers, please do let me know.
I retrieved Colin's books from the Northumberland County Archive before Christmas, and when they have been catalogued, they will be placed in the HBKA library. There are unusual books and booklets which do make interesting reading. Some of the rare beekeeping periodicals will be on display at the Convention, giving information about how the convention started.
Winners Of Bees Needs Award from Ovingham Middle School and Broomley First School celebrated their win as part of Polli:Nation
Bees Needs Awards Winners and teachers at RHS Kew Gardens

BIBBA Bee Improvement day 5th March

We are able to offer a few more places for our BIBBA Bee Improvement day at Wall on the 5th March.

So if you wanted to come along but thought you had left it too late, you have a chance. Contact Jane Hughes soonest to secure a place - details below

 “Bee Improvement for All”.
An all day event aimed at encouraging all beekeepers to improve their bees. The purpose is to help all beekeepers to continuously assess their colonies, so they have a good idea of which queens to replace, and which colonies to take queen cells from when they need new queens.
There will be tuition on how to raise queens using queen cells that bees often present us with during the summer, as well as some simple “artificial” techniques that may be suitable for the more advanced beekeeper, or those working in groups.
Further details can be found on and


Give Me Bees

Not for me a sun baked glare

nor the crashing thunder.

Nor flashing lightning in the air

rending the sky asunder.

Nor do I like the winds howling,

poking into all the cracks

around my house, prowling

and threatening the chimney stacks.

I tend to love the silent calm

when buzzards float on warm dry air

and Nature does to Earth no harm

by flood nor gale nor stormy scare.

Give me gentle light sun spun showers

and endless bees on endless flowers.

Carole Karatas

BBKA ADM January 2017
Below is a link to the Chairs report of this meeting.  It is very important for all members to be aware of what the national association is doing on your behalf.  Please take the time to read it.
Download Report of BBKA ADM 2017
'Preparing Honey for Show '

From the dark arts of the show bench to extremely useful tips, this was a a masterclass from Dorian Pritchard.  Being Dorian, the talk on Feb 7th to HBKA members ran from solid advice on how to prepare all kinds of honey for presentation, to an insight into what honey might have tasted like in pre-history. 
It is the reluctance of bee keepers prepared to submit their honey to shows that inspired Dorian, a hesitant exhibitor himself, to put together an illuminating talk intended to inspire HBKA members to take up the challenge.

There will be more detail in the next edition of Honey Press about the local and regional shows where members may exhibit their own honey and which classes they may enter, so start encouraging those bees to do their best for you.
Your editor apologises for the lateness of this edition of Honey Press.  It is largely due to the lack of internet over the past three months.
Copyright © 2017 Hexham Beekeepers Association, All rights reserved.

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