HBKA Members Honey Press
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Report From The Chair.

Can you remember what the weather was like last May. The endless cold North Easterly wind that kept bees inside and went on to badly affect the production of nectar which in turn led to much Queen failure. This appears to be have been a combination of poor stores and weather which meant mating with drones was unsatisfactory.

This honey harvest has got of to a much better start with reports of full supers where the bees have oil seed rape within range. As I write this the wind and rain have prevented any foraging today and temperatures have plummeted with a promise of better temperatures in a couple of days. At the same time it appears that some queens have failed in the last three or four weeks. This could be linked to a lack of drone  sperm from last year.

Looking forward you might be thinking about entering your lovely harvest into a local show later in the season. With small local shows its a great way to promote bees and beekeeping and you will also be able to enter classes closely related to bee products.Look out for honey cake and beeswax products. Why not have a go this year.

Lastly it appears that on the bigger estates where shooting provides an income, money is now available under the Stewardship scheme to plant wild flower mixes for bumble bees and small birds. It apparently pays more than corn at the moment, but there's no mention of honey bees although the mix will be visited by them. No doubt it will provide cover for partridge and pheasant. I got this information from my local gamekeeper so its not clear whether this information has been shared with the BBKA. Details on the DEFRA website

Happy beekeeping

Do You recognise this plant?  The butterbur growing along the Tyne.  Phil Gates in the Guardian Country Diary suggests it was planted by beekeepers.  Is he right?
Beekeeping Les Alpes D'Huez.  Not sure if the beekeepers wear skis, but for those wondering if Allendale is too cold for bees, this might answer your question.
Beginners Sessions

You don’t need to have bees to attend just an interest in seeing what it’s all about.  The sessions are open to existing Hexham members both beginners and those with some experience, who would like to see a range of different beekeeping skills and ways to deal with what you may find in your own hive when you open it. If you are not a member then you can come to one session as a taster but we would expect you to join the association if you would like to continue.
The things we will cover are briefly:- Bee & brood identification and health of the colony.  Feeding - what to feed, how & when.  Equipment.  Swarm control and chemical and non-chemical control of varroa and other diseases.  
Dates of the Sessions
Sunday 12th June
Sunday 19th June
Sunday 3rd July
Sunday 17th July
Sunday 31st July
Sunday 14th August
Sunday 21st August
Anyone wishing to attend should email me, at the address below with the dates of all the sessions you would like to attend so that I can plan with some accuracy how many demonstrators I need for each session. I like to run sessions with a max of 5 beginners to one demonstrator/hive so that you get a chance to have a good look and be able to handle frames.
Full joining instructions and the location of the apiary will be emailed to attendees before each session.
Sue Ewing



A reminder to all that our 2016 Hive Loan Scheme is due to close to applicants on 15th June.

So if you are a beginner beekeeper who has not kept bees before and have attended a recognised beekeeping training course, you could be eligible to borrow a hive for a season to see if you really want to bee-keep without the huge start-up costs.

Details and application forms are available on the HBKA website

But hurry. The scheme closes on 15th June

Jane Hughes
Copyright © 2016 Hexham Beekeepers Association, All rights reserved.

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