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Pests. Diseases, Queen Marking and Clipping

Education session 17th April at the apiary is looking at pests and disease in the honey bee. It is very important that we all have an understanding about honey bee health so that we can spot the signs of trouble and look after our bees well. Jo Telfer is going to lead the session and has alot of experience so this is a session not to be missed. Due to the very late start to the season and the cooler weather there are so few drones about. We will discuss the process of clipping and marking of a queen in the ABC.

Bee Auctions, it must be Spring..

Bee auctions have been taking plce for many years. They usually take place at a weekend in Spring organised by a local bee association with the participation of the area RBI and include live bees as well as equipment. Too late for the recent Lincoln auction this year (pictured)  but established ones coming up are West Sussex on the 23rd April and Gloucester 14 May, see calendar for times and places.

Ordering Beekeeping Equipment

There is a new 2016 price list for the frequently used items that Brian can supply at the apiary on Sundays. Not all bad news as the offers from the manufacturers change; the frames are a little cheaper this year but the wax foundation is more expensive, such is keeping bees.

National Honey Show at Sandown

This year the National Honey Show is moving. Sandown Race Course at Esher is the new venue on 27, 28 and 29th October. It provides more space for showing and trading than the previous school venue. More details on their website.

Middx Disease Recognition Workshop

Middlesex Federation are sponsoring a disease recognition workshop. This will be hosted this year by Enfield BKA and run by Diane Steele the new SE RBI. For details and booking see the flyer below.

South East Bee Inspectors

The SE Annual Report to end 2015 records there were no EFB or AFB detected in the Greater London area. However it's all change for HBKA bee inspectors in 2016. Bucks has reverted to South region and so has RBI Julian Parker. Diane Steele is the new SE RBI, previously an SBI in Sussex. Caroline Washington has retired as N London SBI after 12 years, we wish her well and expect news of who takes over in April.

Beyond the Basic

Following the basic training course of 2015 run by Moira, a suggestion has been made that this could continue as a further discussion group  called ‘ Beyond the Basic’  Rosie and Colin have offered to host this group again starting on Thursday 25th February at their home. They have space for 12 people only to sit comfortably. 

Lecture Videos

Nights still long? The National Honey Show has been videoing the main hall lectures for the past few years. Topics range from general interest, such as keeping bees in the US and pollination to fairly technical such as honey bee evolution and pest lifecycles. Well worth checking what's available. Some HBKA members were even caught on camera.

Winter Sugar Feeding

As the days get longer your bees can run out of stored honey, January and the next couple of months are vital times to keep checking, traditionally by lifting one side of the hive a few mm to gauge the weight or "hefting". As brooding increases, the bee colony gets through stores to feed the larvae and keep them warm. Outside, early bulbs like snowdrop and crocus and shrubs like viburnum or mahonia can provide a little pollen but not much nectar. Poor weather means the bees cannot even get to what is available, so consider if you might need to feed sugar.

Api Bioxal varroa treatment

Brian has stocks at the HBKA apiary of the only UK approved oxalic treatment. Oxalic can be used for varroa treatment at other times of year, but is the only realistic choice over winter. Price is competitive with other suppliers and there is no post to pay. Pack size is 35g, which should treat at least 10 hives. If you have fewer hives, making up a pack to share with a neighour would cut the cost. Below are links including manufacturer's leaflets.

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