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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.

Beekeeper's Year

A summary table by Rod Parker has been added of suggested items to check through the year month by month. A description appears in Rod's latest Forager.

Smartphone for Christmas?

You might not have noticed the HBKA events list on this web site is a google calendar. You can subscribe to it in an electronic diary on your phone, tablet or PC. HBKA events appear alongside the diary entries you add yourself.

Not only that but if there is a valid location for the event, like the Federation day in Arkley, you can link through to map and sat nav functions on your phone without even having to enter the postcode.

Middx Federation Day

A reminder that next weekend the Federation day is hosted by Barnet at Arkley Village Hall, EN5 3LD on Sat 20th Feb. Speakers are Professor Linda M Field from Rothamsted on Insecticides, Pam Hunter on Bee Nutrition and Dr Sara Robb on Making Toiletries, all for £10. Wax exchange and Bee Basic equipment will also be available. A printable agenda with map is available.

Linda M FieldLinda M Field

SE Regional Forum

The forum is a recent addition to the National Bee Unit communications run by out Regional Bee Inspector Julian Parker. Moira went from HBKA and made notes on the day. Topics covered included the new NBU organisation, monitoring of imports and this year's foul brood totals. One aim is to recruit a network of Association volunteers to be known as Bee Health Advisors, as a local point of contact for less experienced members. Disease updates covered SHB, Asian hornet and DWV.

National Honey Show

Entries close soon. A first or second in the Harrow Show should consider emtering at least the Middx county sections. See Jo at the apiary on Sunday 4th October, Harrow members can help by delivering and collecting your entries. Three day event includes one of the best lecture programmes in the country with international speakers, a trade show with many suppliers offering discounts and an education program with bookable sessions on many bee topics. See diary entry and links for details.

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