Kent Beekeepers Association Orpington Branch

Branch Newsletter April 2002

Orpington branch newsletter April 2002 by Frank Chappell.



Orpington Branch Newsletter April 2002

A group of us has now arranged for Dennis Geoghegan to visit our hives for a health check on May 11th. There are probably no more vacancies for this tour but if any of you would like to get our inspector to check your bees, let me know and it should be possible to fix up another date. Are you really sure that you can identify Foul Brood in your hives? I believe this is the last year that Dennis will be an inspector because he has reached the age when he has to retire, which is a great pity as he has always been very willing to help us.

I get a lot of information over the net these days, so if you have access to a computer you could also benefit. The web site of the National Bee Unit is and you can get James Morton's newsletter at putting 'subscribe' in the email subject line. Don't forget for useful information about Kent beekeeping.

A number of people have 'phoned to ask me why honey has vanished from the shops and I have been able to tell them about the antibiotics which have been found in Chinese honey, a constituent of many blended honeys. James Morton suggests that the Chinese beekeepers may be using them to control brood disease - probably AFB - and that this practice is common in many countries world-wide where AFB is endemic. People take on trust the foods which are on sale, especially those in health food shops. I hope the publicity will encourage more customers to ask for British honey.

The editor of 'Kentish Bee' has resigned and since no one has volunteered to take over, it has come to an end. However, Peter Baker is to produce a County Newsletter listing branch activities which will be published every other month to coincide with BBKA News.

There was a good turn-out for Michael Badger's talk at the Memorial Hall. It was a slide show of interesting photographs which he had taken over the years. I usually try to make notes at these meetings, but it is difficult to do it in the dark, so I can't tell you much about it. The one thing I remember is a photograph showing sticks of seaside rock in a hive. They were being used to feed the bees because they were surplus stock.. I don't know what flavour they were and I would not recommend it!

It was nice to see in the "News Shopper" a photograph taken on the occasion of James Morton's talk and Marjorie's birthday. Hopefully this may lead to more members.

The Apiary will be opening on April 6th so let us hope for more of the weather that we have been having in the last few days. On April 27th the convention will be held at Stoneleigh and this is a great event with interesting lectures and the opportunity to look and buy at the stands of all the beekeeping suppliers. Finally, on May 6th is the Petts Wood May Fair where we will have a stand as usual and we will be needing produce to sell, so if you have any to spare, please bring it along. With the shortage of honey in the shops we may do very well this year.