Kent Beekeepers Association Orpington Branch

Branch Newsletter June 2001

Orpington Branch Newsletter June 2001.



Orpington Branch Newsletter June 2001

First a reminder about the two-day activity at Coolings when we hope to be able to recruit some new beekeepers. It is on June 23rd/24th and we need members to turn up so that there is always someone available to answer questions and hopefully sell some of our produce. Please spare some time if you can and let Tony Trinick (01689 820838) know when you can turn up, so that he can produce a rota. Don't forget that it would be nice to have honey etc for sale on both days. For our demonstration on May 19th we were fortunate to welcome William S. Munday, currently President and Vice-Chairman of the KBKA, and Chairman of Dartford branch. Since he has been a beekeeper for sixty-five years, he really knows what he is talking about. It was therefore very gratifying for him to give our bees a clean bill of health and to compliment us on the standard of the hives. Credit here to Peter Kirby, Jim Grierson and all the other helpers.

During the tea party afterwards he answered questions, and two in particular I noted. Firstly, his method of dealing with a colony which is preparing to swarm is to split it between two brood boxes, making sure that there are frames of brood in both and to arrange the new box over a Snelgrove board, with the original box, queen excluder and supers beneath. He said that it didn't matter which box the queen was in, since you will soon see which one contains eggs, but it seems to me that it would be better to have the queen and no queen cells in the lower box and two selected queen cells in the upper. The entrances on the Snelgrove board can be used to divert flying bees to the bottom box. When the new queen has hatched and is laying, kill the old queen and re-combine the two boxes (no newspaper required since all the bees have the same scent)

Secondly, he advised against clipping the queen, since once the swarm takes place, the queen is lost to the colony and the chances are that a swarm with a virgin queen will emerge. This queen will have been well fed in comparison with the original and is likely to fly a lot further making collection that much more difficult.

Once again, the catering left nothing to be desired and our Chairman, Kit Erhardt and the members thanked all the ladies concerned.

I don't often have the chance to offer something for nothing. This time I can! Tony Fisher is giving away a stainless steel extractor having slots for ten radial frames, or by use of plastic screens, it can be modified to be tangential for four deep frames or possibly two jumbo Langstroths. Tony thinks that one of the plastic screens may be missing and that the control unit for the electric motor doesn't work. If you are interested, please telephone him on 01689 857139.

I recently received a nice letter from Rothamsted about the varroa samples I sent last year. Apparently the viruses detected in the varroa were Cloudy Wing Virus and Deformed Wing Virus, the most common ones amongst the samples sent in. Acute Paralysis Virus and Slow Paralysis Virus were found in few samples - only two samples for the former, and 4% for the latter.

I have received schedules and entry forms for the Kent Show, which this year is from July 12th-14th, with entries closing on July 5th. As usual, I will be happy to take along your entries and retrieve them afterwards so you have no excuse!

A reminder for Committee members - the next meeting is on Friday June 8th at 23, Woodland Way, 8.00pm.

On Saturday June 16th, the demonstration at the Apiary will be by Godfrey Munro, who will be "Looking at Things Differently" so it should be very interesting. A barbecue at the house of Gordon and Jackie Harradine will follow this. Let us hope for fine weather!