Orpington branch newsletter June 2003 by Frank Chappell.
KENT BEEKEEPERS` ASSOCIATION
Orpington Branch Newsletter June 2003
What an amazing day! Who would have thought that we would be able to attract seventeen people for a day’s introduction to beekeeping? Thanks mainly to the half-page article in the “News Shopper” it happened. Even the weather was on our side – in the morning, it was raining for the talks in the Nature Hut but by lunchtime the sun had come out and it stayed that way while hive inspection took place. For the last talk in the afternoon, the rain was falling again.
With the help of Bromley Branch we were able to collect enough bee suits for everyone and only one person was stung. Greg did the introduction and Jim gave a talk on the history of bees and beekeeping. This was followed by Kit on Bee Biology and Tony.
We were then fortunate to have a talk on swarms by Bill Munday and the morning finished with Greg describing the five questions to be answered when inspecting the bees.
After lunch, suits were donned and after a photo session everyone was off to see and handle the bees. Then back to the hut for the final talk by Peter on harvesting the honey. As a final temptation, the visitors were offered membership until the end of September for just five pounds and happily a number took this up.
Thanks are due to everyone involved, especially Kit who had the idea and Greg who did the planning. Nor must we forget Louise who was Event Manager on the day and Clare who provided liquid refreshment. Congratulations to everyone!
We must not forget the May Fair which was again blessed with good weather and had a good number of visitors. Unfortunately it is only a shadow of what it once was and we have to hope that it doesn't’t decline any more.
James Morton has sent an email giving an update on the disease position in the south-east. Things don’t seem to be too bad, but there has been an unusually large outbreak of AFB in Surrey affecting 14 colonies in 3 apiaries belonging to a single beekeeper. James and Nick Withers inspected most of our members’ apiaries on May 10th and sent away a few larvae for examination, but I believe that they have been given the all clear.
Sadly, the same email informed us that James will now be covering inspections in all of England and Wales so we will not be seeing so much of him. However, he will still be based in London. So congratulations to James and we look forward to meeting his successor when appointed. In the meantime Alan Byham (01737 217409) is looking after things.
Our next activity is the membership stall at Coolings on Saturday/Sunday June 14th/15th followed by a demonstration of Apiary Practices by Nick Withers at the Apiary on Saturday June 21st.
John Huckle tells me that he has a WBC hive for sale. If you are interested, please ring him on 01689 853873.