Kent Beekeepers Association Orpington Branch

Branch Newsletter March 2002

Orpington branch newsletter March 2002 by Frank Chappell.


Orpington Branch Newsletter March 2002

Orpington Branch Pic 3
Marjorie Trenear

A more colourful look to suit a colourful occasion! The date was February 13th and James Morton had finished his talk at the Memorial Hall.
Kit Erhardt presented a surprised Marjorie Trenear with a new cup for the branch. This had been donated by her niece, Dorothy, as an eightieth birthday present to Marjorie. It is actually a Scottish two-handed drinking cup called a Quaich and has been engraved "The Trenear Trophy" to celebrate the many years that the branch has benefited from Bev. and Marjorie. Dorothy also donated a spoon with a beehive end that clips on to the quaich and you can see it in the picture. An even more surprised Marjorie was then proffered a cake with flaming candles which had been made by Jackie Harradine, again financed by Dorothy who also helped with the wine which was enjoyed by all.

Orpington Branch Pic 2
Marjorie Trenear

Marjorie could not get over how all this had been arranged without her knowing anything about it!

James Morton was quite encouraging in his talk about the discovery of Pyrethroid-resistant varroa, pointing out that it had only been found so far at a small area in Devon and that we were the first country in the world to find it before it had become a serious problem. The Central Science Laboratory had started work to find out what genetic change had occurred in the mites to cause this resistance. Three alternative treatments for varroa were being made available in the area infected.

The worst way of creating resistance is to leave the treatment - Bayvarol or Apistan - in for longer than the specified time or use it below strength.

You can't rely on someone else finding out whether that the mites in our area have become resistant, you must check it yourself. Either use a varroa floor to count mite drop after treatment or use a standard test which the CSL have specified and which James demonstrated (if you don't know about this, I can let you have details). A point which isn't made clear in the test is that it must be carried out with Apistan, not Bayvarol, and since you only need a small piece, it means opening a pack with a limited shelf life. I'm not sure how to get round that one. In the meantime, you should use pyrethroids as little as possible - once a year instead of twice - and maybe use Apiguard. The good news is that if pyrethroids are not used for a time, the resistance seems to die away.

Some of us are arranging for Dennis Geoghegan to do a tour of our hives at the end April/beginning May to check we have no problems. If you want to be included, please give me a ring.

Don't forget our next meeting, which is on March 13th at the Memorial Hall. Michael Badger will be giving a slide show on general beekeeping. Hope to see you there.