Kent Beekeepers Association Orpington Branch

Branch Newsletter March 2003

Orpington branch newsletter March 2003 by Frank Chappell.



Orpington Branch Newsletter March 2003

Our speaker in the middle of February was William Munday, who started by wearing his Sash of Office as President of the KBKA since it was one of the last occasions he would be able to do so: his tenure ends shortly. Having done that, he removed it for the talk. His beekeeping started in 1936 when his dad took him to the honey show which was then in the Crystal Palace. In those days, three jars of honey had to be shown in each class and many beekeepers would bring their entries by bicycle!

He has been Show Secretary at Dartford Branch for fifty-one years and, like us, finds the number of entrants going down. His branch has taken the opportunity to do something special when the occasion offers. They sent 25 jars of honey to the Queen on her Silver Jubilee, had special labels for prizewinners on the branch's twenty-first anniversary and also one for the Millennium show. The Blue Ribbon which is given for the best exhibit in shows was originally started by the magazine called the "Smallholder", but on its cessation was adopted by the National Honey Show, financed by the KBKA. The National Honey Show is at Kensington Town Hall at the moment, but this is very expensive and the show is losing money. However, a questionnaire sent out to members has shown that they prefer the show in London, so an alternative site is being sought. More help with stewarding is also required.

In the course of the following discussion, he said that too many jars entered in shows had low levels of honey. It was necessary to fill the jars to the brim initially to allow removal of bubbles and wax debris and still retain the correct level. In reply to questions about wax blocks, he said that cappings are the best wax to use and the dish should have no blemishes. Any mould release agent used should be polished away to prevent its presence marking the block.

Our next speaker is Dennis Geoghegan, whom most of you know, who is coming to talk about "Beekeeping Experiences while Inspecting over Ten Years". This is on Wednesday March 19th at our usual place. This is sort of a goodbye to Dennis since he has retired as an inspector though I hope we will be able to keep in touch with him in the future.

The working party planned for January had to be postponed but took place in February when an enthusiastic group tidied up the hedges round the Apiary and moved and levelled the hives. No sign of any woodpecker damage so far.

I have received Schedules and Entry Forms for the South of England Show at Ardingly in June if you are interested.

A reminder for Committee members - the next meeting is on Friday March 7th at 8.00pm at 43, Homestead Road.