Orpington Branch Newsletter May 2001.
KENT BEEKEEPERS` ASSOCIATION
Orpington Branch Newsletter May 2001
All being well, with this you should receive a copy of the new list of members, this time for all the branches of the KBKA. It is some years since we last had one of these and I guess we can thank Peter Baker for its existence. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of news this month. I understand that High Elms has re-opened and I expect that some members have been down on Saturday afternoons to tend the bees, but I haven't been one of them, since the weather was unsuited to my type of cycling. The weather might also have been unsuitable for the bees - there have been few days when it has been dry and the temperature has risen above 600F.
Having lost one colony during the winter, I was pinning my hopes on the remaining one, but was shattered to find on opening up, very few bees, some eggs, sealed and unsealed brood and a started queen cell. Without thinking, I destroyed the cell and then realised that I hadn't seen the queen. There were very few stores and I wondered whether a swarm had already occurred. So with a sinking feeling, I gave the bees some sugar syrup and hoped for the best. Last week, I opened up again and was relieved to see the queen and all appeared to be well. She had lost her marking since last year, so that is a job for next week. It surprised me to see a number of drones already in the hive.
Now that I have a computer, I can receive E-mails and a few weeks' ago, one turned up! It was from a Christine Slade who has launched a new business venture for a Directory of Tutors on any subject, not strictly academic. She is offering 12 months' free registration and will provide a link to the tutor's own website. So if you fancy advising people on how to see the queen and why it is not a good idea to destroy queen cells without thinking, her website is www.tutors-online.co.uk I don't think I'm suitable!
Greg Snell has sent me a cutting from "The Times" containing two articles. The first was a report from the University of Memphis in Tennessee where scientists have determined that cyclists receiving honey performed as well as those given specially formulated sports drinks and gels. The other was a potted history of honey (not a history of potted honey), mentioning that the oldest reference dates back to 5500BC, when Lower Egypt was known as Bee Land. Apparently, Ancient Egyptians mixed it with crocodile dung to produce an effective contraceptive - effective maybe because the vile concoction must have put those who tasted it off sex altogether!
Coming up on May 7th is the May Fair at Petts Wood Memorial Gardens so I hope some of you will be able to come along to sell your produce and help on the stand. Following that, on Saturday May 19th William S. Mundy is coming to demonstrate at the Apiary. He is Chairman of the KBKA and also of Dartford Branch, so I expect the bees will be on their best behaviour when he is around. Maybe we ought to be too!