Orpington branch newsletter November 2002 by Franck Chappell.
KENT BEEKEEPERS’ ASSOCIATION
Orpington Branch Newsletter November 2002
I am indebted to Shirley for the article on the left and it looked so attractive that I thought I would try if possible to reproduce it. That I did is thanks to my son who knows a lot more about computers than I do. It was news to me that GBS kept bees, but it does seem to be in keeping. The use of the word “cloudy” is a bit off-putting as far as I am concerned! If you haven’t yet sent your subscription to Tony Trinick, don’t delay or you will miss out on “Beecraft” as well as making life more difficult for him.
Swarms and the woman
The virtues of beekeeping have been extolled for thousands of years (stand up Aristotle, Pythagorus, and, er, Henry Fonda), but if you need proof that a taste of honey is the secret to a long life, look no further than George Bernard Shaw The playwright kept several hives, and lived till he was 94.
Beekeeping is a rarefied skill, and when the house, Shaw's Corner, was taken on by the National Trust after his death there was no one to carry on. How lucky it was, then, that the secretary of St Albans beekeepers, Anne Wingate, lived just around the corner. Since the early 1980s she and her husband David have looked after the hives, which must make them two of the most unusual, as well as long~serving, of the Trust's 40,000 volunteers. 'From April to the end of June, we come about once a week,' she says, 'mainly to prevent the bees from swarming flying off and creating a new colony: When buying honey, go for cloudy rather than clear, she advises. 'If you buy a jar of set honey, you know it hasn't been heated! A top tip - pity she couldn't have let us in on the secret of eternal youth at the same time.
This is your last chance to get your entries in for the National.
Even if you don’t enter, try to find the time to visit it and see what the entries are like. There are also many beekeeping suppliers and lectures, so you can learn a lot.
Don’t forget our AGM and Harvest Supper, which is at the Memorial Hall at 8.00 pm on Wednesday November 13th.
A reminder for Committee members - the next meeting is on Friday November 8th at Tony Trinick's house at 8.00pm. Reading an art magazine, I came across an advertisement for watercolour paints which contain honey. The manufacturers claim that honey was used in this way in France in the 19th century and afterwards copied in Britain. It is thought that industrial sugars were later substituted for economic reasons. Judging by the amount of paint in a tube or a pan, a jar of honey should go a long way!
Finally, don’t forget the Christmas Party, which is at Gordon and Jackie’s house on Saturday December 7th. Make sure you keep this evening clear.