Kent Beekeepers Association Orpington Branch

Branch Newsletter October 2001

Orpington beekeepers branch newsletter October 2001.



Orpington Branch Newsletter October 2001

It seems to be mostly bad news this month. Spare a thought for Caryl Green who is in the Wickham Ward at Farnborough Hospital with a serious illness. She is, of course, our Vice-Chairman and has been a member of the branch for goodness-knows how long. Caryl is also one of the most regular members at the Apiary on a Saturday afternoon. Our Chairman, Kit Erhardt, has been along to see her in hospital and has taken flowers on our behalf. I'm sure we all wish her a speedy return to health.

An E-mail from James Morton gave the unwelcome news that varroa mites resistant to Bayvarol and Apistan have been identified in North Devon. At the moment, this appears to be the only place but the National Bee Unit needs to find out if it is happening anywhere else. So when you remove your varroa treatment strips would you please check if there are still signs of the mites being present. If they are, please let Dennis Geoghegan or James know. He has also sent me copies of a leaflet giving details of the NBU Apistan Resistance Test which requires a piece of Apistan 9mm x 25mm, a piece of card, a honey jar and some 2-3mm mesh. It sounds quite straightforward but since the Apistan is supposed to loose its effectiveness six months after opening, it seems that some time in May or June might be the best without wasting a whole packet. The leaflet includes a form for the results of the test, and it is important that it is sent to the Central Science Laboratory when the test is completed. Only in this way will we be able to find out the extent of the problem.

James is planning to visit beekeeping associations over the winter with a talk on "Beekeeping with Pyrethroid Resistant Varroa" and I hope that Tony Trinick or Bromley Branch will be able to organise one.

The Honey Show provided five of our members with good news because they won awards.

First prizes went to Kit Erhardt (crystallised honey and comb ready for extraction), Jackie Harradine (cake and biscuits), and Marjorie Trenear (Dry Mead). Seconds went to Peter Burden (Dry Mead and Gift Honey), me (Medium Honey), and Marjorie Trenear (Sweet Mead and Candles). Third prizes went to Peter Burden (Light Honey and Comb) and there were VHCs for Peter Burden (Sweet Mead) and me (Gift Honey). As a result, Peter Burden won the Orpington Cup, Kit Erhardt the Dr. Courtenay Lord and Alan D. Simmons Cups and Marjorie Trenear won the Drinking Horn and Matthews Memorial Plate. As usual, no one won the Festival Cup since there was no entry in the Novice class.

Even the honey show had its depressing side. Years ago, the number of entrants from Bromley was much greater than we could muster and they won a lot of the classes. Two years ago, open classes were introduced and prizes were won by Ashford members. This year we had as many entrants as Bromley and there were none from Ashford. Unless something can be done, there is a good chance that the show will die. This would be very sad since, in my opinion, the show is one of the things that hold the branch together. It seems to have been declining since the venue was moved to Wyevale. As someone said to me "What is there here to interest the exhibitor? If you are a gardener, you can spend some time looking round the garden centre, but what then"? We really need a new site with other interests and with the potential for more visits by non-beekeeping visitors. If you can think of a possible location, the Committee would very much like to know.

Don't forget - October 15th is the last date for entry to the National unless you pay a fee.