Orpington branch newsletter April 2003 by Frank Chappell.
KENT BEEKEEPERS` ASSOCIATION
Orpington Branch Newsletter April 2003
We had the best turn out for years for the talk by Dennis Geoghegan. It was particularly pleasing to see some members of Bromley and Sevenoaks branches – it just shows how popular Dennis is. We were also able to welcome new member, Keith Snelling and his wife.
Dennis started by giving us some surprising statistics. In the course of his inspections, he covers about 8000 miles in a year in inspecting 1000 stocks. The average cost per visit is £100 and he regards dealing with fifteen stocks a day as reasonably comfortable. I think that the maximum he had had to face was about thirty which was very tiring. It would be a good job if it weren’t for disease! The main problem was EFB, but this had declined from 12% of stocks visited in 1994 to only 2% in 2002, possibly because we were now carrying out more inspections. He spoke of one beekeeper who year after year always had EFB which mystified Dennis until he found out by chance that prior to his visit, the beekeeper was putting his best frames to one side so they never got checked!
His view was that good hygiene is the best way to keep your bees free of disease. He was worried that increasing litigation would limit the demonstration of beekeeping because of the risk of a spectator being stung.
The warm applause at the end was very appropriate for someone who has been so much help to us over the years. He will be missed.
The next branch activity is the Apiary opening on Saturday April 5th, when we will hope for good weather and a good turn out. On Saturday April 26th is the Spring Convention at Stoneleigh which is well worth visiting for the interesting talks and a chance to see all the beekeeping equipment displayed by the companies involved.
I am a regular watcher of the television programme “Antiques Roadshow” and in the last edition of the present series, the other interests of the experts were included. One featured was the blonde lady whose name is, I believe, Bunny Campione, who turns out to be a beekeeper and was shown handling her bees.
Preparations are going ahead for our one day training course on Saturday 17th May when we will hope to interest more people in beekeeping. By a happy coincidence Bromley Council are organising an Adult Learners Week from May 10th-17th with the opportunity of us having a table for an afternoon in Orpington Library to help our publicity. Let’s hope that we can awaken some interest in beekeeping.