Dear Members,

What a wonderful Autumn we are having. Our bees have been out and about bringing in that essential pollen to build up their fat bodies to enable them to stay youthful and survive the five or six months of Winter. 

Those of you who attended Celia Davis’ informative lecture at our last meeting will hopefully now understand what makes the difference between Summer and Winter bees. These wonderful little creatures that we care for have over ages developed in amazing ways to survive the different conditions that climates in different countries and areas throw at them.  These adaptations to local conditions are why there is a strong move to encourage beekeepers not to import queens or packages of bees from other countries.  Apart from the risk that this practice imposes on importing non-native pests and diseases, local bees are best adapted to local conditions.

Some of you may have seen the 2030 Action Plan that the NBU, Defra, BBKA and WelshBKA have formulated to improve the beekeeping practices of bee farmers and hobbyist beekeepers.  There is a stress on Education, mentoring and ongoing training.  It makes interesting reading.

My own experience is that undertaking some of the BBKA modules deepens and increases the pleasure of beekeeping. I realise formal learning is not for everyone, but increasing your knowledge is really important in becoming a good beekeeper and the first step along this path is to take the basic assessment which you can do once you have kept bees for two seasons.  This is a practical assessment and I always think of it as being like a driving licence, it reassures both you and other people that you know the basics and can demonstrate that you do. If you are interested in doing this next year, contact Sam Peckett.

This month there is the opportunity from the 30th November till the 7th December to think about giving a donation to a very worthwhile charity, ‘Bees Abroad’ .  Any donations given in this period mean the charity gets a double contribution from the Big Give Xmas Challenge. Perhaps think about this as an alternative to sending Christmas cards or as a proxy gift for someone who has everything.

For several years Rugby Beekeepers Association members have supported the local Rugby charity ‘Crakerteria’.  This little charity opens every December, taking over an empty town centre shop (this shouldn’t be a problem this year!) and setting up a café/restaurant staffed by volunteers (some with learning difficulties). All profits go towards a tailoring training workshop in India and providing clean drinking water in rural India.  RBKA members come along with their partners to enjoy a 4 course home cooked festive evening meal. Payment for the meal is by donation and it is usually a very enjoyable occasion. Some beekeeping talk may take place, but with respect to partners, other topics make it a sociable and festive time. Please consider joining us this year. Martin will send out details when we know more about where it will be.

Also, don't forget the Festival of Christmas trees (theme this year -‘Let there be Light’) at St Andrews Parish church in December.  There is still time to volunteer your ideas, time and creativity - contact Samantha Peckett for more information.

Regards, and stay safe and well,  

Margaret Holdsworth  


Beebase News Web feed
  • Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies / Swyddi gwag - Arolygwyr Gwenyn Tymhorol (SBI)
    03 January 2023
    The National Bee Unit currently has  Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies advertised in:
    • Wales: North and Ceredigion.
    • West: Staffordshire, Shropshire
    • East: Norfolk, but particularly north
    • North East: Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire

    If you are interested in applying for these jobs, full details can be found on Civil Service Jobs

    If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact the Regional Bee Inspector for the region.

    Ar hyn o bryd, mae gan yr Uned Wenyn Genedlaethol swyddi gwag ar gyfer Arolygwyr Gwenyn Tymhorol yn y rhanbarthau canlynol:
    • Cymru: Ceredigion a'r gogledd yn bennaf.
    • Gorllewin: Swydd Stafford a Swydd Henffordd
    • Dwyrain: Norfolk, ond ardal y gogledd yn bennaf
    • Gogledd Ddwyrain: Swydd Lincoln a Swydd Dwyrain Efrog

    Os oes gennych ddiddordeb mewn gwneud cais ar gyfer y swyddi hyn, gellir dod o hyd i'r holl fanylion ar Swyddi'r Gwasanaeth Sifil.

    Os oes gennych unrhyw gwestiynau am y rôl, cysylltwch â'r Arolygydd Gwenyn Rhanbarthol ar gyfer y rhanbarth.
  • Annual National Hive Count Commences / Y Cyfrif Cychod Gwenyn Cenedlaethol Blynyddol yn Dechrau
    01 November 2022
    The National Bee Unit is pleased to launch the 2022 National Hive Count today, 1st of November.

    The hard slog of summer beekeeping is done so make yourself a nice cup of tea, grab your laptop and sink into your favourite chair. It’s time to update your BeeBase records!

    We would like to ask all beekeepers to please login to BeeBase and make a note of the total number of colonies you will be taking into the winter as of 1st November 2022. This task is quick and simple, just click here, login and fill in the short form. Even if you have no overwintering colonies this season it is still important to update your BeeBase record to reflect that. This survey will run until 31st December 2022.

    For more information about the Hive Count click here.


    Mae'n bleser gan yr Uned Wenyn Genedlaethol lansio Cyfrif Cychod Gwenyn 2022 heddiw, 1 Tachwedd.

    Mae'r haf hir o gadw gwenyn wedi mynd heibio felly gwnewch baned o de, estynwch eich gliniadur ac ymlaciwch yn eich hoff gadair. Mae'n amser i chi ddiweddaru'ch cofnodion BeeBase!

    Hoffem ofyn i wenynwyr fewngofnodi i BeeBase a gwneud nodyn o gyfanswm nifer y nythfeydd a fydd gennych dros y gaeaf o 1 Tachwedd 2022. Mae'r dasg hon yn un syml a byr, cliciwch yma, mewngofnodwch a chwblhewch y ffurflen. Hyd yn oed os nad oes gennych nythfeydd sy'n gaeafu y tymor hwn, mae'n dal yn bwysig eich bod yn diweddaru eich cofnod BeeBase i gadarnhau hynny. Bydd yr arolwg hwn yn para tan 31 Rhagfyr 2022.

    I gael rhagor o wybodaeth am y Cyfrif Cychod Gwenyn cliciwch yma.
  • Credible sighting of a single Asian hornet in Dover, Kent
    06 October 2022
    National Bee Unit inspectors carried out enhanced surveillance in Dover after a member of the public took a clear photo of an Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) before it flew away.  No further insects were seen.

    Local Asian Hornet Teams have been alerted and are continuing to observe forage and monitor insects in the area.

    The National Bee Unit is encouraging beekeepers and the public to remain vigilant, especially near ivy in full flower which is particularly attractive to Vespa velutina.

    Please report sightings of Vespa velutina using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for iPhone and Android, or the online reporting form. Please direct all media enquires to Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560