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

Beebase News Web feed
  • A confirmed finding of a single Asian hornet in Felixstowe, Suffolk
    29 April 2022
    The National Bee Unit is carrying out enhanced monitoring and awareness raising together with local beekeepers after a single insect, confirmed to be Vespa velutina was killed at a sentinel apiary, reported by a beekeeper.

    Laboratory analysis has shown that the Asian hornet was a female but as it was dried out and damaged it couldn’t be ascertained if it was a queen or worker. Additionally it is highly likely to be from the European population rather than a new introduction from Asia and is highly unlikely to be the offspring of either of last year’s nests in the UK.

    Further information regarding the yellow legged Asian hornet can be found on Defra's Asian Hornet sightings page and on BeeBase’s Asian hornet page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

    We continue to ask beekeepers to remain vigilant, record monitoring trap locations on BeeBase (guidance here) and report suspect sightings here.
  • Registration Page - Error - FIXED
    24 March 2022
    We are currently experiencing an error with our registration page which is preventing beekeepers from registering.  We are working hard to find a fix and will update this News items as soon as a fix is found. 

    To register, please come back in a few days or give the NBU a call on 0300 3030094 and we can process your registartion for you. 

    UPDATE: This has now been fixed. 
  • Analysis of 2021 Asian hornet nests
    03 March 2022
    During the 2021 season, two Asian hornet nests were located and successfully destroyed by NBU inspectors and APHA colleagues, following sightings reported via the Asian Hornet Watch app.

    The nest found in Ascot, and destroyed on 11th October, was 35 cm in diameter and contained six combs. Results from genetic analyses suggest that all Asian hornets collected in the surrounding area were likely to have come from this nest, and that the nest hadn’t reached the stage of producing adult sexual stages.

    The nest found in Portsmouth, and destroyed on 31st October, was 31cm in diameter and contained 4 combs. Results from genetic analyses suggest that all Asian hornets collected in the surrounding area were likely to have come from this nest. The nest had reached the stage of producing sexual stages but was highly inbred and a large proportion of the offspring were triploid.

    The queen and drones for both the Ascot and Portsmouth nest were highly unlikely to be direct offspring of the Gosport nest from 2020.

    Further information regarding Asian hornet can be found on Defra’s Asian hornet sightings page and on our BeeBase Asian hornet page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560.

    Use the Asian hornet Watch app for Android and iPhone to report sightings.

    Yn ystod tymor 2021, cafodd dau nyth cacwn Asiaidd eu darganfod a'u dinistrio'n llwyddiannus gan arolygwyr yr NBU a chydweithwyr APHA, yn dilyn golygfeydd a adroddwyd drwy'r ap ‘Hornet Watch’ Asiaidd.

    Cafodd y nyth a ganfuwyd yn Ascot ei ddinistrio ar yr 11eg o Hydref. Roedd yn 35 cm mewn diamedr ac yn cynnwys chwe adran i atgenhedlu. Mae canlyniad y dadansoddiadau genetig yn awgrymu bod yr holl gacwn Asiaidd a gasglwyd yn yr ardal gyfagos yn debygol o fod wedi dod o'r nyth hwn, ac nad oedd y nyth wedi cyrraedd y cam lle y caiff ffurfiau rhywiol llawn dwf eu cynhyrchu.

    Roedd y nyth a ganfuwyd yn Portsmouth, a'i ddinistrio ar 31 Hydref, yn 31cm mewn diamedr ac yn cynnwys 4 adran i atgenhedlu. Mae canlyniad y dadansoddiadau genetig yn awgrymu bod yr holl gacwn Asiaidd a gasglwyd yn yr ardal gyfagos yn debygol o fod wedi dod o'r nyth hwn. Roedd y nyth wedi cyrraedd y cam lle y caiff ffurfiau rhywiol llawn dwf eu cynhyrchu ond roedd wedi mewnfridio i raddau helaeth ac roedd cyfran fawr o’r epil yn driploid.

    Roedd y frenhines a'r dronau ar gyfer nyth Ascot a Portsmouth yn annhebygol iawn o fod yn uniongyrchol o’r nyth darganfyddwyd yn Gosport yn ystod 2020.

    Mae rhagor o wybodaeth am y gacynen Asiaidd ar gael ar dudalen golygfeydd cyrn Asiaidd Defra ac ar ein tudalen cyrn Asiaidd BeeBase. Dylech gyfeirio pob ymholiad gan y cyfryngau at Swyddfa'r Wasg Defra: 0330 0416560.

    Defnyddiwch yr ap Gwylio Hornet Asiaidd ar gyfer Android ac iPhone i roi gwybod am olygfeydd.