BeeBlog

AGM – DON’T FORGET

Our Annual General Meeting, will be held on 20th October 2017, at 7.30pm, in East Challow Village Hall, Main Street, East Challow, OX12 9SR. This is your Association. It can only keep running if people are willing to volunteer a little of their time to be involved. The main business of the evening will be voting on your new committee followed by a talk by Samantha Chapman on ‘Demystifying the Modules’ where she will explain how the theoretical exams in beekeeping are organised.

Our final Association meeting for the year will be on November 24th at East Challow Village Hall, at 7.30pm, where Lilian Valentine and Michael Havard-Bilton will be doing a double act, talking about the manufacture of various cosmetics. This promises to be a very entertaining evening with practical demonstrations.Sadly, we have lost our normal venue for meetings for the foreseeable future, so the AGM will be held on 20th October 2017, at 7.30pm, in East Challow Village Hall, Main Street, East Challow, OX12 9SR. Our November meeting on 24th November will be held at the same venue.

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Reminder from the VDBKA Librarian

Reminder from the VDBKA Librarian – Samantha Chapman

As the darker evenings start to creep in on us and the practical beekeeping starts to wind down for the winter, don’t forget the wealth of material we have in the VDBKA library. Winter is a great time to catch up on your bee-related reading, and learn a few new things whether for interest or to prepare for one of the BBKA practical/theory exams.

The list of books is available on the website -

http://www.valeanddownlandbees.org.uk/membership/bee-library-books/

- a few books have been added over the last couple of years to bring the selection in line with the recommended reading on the BBKA booklist. I will be bringing a selection of books to most of the winter association meetings, starting with the AGM on 20 October.

If there is a specific book you wish to borrow, then let me know – Email me – and I can reserve it and bring it along to that meeting, or future ones. Books are free for members to borrow, and there is no time limit on the borrowing of books (within reason).

Finally, a reminder to those members who currently have books on loan from last winter – please could you return them, either at the next winter association meeting or by arrangement with me, so that they are available for others.

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Fun Honey Show

Dear member

It’s not long now until this year’s Fun Honey Show, at Stonehill Barn in Abingdon, on 7th October 2017. Just a reminder that all exhibits must be in place so that judging can start at 3.30pm so doors will be open at 2.30 to receive exhibits.   This year our expert judges will be Mr and Mrs Jon Davey.  This is always a great day out for all the family, and everyone is welcome.  It costs nothing to attend, or to enter into the show.

As usual there will be lovely food available, and we have also arranged for a visit by The Piggy Squire who will be offering a range of barbeque foods, including a vegetarian option.  This costs £5.00 a head, and we would be grateful if you could order and pay for this in advance,  so that he knows how many to cater for.   We will be subsidising this out of our Social Fund.  Please send a cheque to for the number you require, made out to Vale and Downland Beekeepers’ Association Social Fund  by 1st October 2017.   As usual,  we would love for members to bring and share any salads or desserts they would like,  please inform Lilian of any dish that you decide to bring, in order that we do not have too many duplicate dishes.

We are all looking forward to seeing you with your exhibits.

Regards

From your Committee

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NBU Update – Asian Hornet Identified in North Devon

October 2017 – Asian Hornet Identified in North Devon

Please be aware that we are experiencing a high volume of calls so please use the below guidance for all enquiries relating to Asian hornet sightings.

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in North Devon which was spotted by a beekeeper in their apiary on the 18th September 2017. The contingency response has been initiated and a press release has been issued by Defra.

Beekeepers within the area of the outbreak will be contacted by Bee Inspectors in order to carry out apiary inspections and to hang out traps and we ask for full your co-operation during these visits.

About the Asian hornet

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.

Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which includes:

• opening a local control center to coordinate the response;

• deploying bee inspectors across the area, and;

• readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests.

Further guidance on the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of BeeBase where you will find a very useful Asian hornet ID sheet and Asian hornet poster which is available for identification purposes.

Our best defence against the Asian hornet is to quickly detect any arrivals and prevent them from establishing and traps are the best way to help aid detection. When monitoring for the hornet, please use both sweet and protein based baits in separate traps as the nest may still be expanding and requiring protein to feed it’s young. We have designed A simple monitoring trap for the Asian hornet and an Asian hornet trap making video to help assist you in doing this.

You can now report sightings with your smart phone or tablet, by using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Androids and iOS. The app also uses GPS which allows the user to submit the exact location of their finding, allowing any confirmed sightings to be followed up quickly and efficiently.

Alternatively, you can submit your sighting by email. When doing so, please include as much information as possible, including where you saw the sighting, name, contact number/ address and if possible an image. Send your sightings to:

alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

All records received are reviewed by entomologists at Centre of Ecology and Hydrology and credible records passed on to us at the NBU for further investigation.

Finally you can also use the online recording form which can be found at

http://www.brc.ac.uk/risc/alert.php?species=asian_hornet

Please could all media enquiries be directed to the Defra press Office: 0208 225 7510

We thank you in advance for your co-operation.

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AGM – Venue Update

Sadly, we have lost our normal venue for meetings for the foreseeable future, so the AGM will be held on 20th October 2017, at 7.30pm, in East Challow Village Hall, Main Street, East Challow, OX12 9SR. Our November meeting on 24th November will be held at the same venue.

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NBU Update – High Mite Levels in Colonies

June 2017 – High Mite Levels in Colonies

In some regions of the UK, colonies are starting to show symptoms of high levels of Varroa mites, for example wing deformities and perforated cappings. Therefore, it might be prudent to start monitoring colony mite populations and information on how to do this can be found on page 15 of the Managing Varroa booklet. Also, the Varroa calculator can be used to help calculate your estimated mite population in your colonies:

http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/public/BeeDiseases/varroaCalculator.cfm

If your colonies have a high amount of Varroa, i.e 1000 mites after calculating it from the average drop, you may want to treat them with a registered varroacide. Suitable treatments where brood is present would include:

Apiguard;
Apilife Var;
Apistan*;
Bayvarol*;
Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) and;
Thymovar.

If you wish to use an oxalic acid based product then a broodless condition should be created first. Additionally, if you have honey for human consumption on the hives, remember that MAQs is currently the only registered product which can be used. When using any medicines it is important to remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

*Mite resistance to these products have been recorded and so a resistance test (the Beltsville test) should be carried out before using the product.

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Evening Summer Meetings 2017.

Evening Summer Meetings for anyone interested in keeping bees.
The Vale & Downland Beekeepers’ Association will once again hold 4 evening meetings during the season for beginners and the public. If you are interested in beekeeping this is your chance to come along and have a chat with one of our experienced beekeepers. These meetings will be held on Wednesday 3 May, Wednesday 7 June, Wednesday 5 July and Wednesday 2 August, all starting at 19:00.  If you know of anyone who would be interested in attending any of these meetings please contact Lilian Valentine on 01235 767524 or email lilian@valeanddownlandbees.org.uk.  Venues for these meetings will be decided upon nearer  the time. If you cannot make a Wednesday evening please contact Lilian and we will see if we can arrange another evening.

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Extra Beginners Evening Classes

Beginners Evening Class: Introduction to Beekeeping

Vale and Downland Beekeepers Association is pleased to announce that their well established and highly informative evening classes for Beginners will be starting again this January, following the successful course last October. The course includes:

Membership to the association
6 weeks tuition on the theory of beekeeping
1 day practical workshop on making up your equipment individual mentoring through your first season with bees weekly practical sessions of handling bees at our association apiary.

Numbers are limited, please contact Lilian Valentine

(jvalentine515@btinternet.com) or tel: 01235 767524 for registration details.

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Asian Hornet Found in Somerset

Message from The National Bee Unit – 4 Oct 2016

There has been a confirmed finding of Asian hornet north of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. As with the first sighting, work to find, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, and includes:

• setting up a three mile surveillance zone around the location of the initial sighting
• opening a local control centre to coordinate the response
• deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests
• readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests

Bee inspectors in Somerset will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.

The first Asian hornet confirmed in the UK was discovered in the Tetbury area. A nest in the area has since been found, treated with pesticide and destroyed. No further live Asian hornets have been sighted in the area since the nest was removed.

Husbandry Advice:
It is very important that beekeepers remain vigilant and monitor their apiaries and surrounding forage for any Asian hornet activity. At this time of the year, Asian hornets can be seen foraging on the ivy for nectar and preying on other foraging insects for protein.

Traps should also be hung out and closely monitored. When using bait, please refrain from using light beer or lager mixed with sugar as this does not work. In France a Dark beer, mixed with 25ml of strawberry syrup and 25ml of orange liqueur has proven to work well.

Additionally, a protein bait of mashed fish e.g. prawns or trout, diluted to 25% has also proven effective. Anyone wishing to make their own traps may find the following factsheet useful: How to make a homemade Asian hornet monitoring trap.

Further guidance on identifying the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of Beebase where you will find a very useful Asian hornet ID sheet and Asian hornet poster. All of this information can be found on the Asian hornet page of BeeBase: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageId=208.

Any suspected Asian hornet sightings should be reported to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

If you are not sure, please still send in a sample for ID or report any sightings. When emailing, please include your name, the location of the sighting and if possible, a photograph of the hornet. Please do not put yourself in any danger of getting stung when trying to take a photo.

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Members Fun Honey Show 2016

We are looking forward to welcoming Hazel and Michael Blackburn back this year to judge our honey show on Saturday 1st October at 3-8pm. Classes 1 to 17 will be judged by our expert judge; class 18 will be judged by the members. All entries in the Honey Show are FREE but must be exhibited by 15.30 at the latest.

Trophies to be won

Iliffe Cup. Awarded to the member with most points in all classes.

Wantage Challenge cup. Awarded to the member with the most points in classes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Peggy Mein Cookery cup. Awarded to the winner of class 5 & 7

Harmsworth Trophy. Awarded to the member with the most points in the beeswax classes (classes 8, 9 and 10)

Valentine Trophy. Awarded to the member with the most points in the DIY and creative arts classes (classes 11,12 and 13)

Mattingley Novice Cup. Awarded to the winner of class 14.

Peter Dawson Beginners’ Cup Awarded to the winner of class 15

Download Full Details:

Download

Notes

No need to pre-book, just bring your entries along on the day! All entries in the Honey Show are FREE but must be exhibited by 15.30 at the latest.
Points shall be calculated 1st = 3 points; 2nd = 2 points; 3rd = 1 point.
You may enter 2 items per class, but only the highest will count should you have both items placed1st, 2nd or 3rd.
Entries are welcomed from Vale and Downland, and Newbury members, but note that only members of Vale and Downland
Beekeepers Association can be awarded cups or trophies.
Classes 1, 2, 3, 14 and 15 – honey to be shown without labels other than exhibit label.
1. A novice is defined as a person who has not yet won a first prize at any honey show.
2. A beginner is defined as a person who is in their first twelve months of keeping bees.

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