Stormy Weekend

Well that was a stormy weekend and where I was it was deep snow as well. It may not be the nicest weather but it would be an idea to check that your hives have not been blown over or hit by a falling tree. if you have strapped your hive then all it should need is to be lifted back onto its stand. That should take two of you if the hive has plenty of stores.

On a separate note I have added some interesting nativity figures in Bees Wax which are for sale. They would certainly make an interesting bee based addition to your Christmas decorations. Check them out on the For Sale page.

Diary Dates

A committee meeting the other night and now we have more dates for your diary:

December 8th – Our Xmas social. We will have a raffle and lots of happy bee keepers I hope. It will be at the Colliton Club at 7pm.

January 18th – Kevin Pope – our Seasonal Bee Inspector – will be giving a talk at the Colliton Club on the 2021 season. This was the talk originally planned for the AGM in 2021 but had to be postponed when we went virtual.

February 8th to March 15th – For the Beginners’ Course. This will be held at the Colliton Club from 7pm to 9pm each Tuesday from February 8th to March 15th. The course will cover sufficient theory so that when you first open a hive you are not totally at a loss as to what you are looking at. I will be putting up more details as we get closer to the date. The cost of the course will be £60 and if you are interested then contact Sally. We will be limiting the number of attendees so the sooner you apply the better your chance.

For those thinking of doing the Beginners’ Course two possible Xmas presents are the “Haynes Bee Manual” and the BBKA Guide to Beekeeping. There are a lot of other useful gifts on the BBKA Shop. Whatever you do please do not order bees! I will be doing an article on this in the near future but imported bees are not a good idea – and that is putting it mildly.

February 12th – We are holding a one day hands on course on “Hive Manipulations”. This will be a chance to practice the various hive manipulations. Though I have not seen the final programme I expect it to include practice at such operations as a “Bailey Comb Exchange” and the “Shook Swarm”. These will be practiced indoors and with empty hives so we do not have the complication of bees in the hive!

Sort out your kit.

November is a quieter month in the Apiary – though there are still things to do. If you are wondering what then have a look at the page on November tasks.

One of the tasks suggested is to sort out kit which is no longer needed. A couple of local beekeepers have done exactly that and as a result I have placed a couple of items on the For Sale page. One of the items is a honey extractor and the other is a shaker box. Do have a look and contact the sellers if you are interested.

At least one reader took my advice asnd is sorting out his library as well as his equipment and today I have added two books to the For Sale page.

Not been idle myself and in an attempt to make myself a better beekeeper I have started some pages of information pulling together much of what I know and more of what I do not know. Do have a look here and let me know if they are useful. You can get in touch via email to

November now

It is not yet cold enough to worry about – though there was a frost this morning. It is cold enough to not open the hives. So what so we do in November in the apiary? This post will help you.

As I add in the post this is a good time of the year to be thinking about further study. Personally I have started to work my way through the modules on the BBKA site. There is so much out there on the net to help you with your studies. As before I recommend the Norfolk Honey Company videos on You Tube.

There are also a lot of lectures still available on line. This week I have registered on Eventbrite for a lecture by Dr Samuel Ramsey on Tropilaelaps. I have heard his talk on Varroa destructor and he is a most entertaining and informative speaker.

New BBKA sylabus

BBKA Module Exams 2022
If you are considering taking a BBKA module exam in 2022 then do be certain to check the new syllabus. There are significant differences between the November 2021 exams and the exams for 2022.

Just as an example the 2021 syllabus for Module 1 Honey Bee Management Syllabus says the syllabus covers the use of wax foundation, ways of getting wax fully drawn.

The new syllabus specifies that the syllabus now covers materials employed to emulate foundation as well as the use of wax foundation. It also requires the candidate to also know of the works of J.Mehring, E.B.Weed and Captain J.E. Hetherington.

It helps that the changes are in bold on the 2022 syllabus and this makes it much easier to see the changes. Personally I find the new syllabus much more informative and I now know where to direct my studies.

That is just looking at wax in Module 1. There are a lot more changes than this and rather than list the changes I suggest anyone considering taking one of the modules looks at the new syllabus on the BBKA website.  More information on the exams can be found on the BBKA site.