Auction Next

if you missed the talk on the Asian Hornet the other night then that was unfortunate as you missed an excellent talk and I learned several new points – but I will save those for another day.

We gave out a lot of Asian Hornet Traps to members and hopefully they have all been assembled and installed. I will be putting a map of the trap locations onto the web site in the near future but mean time back to the auction.

The auction is right at the start of next month – Saturday March 2nd. If last year is repeated this year then there were some real bargains to be had. There was all sorts of items there including hives and smokers – and many of them at prices which would make a Thornes salesman cry!

For those who have not seen the details then here is a link to the article written previously.

Asian Hornet Talk

As the weather shows signs of getting warmer we must be on our guard against the Asian Hornet – also known in some areas as the Yellow Legged Hornet

On Wednesday 13th February at 7pm we are hosting a talk on the Asian Hornet at the Colliton Club.

Mark White, the Dorset County AH Co-Ordinator is leading the evening, giving us the latest information plus how to use the traps properly, best place to site them and which bait for the time of year.

For members of the Dorchester and Weymouth Beekeepers we will also have the traps there for distribution.

Please remember to bring the grid ref or postcode of where you will be siting your trap as we want to monitor as many places as possible. If you do not know the postcode or grid reference then click on the map below, zoom in and pan to the trap site and click on it. Up will come the latitude and longitude. We can use that to plot the trap location on the map.

For beginners, or any members who don’t have bees at the moment, please come along anyway as it is important to know as much as possible about the Asian Hornet.

We will be hosting a map showing the location of all the Asian Hornet traps in the area. If we get a positive sighting the map will show us other traps in the area.

At the moment the map just shows random locations but I hope that after Wednesday night there will be plenty of markers showing the location of the traps.

Map
Click on the map to load the zoom and pan version.
The map opens in a new window.

Map of Dorset Map of Dorset

Auction Soon

ANNUAL AUCTION OF BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT
SATURDAY 2nd MARCH 2019

at
Sunninghill Community Hall
Sunninghill Prep School, South Walks Road, Dorchester, DT1 1EB.

An auction of beekeeping equipment and associated paraphernalia will be held in the hall.

A Thorne’s stockist, Diane Sleigh from the Bee Depot will be there. She will be happy to take pre-orders and will also be running the Thorne’s wax conversion/exchange scheme, this shall comply with the tables listed in the Thorne’s catalogue. Please contact Diane approximately a week prior to the auction to confirm the weight and what is required to be exchanged.
Contact details:

  • Email diane.sleigh@thebeedepot.com
  • Phone 01373 430458
  • Mobile 07879 811967

Please Note: Wax needs to be clean and rendered (no hive scrapings) with the crud removed from the bottom, it also needs to be free from wire, stones etc. Colour irrelevant but no pre-coloured wax.

TIMINGS

Sellers:

Booking-in of lots from 11 am – 1.00 pm.
All items for sale must be clean, of reasonable and saleable quality, otherwise entry of items will be refused. Neither drawn foundation/comb nor live bees will be accepted.

Buyers:

Buyer registration and viewing of lots from 1 pm.

Selling:

Selling starts at 2.00pm.

There is ample car parking on site and assistance will be available at the end of the auction to help load purchased items into your vehicle.

For more information contact: Andy Ranson Tel: 01305 770730

The Asian Hornet threat is still there.

Wednesday February 13th at Colliton Club Dorchester

It may be a quiet time in the Apiary but it is not a time to relax. This year we face a greater risk than ever before that we will see the Asian Hornet in Dorset.

Why?

The number of Asian Hornets in Northern France is on the increase and that means there are more Asian Hornets which could get a lift over the channel on a lorry or in a car or caravan.

The number of lorries coming into the channel ports will possibly increase under Brexit and more vehicles mean more chances of an Asian Hornet getting a lift.

In Dorset we have extra responsibilities as we have channel ports of entry from Northern France.

And it not just about the bees.
I was under the impression that the Asian Hornet was a serious risk to the honey bee in this country and that was why we should be worried. This is not the case.

The Asian Hornet is a risk to all pollinating insects and that could have a profound effect on UK agriculture. Just think of the food which we eat which depends on pollinating insects. For example in the UK we depend on pollination for all our fruit including strawberries and apples, we depend on pollination for all beans be it runner beans or broad beans, we depend on pollination for tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. All of these foods are at risk if the Asian Hornet gets established in this country.

As part of our effort to prevent the Asian Hornet getting established in the UK the Dorchester and Weymouth Bee Keepers Association is holding an Asian Hornet information evening on Wednesday the 13th of February at 7pm at the Colliton Club in Dorchester.

At the meeting there will be a presentation by Mark White the County Asian Hornet Coordinator who will explain briefly life-cycle of the Asian Hornet, its identification, the current status in the UK and our plans for action. There will be time for any questions and discussion.

In addition members of the Dorchester and Weymouth Bee Keepers Association can collect an Asian Hornet trap. In exchange for the Asian Hornet trap we need to know exactly where you are going to set it up. Most people will be placing their trap near their apiary. We need to know exactly where they are to be installed so that we can see what areas are covered and where there are gaps in our coverage.

We hope to see you there. We all have a lot to learn and a lot to do and this is the best time to start learning and doing.

Time to make the bees cosy

Following a talk to the DWBKA late in December Andy decided to make his bees more comfortable this winter.

This he has done with the aid of some readily available building materials and he has written an article describing what he did.

As someone who was at the original talk it certainly made a lot of sense and I can see why the wisdom of ages may not be the right wisdom. Cold and dry may not be the best environment for the bees.

Here is Andy’s account.

Cosy Box in Place
Cosy box in place around the hive.

Annual auction of beekeeping equipment.

We have not even got Christmas out of the way and already we are thinking about next year’s auction.

It is on Saturday 2nd March 2019 and at the same place as last year’s auction –
Sunninghill Community Hall
Sunninghill Prep School, South Walks Road, Dorchester, DT1 1EB

Thornes
A Thorne’s stockist, Diane Sleigh from the Bee Depot will be there. She will be happy to take pre-orders and will also be running the Thorne’s wax conversion/exchange scheme, this shall comply with the tables listed in the Thorne’s catalogue. Please contact Diane approximately a week prior to the auction to confirm the weight and what is required to be exchanged.
Contact details:
Email diane.sleigh@thebeedepot.com
Phone 01373 430458
Mobile 07879 811967

Wax Exchange
Wax needs to be clean and rendered (no hive scrapings) with the crud removed from the bottom.

It also needs to be free from wire, stones etc. Colour irrelevant but no pre-coloured wax.

TIMINGS
Sellers: Booking-in of lots from 11 am – 1.00 pm.
All items for sale must be clean, of reasonable and saleable quality, otherwise entry of items will be refused. Neither drawn foundation/comb nor live bees will be accepted.
Buyers: Buyer registration and viewing of lots from 1 pm.
Selling: Selling starts at 2.00pm.

Car Parking
There is ample car parking on site and assistance will be available at the end of the auction to help load purchased items into your vehicle.

Refreshments will be available

For more information contact: Andy Ranson Tel: 01305 770730

Christmas Social

This is a reminder of the Christmas Social to be held at the Colliton Club in Dorchester this coming Monday,3rd December at 7pm.

There is a buffet, there is a skittle alley, there is a raffle with wonderful prizes – that is what I have been told – and there is the opportunity to talk to other bee keepers.

This is an excellent time to meet other beekeepers and talk to them face to face – instead of talking to them through the veil on your bee suit. We do hope we see you there.

Too cold for the bees.

As the nights draw in and we get the thicker duvet out but what do the bees do? We are told that they all huddle together in the middle of the hive in the shape of a rugby ball with the queen at the centre. The bees on the outside of the “scrum” will move into the centre when they get cold as the ones in the middle move out.

But how true is this? How much do we know about what goes on in the hive in the winter?

Well one man who should know is Derek Mitchell and on November 24th he is giving a talk at 2pm at the Colliton Club in Dorchester.

Derek is a researcher into the differences in heat transfer between man made and natural honey bee nests at Leeds University School of Mechanical Engineering. Derek’s fascination with honey bees over the last 7 years has shown him that the deeper you delve into how bees exploit the physics of heat, the more impressive the feats of honey bees becomes. Derek is a well-known lecturer on this subject and was on this year’s lecture programme at The National Honey Show.

I have read the comments by others who have heard him speak and this looks like one we cannot afford to miss. Down here in Dorset we may think we are
too far South to worry but after the weather last winter I think we should make every effort to be as informed as possible.

Just to give a flavour of some of the points that may be covered I looked at the Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping site and was amazed at how much I have assumed – wrongly!

Christmas Social

And don’t forget the Christmas Social at the Colliton Club in Dorchester on Monday 3rd December at 7pm. A chance to meet with other beekeepers, play skittles and enjoy the buffet.

The Dorset County Show

It seems like an age since the Dorset County Show but I felt it more important to show where we are with the threat from the Asian Hornet.

The threat has not gone away – and I suspect it never will – but in the meantime as a bit of light relief here are some photos from the show. Or at least there will be – but I have just received notification of an Asian Hornet nest in Alresford  just to the East of Winchester in Hampshire. At the moment there is nothing on the government website.

Anyway back to the photos:

The marquee.
The marquee at the show.
Competition entries
The competition entries
A prize winner

1st prize flapjack.
Wax blocks.
Decorative wax blocks
Dennis explains some details of the hive.
Dennis explains.

Candle rolling
Candle rolling

Asian Hornet in Cornwall.

Yesterday I wrote a page for the website about the Asian Hornet and how it was important that we all remain vigilant and on the look out for this pest. And today we received notification that it has already arrived in the UK.

The government website states that an Asian Hornet was found at Fowey in Cornwall. It has been definitely identified but unfortunately it was not caught.

Aware of the risk to our honey bee population, and therefore to much horticulture, the government has set up a surveillance and monitoring zone of about 2 km radius and it is hoped that problem will be eradicated as it was at Tetbury and in North Devon.

To get an idea of what is involved in “surveillance and monitoring” I recommend reading the blog by Judith Norman on the BBKA site. It makes for very interesting reading.

If you have not done so now is the time to download the app for your phone – just search for Asian Hornet. It is suggested that you sit by your hives for some 15 minutes watching what goes on. If  the Asian Hornet is in the vicinity that will give it time to come back to the hive for more bees.

Asian Hornet (BWARS)