DORCHESTER SHOW PRIZEGIVING
Dorchester Town Crier, Alistair Chisholm, presenting the Massey Trophy to Paul Watkins for scoring most points at Melplash and Dorset County Shows. He chose the best day for it as the Saturday was warm and sunny, whereas Sunday was soggy.
Sunday 23rd July Apiary meeting at Oolite Farm,Osmington. This was at Nicky Payne and Rob Jefferies’ apiary and many thanks are due to them for hosting this visit.
19 members braved the very inclement weather to turn up at the meeting. It was still raining when we had all arrived so we dealt with the tea and cakes first in an adjoining polytunnel. 20 minutes later the rain had stopped and we were able to look at the hives.
We almost managed to look at all 7 hives but missed out the last one as the rain had started again so we decided not to bother those bees. Despite the weather not being brilliant the bees were very tolerant of us and we managed to have a good look through each hive. Most honey seemed ready for removal but several colonies were this year’s swarms so were still building up. One had only 4 frames of bees but, although a queen was definitely in there, despite 19 pairs of eyes and three marker pens at the ready, she remained unseen and umarked.
The apiary is on a site owned by Heritage Seeds http://www.heritageseeds.co.uk who supply wildflower mixes for Amenity and Agricultural biodiversity projects. These vary from back garden wild flower patches through pipeline restoration to the covering of closed landfill sites.
The numerous barns and polytunnels are used for drying and cleaning wild flower seed. Seeds are either grown on the adjoining fields or ‘harvested’ from various sites. These include the banks of the cutting through Ridgeway and flower meadows around Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge and as far north as Gloucestershire.
After we had finished looking at the bees the owner, Gerard, gave us a guided tour of the harvesting machines (including mini-combine) and cleaning equipment. He explained how the different flower seeds vary considerably in weight, size and shape so each needs a different cleaning process.
This was an added bonus to the apiary meeting and certainly something different to round up the event.
Saturday 16 September 1.00 – 4.00pm –
Introduction to Beekeeping Event at Kingston Maurward Classroom We are holding this to give people more of an idea on what is involved in keeping bees.
There will be 3 sections.
Directions:From the roundabout at the Puddletown end of Dorchester bypass take the turning marked Tincleton & Kingston Maurward. After 200 yards turn right, marked Stinsford Church & Village. After 200 yards park on the right opposite the KM classrooms. DT2 8XW.
The next informal get-together will be a drop-in session on Thursday 12th October at the Colliton Club, 7.00pm – 9.00pm. These are ad-hoc meetings the Club arranges to give beekeepers a chance to meet and also for prospective beekeepers to learn more about our BKA. We will be arranging further get-togethers during the Autumn and Winter and they will be published here once dates have been confirmed.