Newsletter April 2016

Map of the Beekeeping societies in the Dorset Group
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Map of Dorset Beekeeping Societies Map of Dorset Beekeeping Societies



Informal ‘Get-togethers’:

Thursday 12th May 7.00p.m. at The Hive Café, 20 Park Street, Weymouth DT4 7DQ

Park Street runs from Wilkinsons to the Railway Station, Hive Café is opposite the carpark ( free after 6.00pm).

Saturday 16th April at Nordale Farm, Broadmayne: Auction

just east of Broadmayne Nr Dorchester DT2 8LY

  • An auction of beekeeping equipment and Bee associated paraphernalia.
  • New equipment also available. Thorne’s Agent ‘The Bee Depot’ will be there and will take prior orders. Contact:
  • Free tea and coffee.
Sellers: Set up and register from 10 AM 1.30 PM.
Buyers: Buyer registration from 1 PM
Contacts for more information: Chris Donaghy 01305 852317


Sunday 17th July: Southern Bee Health Day at Stratton Village Hall

This is going to be run by our new Regional Bee Inspector, Julian Parker. The draft programme for the Day has been circulated in March Honeycraft. It should be an interesting and informative day and the chance to meet our new Bee Inspector.

Other dates of interest:

Sunday 17th April. 1000-1300 Nosema Day: Joint Event between West Dorset & East Devon BKA At Dan Basterfield Blackbury Farm, Southleigh, Colyton, Devon, EX24 6JF

Saturday 23rd April 2016.  West Sussex Beekeepers’ Association is organising a Bee Market and Auction. The event will again take place at Chichester College’s Brinsbury Campus in Pulborough, West Sussex RH20 1DL.

For further details contact email  or phone 01403 752493 Mobile 07761 349281

Dorset Datesjust a reminder that at the back of Honeycraft there is a list of events for Dorset.


Basic Beginners Course & follow-up apiary visit for attendees on Tuesday 5 April starting 6.00pm at Stinsford.

The Course has now finished and has been very successful. Most of the attendees will be continuing on a practical basis and the first apiary meeting is at Stinsford on Tuesday 5th April 6.00pm. From Tuesday 19 April all members will be welcome to attend, although the emphasis will be on helping new beekeepers.

Basic Assessment:

If any member is interested in taking the Basic and would like more information please contact either Terry Payne ( or Lesley Gasson (   Both Terry and Lesley will also help with a mock assessment for the Basic as this will help give confidence and the knowledge of what you need to do to pass it.



  • Suppliers: Our County Secretary has been sent information by a new supplier. It is Old Castle Farm Hives and his website is He is based in Swansea so is not local but apparently offers a courier service.       I have also received an email from Connor Jones from Donegal Bees, Ireland. He says ‘Our entire product range is available online at and we can accept orders online, by email or over the phone’. There is a more local supplier, Peter Wells at Maiden Newton. 01300 320660. He sells most of his equipment through Ebay but collection may be possible for Dorset members.
  • I have been sent a link by an East Devon Beekeeper to her website for anyone interested in finding out what events are running in their area.
  • Two of our members have contacted me about having bees to sell. Jon Diggens at Piddlehinton (01300 348189) has got some nucs available and Richard Norman (01305 786585) has some small colonies to move on.
  • Swarm List: on the basis that it is never too early to think about swarms the list below gives the names and contact details of our swarm collectors.


Chris Donaghy 01305 852317 ; Ruth Homer 01308 482483; Richard Norman 01305 786585;

Andy Ranson 01305 770730; Chris Slade 01300 320777; Marc Watton 01929 406117



Now that our Beginners Course has finished and we are planning to start the follow-up apiary visits, it at last feels as if we are getting into the start of the practical season.   The apiary site is at Stinsford and will be weekly on a Tuesday starting at 6.00p.m. As already mentioned, from Tuesday 19th April we would welcome members to attend, even if it is only to stand and talk to the beginners.


We had a very successful last ‘get-together’ at The Hive Café in Weymouth. Thank you to Simon & Rachel Gregory who run the Cafe and who have agreed we can use it again. The location is perfect for a Weymouth venue as it is central and opposite a car park.   Our next meeting is at The Colliton Club which is a change of venue but may turn out to be worth using, particularly at it is so near to parking.


The clocks have now gone forward, a true sign we are into Spring. Hopefully the weather will turn more spring-like. If the weather does improve, we could expect some early swarms, so we need to be ready for them which brings me on to our next event, the Auction. You may well pick up some bargains so hopefully see some of you there.


A word of advice, don’t be in too much of a hurry to remove mouseguards. I removed some a week ago when we had a really fine day but subsequently it seems mice have been in the hive, chewing the comb.


Finally, it is with much sadness that we learnt one of our ex-members, Jenny Eddison (Smith), passed away earlier this week at Joseph Weld Hospice. Jenny had been a member for some years, served on the Committee and was the Branch Secretary for two years. As an Association we owe her a huge debt of gratitude as she allowed us to use her apiary site to start the Beginners Meetings. She was exceedingly good-natured about letting us pull apart her hives and colonies every fortnight. In fact, if she hadn’t given us this headstart I doubt whether the Beginners Meetings would have progressed, certainly not to the point where are now. Unfortunately, Jenny had to give up beekeeping a couple of years ago due to her illness but she did keep in touch and she will be sorely missed.


Sally Leslie