Newsletter March 2016


MARCH 2016


Secretary: Sally Leslie, 86 Chiswell, Portland DT5 1AP Tel: 01305 823043




Wednesday 9th March at The Hive Café, 20 Park Street, Weymouth DT4 7DQ 7.00p.m.

This is the next monthly informal ‘get-together’/bee-chat evening. Park Street runs from Wilkinsons to the Railway Station, Hive Café is opposite the carpark ( free after 6.00pm). Simon & Rachel Gregory are two of our members who run the Café and as they will be opening especially for us in the evening it would be good if we could get a few people there.


Sunday 13th March AGM at Puddletown Village Hall.

2.00pm Talk by Ian Homer on The International Meeting of Young Beekeepers followed by the AGM.

Dorchester & Weymouth are providing the refreshments this year so that alone is a reason to come along. There is plenty of parking in the school opposite. At the moment no candidates have been proposed for the position of Chairman. If you wish to nominate someone please contact the County Secretary, Liz Rescorla at


Saturday 16th April at Nordale Farm, Broadmayne: Auction

We have already started to promote this but if you know of anyone wishing to sell their equipment please point them in the direction of Chris Donaghy who is the organiser. (01305 852317). The Bee Depot (bee stockists & Thorne’s agent) will be there. Contact if you want to pre-order.


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

This is going to be run by our new Regional Bee Inspector, Julian Parker. The programme for the Day will be circulated later in Honeycraft with information about tickets. It should be an interesting and informative day and the chance to meet our new Bee Inspector.


Other dates of interest:

Saturday 5th March : BeeTradex at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire

Unfortunately this is not just round the corner for us but apparently it is one of the biggest trade exhibitions. If you want more details go to


Saturday 19th March : Bee Improvement Day at Donyatt, Ilminster. Run by the South West Division of Somerset BKA in conjunction with the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA)

An all-day event aimed at encouraging all beekeepers to improve their bees. The purpose is to help beekeepers to continuously assess their colonies so they have a good idea of which queens to cull and which colonies to take queen cells from when they need new queens. There will be tuition on how to raise queens using queen cells that bees often present us with during the summers as well as some simple ‘artificial’ techniques that may be suitable for the more advanced beekeeper or those working in groups. Further details can be found on and


Basic Beginners Course:  We have now had two sessions which have both been well attended. The group is enthusiastic and keen to learn and it has been a pleasure to attend and help Lesley who is running the Course.


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.

A Mock Assesment Evening and a frame-making workshop event might be possible to arrange if there is sufficient demand. If anyone would be interested in either of these events please let me know.



  • Year Card: Some amendments: Andrew McCarthy is at Tolpuddle not Puddletown; Len Walker-Matthews’ phone number is 01305 854125
  • D&W Website: there is a change to the website address. It is:
  • Isle of Man bees: The Dorset County Secretary has received an email from Beecraft asking us to spread the word about the prospective danger to these bees as the Isle of Man’s Senior Bee Inspector has announced that a colony of bees may have been brought in. Apparently no new bees or hives have been seen yet but, as the Isle of Man bees are varroa and foulbrood free, if someone has brought in some bees it could be a potential catastrophe for them. They are asking that anyone who might know of the colony(s) to get in touch as swiftly as possible so that the situation can be contained. If anyone has any information that could help, the contact details of of their Bee Inspector, Harry Owens, They have asked us to make sure that all beekeepers in the UK are informed about the protected state of Manx bees.
  • Site available – the Church warden at Bradford Peverell (just north of Dorchester) has contacted us. The Congregation is keen to have a hive sited in the churchyard. I have been to look at the site and although most of it is too near houses for comfort, there is a corner which could be suitable. If anyone is interested please contact me.
  • In the West Dorset newsletter it was mentioned that 14 bee hives have been stolen in in the Wimborne – Ringwood area. I know it’s hard to believe that beekeepers (or anyone) will steal hives but apparently it happens. I am not sure what precautions you can reasonably take to stop this apart from being more vigilant.

SECRETARY’S UPDATE:You will have had our Year Card with a printed newsletter last month. In addition you’ll get a monthly newsletter by email which will act as a reminder for any forthcoming events. If there is anything you would like me to include in the newsletters please email me. For instance, bees wanted or for sale, help wanted on any particular issue, apiary sites wanted or available or requests for information on a topic. We could use the updates as a kind of forum which will also make them more interesting. I usually send the Newsletter out in Word but if anyone can’t get this & would like it sent in another format please let me know.The most important beekeeping activity at the moment must be checking colonies for stores. You might think that having survived the winter and, as Spring is round the corner (hopefully), they would be ok but now is the most important time to make sure they have enough food. Currently we seem to be experiencing the coldest weather so far this winter. As it has been so mild up till now, the queen may well have started laying early so the colony will need food. Some members have commented to me that because of the mild weather so far, the queen may have continued to lay throughout the winter. If that’s the case this year is going to be interesting.  Secretary

Sally Leslie