1 USEFUL LINKS DEVON BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION BRITISH BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION MARCH 2017 DEVON APICULTURAL RESEARCH GROUP Asian Hornet Queen Trap Workshop 22 nd February, 2017 Peter Auger and Chris Utting held this well-attended and sociable workshop in the Castle Centre. Pete started the evening by handing out mineral water bottles (Asda Ashbeck), tools and the parts required. He led us through the process, giving a helping hand to some of us, and we all came away with a professional looking trap. After a tea-break, Chris gave a PowerPoint talk. He spoke about the rapid spread of the Asian Hornet from it s first identification in 2004 in France to the position now where it is present all over France and into the neighbouring countries. Last year Tetbury reported the first nest to be found in the UK. The French report that the hornet nests can spread km annually and produce hundreds of virgin queens, so we need to destroy as many as possible! France does not have national organisations similar to the NBU. Their beekeepers do not have local associations and the government appears to have ignored the problem. In the UK we have already an active system of notification, training and monitoring of exotic pests. Preparing and using the traps is part of this system. The breeding nests of the Asian hornet are large. They appear to prefer urban areas and tall conifers. The traps do not need to be near the hives. The nests can be located by triangulation as the hornets fly in a straight line. Their life cycle is similar to our native wasp. MORRISON S GUINESS 1.65 MORRISON S ASKEY S TREAT STRAWBERRY SYRUP 325g 1.00 OR APPLE JUICE, SUGAR, CHEAP BEER ALCOHOL KEEPS HONEYBEES AWAY MORRISON S COINTREAU 500ml 12 (SPECIAL OFFER) The Auger/Utting traps are designed to trap the queens late in February and into March. A bait of dark beer, 25ml of strawberry syrup and of Cointreau is suggested. I m sure there are alternatives? Honey bees are well behaved and do not like alcohol. The traps should be checked daily if possible so that other trapped pollinators may be released. If you suspect that you have trapped an Asian Hornet queen, put the trap in the freezer and contact a Bee Inspector. I am sure a lot of time was needed in preparation for the workshop and sourcing the materials. Thank you to Pete and Chris on behalf of all the potential Asian Hornet queen catchers. Mave
2 MY BIGGEST WORRY IS THAT MY WIFE (WHEN I AM DEAD), WILL SELL MY BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT FOR WHAT I SAID I PAID FOR IT!! Committee Summary 20 th February 2017 The committee spent much of the evening discussing and planning future events such as support for the Beginners Course, the work day 7 th March, re-opening of the apiary plus maintenance, use of the library, Plant day and even the North Devon Show and our Branch Honey Show in September. We have the use of the field opposite the apiary for parking in the drier months and thank the farmer by giving him honey. The swarm list is closed with an exceptional number of collectors. This list will be published in NLs. Cathy is to find out about community grants as we are still considering buying a new computer. Cathy will be liaising with Chris Utting about organising the Basic Assessment for keepers who have looked after bees for a year. We have been slowly moving colonies at the apiary onto new stands. We hope the Beginners group will have bees in the National, Commercial, WBC, Topbar hives and possibly in a Rose Hive which has been purchased recently. Our AGM will be held on 5 th November this year. All members are welcome to attend the Devon County AGM which is held in the morning at the ISCA Centre in Exeter on Saturday 11 th March. The details are on the DBKA website. Mave on behalf of the Committee SWARM COLLECTORS Cathy Backway Louise Baddick Dave Beard Nicholas Cawthorne Stephen Cooke Tai Garlicks Gail Gordon Peter Groves Alison Homa Derek Hunter Robin Hutton Stephen Johns Graham Kingham Jack Mummery Bernard Peacock Bridget Simmons John Whewell Alan White Contact details will be found in the Year Book on the Devon BKA website. How? - On the DBKA website homepage click on Members Area - then click on Year Book - this opens the user name/password section the user name is already inserted for you put in the first password h.17 - this opens the Year Book home page click on the book to open another password section put in the password n press return and the Year Book will open. Why all this procedure because this Newsletter (when on the branch website) is available to the public and it is a matter of data protection; the two passwords have already been sent to you by the Branch Secretary.
3 Chair Chat, Horestone apiary re-opens on Tuesday 7 th March in preparation for the coming active beekeeping months and for the Beginners class which transfers to the apiary on Sunday 12 th March. On the 7 th March help is needed to clean and tidy the huts and to attend to the maintenance around the hives. Julie has been sorting out the garden which is looking it s spring-time best. If you are able to spare some time on the 7 th, do come along in work clothes between and Tea and cake will be provided as always! From March 7 th, the apiary will be open every Tuesday between and The library has be re-organised and new editions bought. All members are welcome to use the library. On Saturday 13 th May, a plant/book/equipment sale and barbecue will be held at the apiary. Please will you plant seeds or take cuttings for this sale and come along for a sociable gathering. Our final winter talk will be held on Wednesday, 22 nd March at the Castle Centre at David Packham will be giving a talk about Living with Varroa. Are you ready for spring beekeeping? I hope your colonies have survived the winter months and are strong. Mave BRANCH EVENTS FOR YOUR DIARY SATURDAY 4 MARCH 9.00am STONELEIGH BEE TRADEX EXHIBITION TUESDAY 7 MARCH HORESTONE APIARY WORKDAY OPEN EVERY TUESDAY SATURDAY 11 MARCH 10/30am ISCA CENTRE, EXETER DBKA AGM SUNDAY 12 MARCH BEGINNERS CLASS TRANSFERS TO HORESTONE SATURDAY 18 MARCH 10.00am BUCKFAST ABBEY BBKA EXAM DAY WEDNESDAY 22 MARCH 7.30pm CASTLE CENTRE TALK DAVID PACKHAM LIVING WITH VARROA SUNDAY 26 MARCH EQUIPMENT AUCTION RUISHTON VILLAGE HALL 7 9 APRIL BBKA SPRING CONVENTION HARPER ADAMS UNIVERSITY SATURDAY 13 MAY HORESTONE PLANT/BOOK/EQUIPMENT SALE & BARBEQUE I buzzed by the window and heard the people say. What a great mince pie day. Its December, the club is closing until March and my bees are sorted and fed so we can forget the bees and the club I m going to have a nice lazy winter. Inventories are made, equipment gets mended, paths are cleared, and leaves are raked up. The compost bins are emptied and the gardens get cut back; the inside of the club house gets cleaned and painted. The sheds get a much needed coat of preservative, the honey shed and extracting equipment gets cleaned. Us bees get hefted and fed fondant if needed; the apiary site gets a weekly check against theft and damage. Not everyone has a lazy winter, so I would like to say a big thank you to the winter workers who are kind and thoughtful enough to know we need help every week of the year. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
4 Committee Summary 20th February 2017 The committee spent much of the evening discussing and planning future events such as support for the Beginners Course, the work day 7 th March, re-opening of the apiary plus maintenance, use of the library, Plant day and even the North Devon Show and our Branch Honey Show in September. We have the use of the field opposite the apiary for parking in the drier months and thank the farmer by giving him honey. The swarm list is closed with an exceptional number of collectors. This list will be published in Newsletter. Cathy is to find out about community grants as we are still considering buying a new computer. Cathy will be liaising with Chris Utting about organising the Basic Assessment for keepers who have looked after bees for a year. We have been slowly moving colonies at the apiary onto new stands. We hope the Beginners Class will have bees in the National, Commercial, WBC, Top Bar hives and possibly in a Rose Hive which has been purchased recently. Our AGM will be held on 5 th November this year. All members are welcome to attend the Devon County AGM which is held in the morning at the ISCA Centre in Exeter on Saturday 11 th March. The details are on the DBKA website. Mave on behalf of the Committee MARCH THUG OF THE MONTH The name Variegated Golden Archangel may conjure up heavenly visions but unfortunately Lamiastrum galeobdolon subsp. Argentatum has no redeeming angelic features. It belongs to the huge and well known Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae) family of mainly annual and perennial herbaceous plants, 250 plant genera and thousands of species including the mints and dead nettles, thymes, marjoram, rosemary, basil, lavender, sage and lemon balm. Many are highly aromatic and used for a wide range of medicinal and culinary purposes due to the numerous volatile oils and flavonoids they produce as well as copious nectar and pollen. All are characterised by having flowers whose petals are fused into an upper and lower lip (labia), the lower one often having markings to attract pollinators and providing a platform on which to land. Most have stems that are square in cross section. Yellow Archangel is a beautiful native wild flower of this dead nettle family and a valuable early provider of pollen especially for emerging Bumble bee queens. The Variegated Golden Archangel was introduced as a garden variety in the 1960s and became popular as it grows happily in that most difficult of sites, dry shade. The front garden at Horestone contains a lot of it! Unfortunately its long stolons mean that it rampages, quickly becoming a nuisance in gardens and in the wild and as it also spreads by seed it is now widespread over most of the British Isles. Difficult to get rid of, don t put it on the compost heap, you will probably have to eat it, young leaves are good in salads but cook older ones. Its close relations in the beautiful dead nettle family, the Red, White and Purple varieties are happily better behaved and worthy of a place in the garden. While in some the nectaries are too deep for honey bees they use the holes in the base of the flower made by short tongued bumble bees to collect nectar and also collect pollen. Julie Elkin
5 A young man starts his new job at the Exmoor Zoo and is given three tasks. First is to clear the exotic fish pool of weeds. As he does this a huge fish jumps out and bites him. To show who is boss, he beats it to death with a spade. Realizing his employer won't be best pleased he disposes of the fish by feeding it to the Lions, as Lions will eat anything. Moving on to the second job of clearing out the Chimp house, he is attacked by the Chimps that pelt him with coconuts. He swipes at two Chimps with a spade killing them both. What can he do? Feed them to the Lions, he says to himself, because Lions eat anything... He hurls the corpses into the Lion enclosure. He moves on to the last job which is to collect honey from the hives of honeybees. As soon as he starts he is attacked by the bees. He grabs the spade and smashes the bees to a pulp. By now he knows what to do and shovels them into the Lions cage because Lions eat anything. Later that day a new Lion arrives at the Zoo. He wanders up to another Lion and says, "What's the food like here?" The Lion says, "Absolutely brilliant. Today we had Fish and Chimps with Mushy Bees. North Devon Honey Show Update 9 th & 10 th September. In the December issue we have already talked about the photo section being made into a 2018 calendar using the best 12 photos sent in. All the photos will be on public display. There is a possibility of offending people who might not like to be on public display, so please make sure it s the bees that are the stars of your shots. All of our cookery classes and some of the wax classes are open to family members. The Show Schedule will be sent out as soon as it can be printed. The Art Class MAKE A BEE 3D using any material, make a honey bee. This model should not be larger than a 12 inch/305mm cubed space. 2D using any material, make a picture of a honey bee. Display area is limited so please keep as near as possible to an A4 size frame. Both sections will have an Adult and a Junior section ( under 14). Barbara Carlyle
6 Submitted by Bridget Simmons Edited by Chris Utting The views expressed in the articles are the author s and not necessarily those of the North Devon Branch of the Devon Beekeepers Association. Member s contributions are extremely welcome: by 23rd of the month prior to publication please