Welcome to South Staffordshire and District Beekeepers Association website
Annual Survey 2020
The 2020 Annual Survey is now closed. Thank you to all of our members who took the time to complete the survey.
We will publish the results in the Newsletter and on the club website in November, so please check back again soon.
ASIAN Hornet Week
Good Afternoon All.
So this week is BBKA Asian Hornet week, and considered by some to be the most likely week for increased activity, and possible sightings. Why is this so?.. Well it may be down to the Ivy coming into flower and attracting a multitude of goodies for them to feast upon, it may also be down to some over ripening fruits beginning to fall and attract them to a sweet banquet. Which or whatever the reason now is definitely the time to be more vigilant where these wonderful insects are concerned.
Ivy, and fruit trees are places which we can monitor easily, those that have them in or near their apiaries only need take a few minutes of observation time, and record any suspicious activity not forgetting to take photos and report through the Asian Hornet watch app, or non native species secretariat.
It is a good time to put out monitoring stations in your area. there are lots of ways to do this, and the most common way to do this is either cotton wool in a saucer of your preferred bait, or a jar containing bait and a wick threaded through a hole in the lid. There are equally as many concoctions floating about the internet, but you are all likely to have read in this months BBKA News on Page 307 “The Sweet Smell of Success” written by Bob Hogge of the Jersey BKA. fermented baits seem to be strong attractants and trappit is very popular. We will have some trappit available for those members of the AHT !!ONLY!! as this is a very expensive bait. Live catch traps are also popular but remember to use them in accordance with the law as these should be monitored daily to release non target species. Place them in areas where you will visit or can monitor on a daily basis.
All monitoring stations and traps should be recorded on your Bee Base Account. This is to assist bee inspectors should they be called to any confirmed sightings in your area. Your monitoring stations and live catch traps should carry a label to identify whom they belong to and so that you can be contacted should there be a sighting close by. Alan Greenman has kindly printed some of these and are available for those on the AHT. Please email me if you require any for your stations.
One of the main things of the Asian Hornet week is to educate the public to the facts. The facts being identification, and where they can report possible sightings. There is a great link on the BBKA web page that is very easy to share amongst your friends and family via all forms of social media. For those that do not use social media you can link it into an email and send via your contacts or whats app groups.
If there are any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Kind Regards Clive Stewart
SS&DBKA Asian Hornet Coordinator
More information on Asian Hornet Here
If you have come to this site looking for help with a swarm or identifying bees please follow this link
If you are here to find out about courses and having an introduction to beekeeping click here.
If you are interested in joining us click here
Hopefully you will find what you are looking for but if not please contact us by clicking here
Coronavirus – Action
Hive inspections at Shugborough and Hilton Green will take place for the time being using teams of people already spending time together in order to reduce the risks of spreading the virus however as the Government has begun to ease restrictions we are opening up inspections to a wider group of members.
A letter from Alan Greenman (SSDBKA Chair)
To all club members.
We are thinking of opening up some sessions at Shugborough and Hilton Green for club members to attend and observe hive inspections being carried out by the three Apiary Work Group teams.
- There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.
- We will be observing the latest covid rules and regulations as regards social distancing.
- You will have to be dressed in your bee suit when you arrive as there are no changing facilities on site.
- You will also have to register and leave contact details with us in the event that we need to contact you.
- We can only accommodate small groups to start with, probably a maximum of four.
If you are interested in attending one of these sessions please can you send an email to Alan Greenman at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the ‘Hive inspection List’. We will allocate places on a first come first served basis and notify you which session you can attend.
Shugborough Estate has now reopened with restrictions.
All planned education events are now cancelled until further notice.
Please check the BBKA website regularly for further updates.
New pages recently added:
- Members Apiaries : For the nosey beekeeper!
- Members Services : SSDBKA Shop!
- Amazon Smile : Fund raising for a new marquee at Shugborough
- Q&A: Recordings of the Zoom Q&A sessions for those who missed them live
- Caring for a Poly hive or Nucleus: New! help with care and repair of poly hives
Coming up this Month.
At the Apiaries:
- Preparing for Winter!
- Checking for honey stores – hefting. About 30lbs per hive
- Feeding as required: The Ivy is already flowering in some parts of the County, feeding syrup may help mitigate the laying down of Ivy honey and will boost winter stores
- Adding or checking varoa treatments
- Removing supers surplus supers to avaoid contamination and to force bees to place honey in brood box.
- Under supering: Any surplus frames with honey placed in a super under the brood box to encourage bees to fill brood.
- Checking for disease and pests probably final check of the season
- Final inspections to check colonies queen right and upto strength to survive the winter
- Feeding any newly created nucleus colonies or collected swarms with Light Syrup.
- Dealing with weak or queenless colonies by throwing out and removing the hive or papering into another colony if both are healthy.
Things to do in isolation!
Though the Spring convention, due this weekend has been cancelled it is still possible to watch Tom Seeley give his lectures. They are on YouTube, either follow this link to the BBKA website page: https://www.bbka.org.uk/spring-convention-videos
or go to either a computer, phone or smart TV which has YouTube and search for Tom Seeley. The videos posted last week are ones for the convention.
- Cleaning any used equipment
- Box Assembly
- Old box cleaning and refurbishment
- Queen excluder and crown board cleaning
- Hive tool sharpening
- Checking all bee keeping tools
- Assessing this season
- Produce your cunning plan for the rest of next season
- Honey processing; Dealing with early and late rape honey
- Storing any drawn comb in a Wax Moth and vermin proof way.
- Sterilising drawn comb
- watch out for SSDBKA and Stafford Bee Group winter sessions
- Any other suggestions gratefully received!
Member Services Launched!
Visit Member Services page for items the Association has on offer, including the cap!
So you Want to be a beekeeper?
Currently all courses are cancelled until the Corvid 19 situation is clarified. We hope to resume our programme of training next year.
2020/21 Beekeeper training opportunities here
Beginning Beekeeping Course 2020 (Currently Cancelled)
Images from the 2019 course at last the beginners course members got to delve into to mysteries of a colony of bees.
Shugborough apiary hits the News!
Follow the link above to find out what the Shropshire has to say about beekeeping thanks to our chair Alan Greenman.
The SSDBKA AGM was held on Thursday 28th of March and the following were elected to form the new committee:
- President: Stuart Roberts
- Chair: Alan Greenman
- Treasurer: Barry Crossley
- Secretary: Ed Bennett
Additional Committee members
- Claire George – (Membership)
- Clive Stewart – (AHAT)
- Trevor Smith – (Apiary Coordinator)
- Wendy Woodward – (Events Coordinator)
- Dayna White – (Quatermaster)
There are currently spaces on the committee which can be filled by coopting additional members if required.
Committee meets up to 10 times a year as required.
The scourge of the failing colony……