Club Examination and Assessment results for 2021

Module 2 Products of the Hive.

In April, 5 members sat the online exam, the results being 3 distinctions and two credits. Kate Wilkes scored 90%.


In July the practical assessments took place at Shugborough.

Basic Assessment: 11 members took the assessment, the results being 1 distinction, 9 credits and 1 pass. Ben Bowen achieved a Distinction.

Honey Bee Health Certificate: 3 members took the assessment, all passed.

Thank you to Trevor Smith for all his hard work organising the education courses.

Ambrosia for sale

We are pleased to be able to offer ambrosia again this year. Sadly fondant will not be available.

Our supplier has now given up his agency, and while I have tried to find another competitive supplier I haven’t been able to find such good savings.

Send orders to Dayna by text or email please 07710182468 or
State your preferred collection point of SureStore in Cannock or from me in Lichfield.
Orders ASAP please so that I can organise distribution.

Payment by BACS please, the account details are:
• Bank: CAF Bank Ltd
• Account Name: South Staffordshire & District
Beekeepers Association
• Account Number: 00095894
• Sort Code: 40 52 40
using reference: Ambrosia & your name

Jars for sale

lb jars (72 jars per box) cost inc lids @ £25 per box
12oz hex jars (84 jars per box)cost inc lids @ £30 per box

Garden Opening a great success

Remember ‘The Mount’, Cresswell, Stafford, which had an Open Garden week from July 12th to the 18th with all the proceeds going to The Katherine House Hospice.

Well, Chris Williams was really pleased with the turnout saying: ‘We were extremely successful at our garden opening and managed to raise £3,810.

Apparently, this is enough to run the hospice for a morning, including all therapy services. Visitors were very generous, buying plants and raffle tickets. They were also very complimentary about our garden including asking us how many
gardeners we employed! The garden was at its best and appreciated by all our visitors. A huge thank you to all those who supported us.’

Chris Williams

Varroa Treatment

Now is the time of year to carry out varroa treatment on your bees. The winter bees are
starting to hatch, so once you have decided how much honey you want to take off and how much you want to leave for the bees, treat them with one of the approved varroa treatments.

Remember to put your varroa boards in first and do a baseline count before you treat. Go to Beebase and use their handy varroa calculator to check your level of varroa infestation.

There are a number of chemical and biotechnical treatments to choose from, the Club is using Apiguard this season and it is important to change your treatment each year to stop the varroa becoming resistant to it.

It is important that you manage varroa in your hives. If you don’t then colonies could collapse and die. Primary details of biology and control methods can be found in the Fera/NBU booklet ‘Managing Varroa’, which is available online at This sheet highlights best practice and some important considerations in developing a management programme.

All good bee books have a section about varroa, so get your favourite bee book out now and read up. Varroa feeds on bees by piercing the cuticle of honeybees and grubs with their mouth parts. This feeding can activate and spread various bee viruses and other disease problems. It is generally considered that varroa as a sole bee pest will probably not kill the colony for a number of years, though it does impact on honeybee social
cohesion, ability to function and it can debilitate bees by depriving them of nutrition. However when varroa is acting in conjunction with viruses and other bee disease it can become fatal quite rapidly.

So the message is to read up on varroa and understand how it can affect your bees health and wellbeing and don’t forget to regularly monitor and treat your bees for varroa.

Space Bees…

Chris Shaw, our past President, recently had an opportunity to set up a small apiary at Collins Aerospace in Wolverhampton, a manufacturing company that makes aeroplane actuation systems.

The company, like a lot of firms these days is keen to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the local environment and raising awareness with their workforce.
As part of the project, they asked Chris to put on a lunchtime beekeeping presentation for the staff. Due to covid rules this meant talking to small socially distanced groups which made it all the more fun.

So on July 12th I duly went along to represent our association and answer questions about club membership, and training courses. Joining us was Lorraine Parker who has just successfully completed the club’s beginners course and was ideally suited to giving a new beekeeper’s perspective on keeping bees.

Those that attended asked lots of interesting questions and were able to buy some of the first honey from the on-site hives. There was also a lot of interest in SS&DBKA and I think that we shall see some of them joining our club in the not too distant future.

Fay Heywood, Environmental Health and Safety Officer for Collins Aerospace said that she had had excellent feedback from the staff who attended the presentation.

Thank you to Chris for the invite and I wish her continuing success with her project at Collins Aerospace.