On the 8th February we enjoyed a fascinating talk by Norman Carreck from the University of Sussex, who gave us on Forage for Bees. Norman illustrated how changes agricultural patterns have are affecting the availability of forage for bees and numerous other insects, including a range of research on this which has contributed to. He included some practical steps which we can take as citizens and gardeners, and responded to a range of questions and comments which provided a stimulating finale.
February's newsletter can be found below, and previous issues can be found in the Archive to the right.
I hope you all had as good a Christmas as possible - given the current circumstances, and that 2021 proves a much better year for you - and a good one for your bees too. To get us off to a good start, Dave Coates and Sam Hampton have arranged three talks for us on Zoom, which look fascinating - see below for details. If you want to take part you'll need to install zoom on your PC / mobile / ipad. The link to each will be distributed to Members, but I'll include it here once available. All talks will begin at 8pm .
Mon 11th Jan Bob Smith NDB Fun with Pollen Traps
Bob will explain the nutritional importance of pollen, how it is collected, finding out what your bees have been foraging on. Before retiring Bob worked as an analytical Chemist and is now Chair of the Central Association of Beekeepers. Bob is an excellent and knowledgeable speaker who, because he lives in Kent, is only able to speak to us now because of the "Wonders of Zoom". we haven't had any talks on this subject, which is quite critical to bees, in recent times.
You don't need to register, just make sure you have Zoom loaded on your PC/Laptop/iPad beforehand - you don't need to have a zoom account - just have it loaded - its free! and click on the link which follows: Join Our First Zoom Meeting
Even if you're not enthusiastic about the subject - I'm sure it'll be an awful lot better than what's on the Telly
Mon 8th Feb Norman Carreck NDB Planting for Bee Forage
Norman was going to talk to us last year but got stuck in traffic and never made it to the meeting. Norman has worked at Rothamstead Research and more recently LASI Sussex University,
Mon 8th March Graham Royle NDB The Mating Process - what happens and why
Graham Royle has been to Burton before. He was for a long while the seasonal bee inspector for Cheshire. He started beekeeping in 1968 and currently manages 20 colonies in three apiaries.
In March we also hope to hold our Annual General Meeting - details will be published once they've been finalised.
Dear Fellow Members.
On behalf of the Training Apiary sub- committee- Dave, Sam. Bob, Hamish and myself-I cannot tell you how pleased we are, to be able report that work on the Training Apiary actually started today.
After successfully obtaining Planning Permission and raising sufficient funds to get started, we were then faced with the wettest winter in living memory when the site became a quagmire. Then, when the site dried out along came Covid 19 and our contractor went into lockdown.
Thankfully all that is behind us. The site has been mown, the hedge trimmed and Taberner Plant-our contractors- have made a an excellent start on constructing the access road to our compound.
I don’t want to tempt fate, but it should not be too long now before we have a functioning Training Apiary.
As I am sure you are aware by now, legally you are allowed to check your bees as they are livestock. You should still take basic precautions and keep social distancing in mind.
I would advise as some local police forces have been quite strict in their interpretation that you carry your BBKA membership card with you when out.
Failing this you can print your receipt you would have got from me when you renewed this year or if you are still not happy I have created a Burton Beekeepers membership card which if you email me a passport photo of yourself, I can create and send it back for you to print.
If there are any issues with the police and they want proof then please ask them to contact me and I will confirm your membership status and location of your hives.
Secretary and membership officer
Good afternoon all, I hope this finds you well and I am pleased to attach the latest club newsletter which is an excellent read. I am sure that you will all join me in thanking Margaret for stepping up into the role of editor!
Please see below the email from support Staffordshire which might be interesting for some during these troubled times:
Dear Members and the wider VCSE sector
It’s been quite a fortnight for the nation, personally and professionally we have all had to adapt.
Yes there has been panic buying and other negative press, but locally I have been overwhelmed by the support, altruism and spirit of community that has broken out. At Support Staffordshire we have had approximately 1,000 new volunteer enquiries in the last two weeks; so like never before we have a huge over supply of volunteers – but this will be tested to the limits in the coming weeks as demand grows from many sources – thank you if you have signed up and sit tight, we will call on you.
We have also been busy contacting members and responding to your requests for help, with a whole new shape to our website and lots of new factsheets and training and support materials directly responding to what you need right now. Many, having steadied the ship, will now be turning your thoughts to sustaining your organisations and their services; so we have included a raft of the new funding streams coming on line in this mailing. We have also been feeding into national efforts for a VCSE sector stability fund from government…. Still waiting as I write, but remaining hopeful. There are also local responses coming on line daily, so keep checking our website.
Thirdly we have been working with the county and district councils to align our efforts, to reduce pressure on both the NHS and critically Social Care. A number of district leads are working with us and will be calling on you to keep calm and adapt, continuing to serve your communities wherever you are able to do so safely.
If you need any help in this crazy time, please call us and we will do our best to help you in whatever way we can. In the meantime please see below information which hopefully you’ll find useful
Chief Executive Support Staffordshire
Our Website is a valuable source of information for anyone looking for advice and guidance. Please use the links below to find what you are looking for:
COVID 19 – Support - Useful Links for Advice and Guidance
FAQ’s and Factsheets for Groups and Organisations
VCSE Directory of Organisations (in Staffordshire)
Coronavirus Community News and Announcements
Residents in Need of Support
Local Contact details for Support Staffordshire Team
Hi all, hope you are all keeping well, please find the latest update for the training apiary
Just to confirm that Martin Taberner- our groundworks contractor- has decided to follow Government guidelines and has therefore ceased work for the time being.
It really is sod’s law that after all the hard work, frustration and fund raising of the past year, we have been defeated first by the weather and now this damned virus, and just as we have some dry weather!
Also, just to let you all know what I have done:-
Asked Martin if he can put us at the front of the queue when things start up again
Spoken to Pam at the RSPCA to let her know the situation
Spoken to Roland who mows the field for the RSPCA and agreed that we meet him on site when we start so that he knows our plan for spreading the topsoil under the hedge.
Informed Charnwood Fencing of the situation.
Can you please let the rest of the Committee what is happening, and should we do a ‘round robin’ to the Membership as well,
Trust you are all well and keeping safe. At least we can still do some beekeeping,
You have all received an email about this but to repeat:
Francis Oldfield <email@example.com> 14:52 (0 minutes ago)
to me Hi all
I have been made aware of the following email/text that has been received by a beekeeper.
It goes without saying that if you are not expecting anything, it is fake. If you are, don't click the link within the email - go to the website/supplier directly to enquire.
This address: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/beginners-guide-to-scams is from the Government money advice service and has good tips to avoid getting into trouble. I appreciate I just told you not to click anything in an email so please google "money advice service guide to scams".
Any help, or if you are worried about anything, feel free to get in touch and I can try and help you remotely.
Secretary & Membership Officer
Your E H THORNE (BEEHIVES) LTD parcel IJ4424963 will be delivered by Vikash from Parcelforce today and it should be with you between 11:48 and 12:48. Alternatively, reply 1, 2, 3 or 4 for one of these options:
1 Deliver to a neighbour
2 Deliver to local Post Office for me to collect
3 Deliver on the next working day*
4 Deliver two working days* from today
Track your parcel at www.parcelforce.com/track-trace?trackNumber=IJ4424963
There was no committee meeting this month owing the virus and social distancing so all news will be added here. Here is the latest from Richard on the training apiary:
Good morning All,
Just to keep you all up to date with the Training Apiary. I have spoken to Martin Taberner and asked him to keep an eye on the weather with a view to starting ASAP. Now that we have agreement with the RSPCA to spread and level the topsoil from the roadway at the side of the road, it should make things somewhat easier than carting across the field, and the weather forecast looks a bit better!
I have e mailed Charnwood Fencing and they are aware of the delay.
Also I have spoken to Pam at the RSPCA and their future plans mentioned by Nigel at the AGM are not in the foreseeable future. They have not got the funds.
Trust it will not be TOO long before we can all get together again,
Please see the below from the British BKA regarding exams:
Bee Exams CANCELLED!
March 17 2020
The BBKA Exam Board has decided today to cancel the Module Exams and the following statement has been sent to Exam Secretaries:
"Yesterday, there was a new statement that escalated the precautions we need to take to limit the spread of Coronavirus to a different level. Consequently, it is with great regret that the Examinations Board has decided they must act within the Government guidelines and cancel the Examinations on March 21st.
"We know how much work the candidates have put into the preparation for these exams, and the decision has not been made lightly, but we do now wish to put invigilators or candidates at risk for an activity which is not essential.
"The free transfer of fees and applications will extend to March 2021.