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.
Due to the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in with Coved 19 Corona Virus and following on from the government recommendations we are cancelling the Monthly meeting program for the foreseeable future. When the situation changes we will let you know . Should any of you need any equipment from the shop we now have an order method on our website , or failing that you can contact me direct , that also goes for sugar if you require it . Should any of you require advice or guidance about any matters bee related get in touch and we will assist where we can .
Stay safe everybody.
please see below message from the BBKA
It is with great regret that we have to advise that the BBKA 2020 Spring Convention - scheduled to take place at Harper Adams University 3-5 April - has been cancelled. The Spring Convention Committee and the BBKA Executive Committee reviewed the situation over the weekend and took the decision to cancel. Given the age of many attendees is over 60, the aim is to minimise the risk of COVID19 among participants, traders, staff of BBKA and staff and students of Harper Adams. A full refund will be made for all bookings made via the BBKA.
Asian Hornet Update - Hamish Low AHAT Leader
The story so far …
Amidst the global coronavirus epidemic we must not forget another uninvited species
native to China, the Asian Hornet. In February this year a one day Conference on the
Asian Hornet, organised by the BBKA, took place in Warwick. This was attended by Dave
Coates and myself. The speakers were academics from the UK and Spain, the Jersey
Asian Hornet Coordinator and representatives of DEFRA.The most striking points I noted
came from the Spanish and Jersey reports. In Galicia, the region in the north west corner
of Spain and about one and a half times the size of Wales, they went from two nests to
more than 10,000 in just 4 years. Last year in Jersey there were 782 reported sightings,
404 of which were confirmed. A more detailed set of notes from the Conference, taken by
our colleagues from the Leicestershire Association, can be found on our Facebook page
thanks to Nigel Collier.
In comparison to the above, since our first in 2016 we have had a total of 17 confirmed
sightings in the UK and 9 nests have been destroyed. Last year nests were found and
destroyed in Dorset and near Tamworth, almost on our doorstep. A single queen was also
captured in Kent. Obviously we benefit from the 20+ miles of water between the south
coast and mainland Europe, but we must not be complacent and I believe it naive to
assume that we have seen and dealt with all those that have found their way to the UK.
However, we certainly don’t have an established population as seen in mainland Europe
and Jersey. This is confirmed by the lack of any genetic links between the latest and
previously discovered species. An interesting fact is that the Asian Hornet queen produces
more “sexuals” ( virgin queens and drones ) than they do workers. It is also interesting that
none of the nests found in the UK last year had any “sexuals” present and I think this also
to be true for all previous discoveries here. I am seeking confirmation of this from the NBU.
If true, perhaps here lies the explanation of why we haven’t seen the explosion in
population suffered in Jersey and mainland Europe. Why this should be I don’t know, but
just be grateful while it lasts!
Action needed now…
In the next few weeks queens will be emerging from hibernation and they must feed within
the first few days to survive. The question of whether to trap or not to trap was raised at
the Conference. In the past year or so I have made and distributed about 100 of the
monitoring traps detailed on the NBU website and strongly encouraged their use in our
apiaries. There is an opinion that these traps are killing traps rather than monitoring traps
and should only be used once an Asian Hornet sighting has been confirmed. Since these
traps are one of the most powerful means of spotting them in the first place I think this is
BONKERS! They are only killing traps if they are left unattended for a few days. Ideally
they should be checked daily to release other species such as the European hornet. I
strongly recommend we get them out there now, plied with a beer/sugar solution as bait.
Our new members won’t have benefited from my production line in the past and I ask them
to have a go at making their own as per the instructions on the website. The Ashby
production line has started up again for those who need them and these will be available
at our monthly meetings. It is worth repeating that if we do catch one in a trap or by other
means it is illegal to release it alive as it is a non-native species.
It is obvious that the beekeeping community is a minuscule percentage of the total
population and as such it is no surprise that the majority of the UK sightings have been
made by members of the public. Last year there were fewer false alarms as the public in
general are noting the information and images available from various sources. I had 2
false alarms last year and in both cases the beasties were European Hornets, quite a bit
closer than wasps reported in previous years! To continue the education process I have
obtained 50 each of A4 laminated posters and ID sheets from the NNSS ( Non-Native
Species Secretariat ) these need to be displayed in garden centres, on well trodden public
footpaths etc. How best to distribute them will be discussed at the next Committee
Unfortunaetly due to concerns about the corona virus. Lincoln BKA have decided to cancel their annual auction due to take place this weekend on 21st March 2020.