Half-day Beekeeping Taster Course

AS9I3734-670x281

Sunday 25 June 2017    9:30am to 1pm     at Perivale Wood Nature Reserve    £40

Our half-day taster course is perfect if you are thinking about getting into beekeeping and want to see if it’s right for you, or simply if you are interested in bees and want to learn a bit more about these fascinating insects.

You will be welcomed with tea and coffee, then we will start by learning about the lifecycle of the honey bee, the different castes of bee, and why honey bees swarm.

After a break for tea and cake, we will help you to put on beekeeping suits, light a smoker and undertake an inspection on one of the hives in Perivale Wood, where we will see tens of thousands of worker bees busily going about their business, plus some drones (male bees), and possibly the queen.

We will end with some sampling of different honeys from around Ealing and around the world.

beginner-beeks

We will end with some sampling of different honeys from around Ealing and around the world.

If you’d like to keep bees after taking the taster course, we recommend you join the association and come along the apiary for our member sessions on Saturday, as well as take our introduction to beekeeping course that starts in Feb/March 2018, and includes 6 weeknights of classroom-based theory sessions as well as several practical sessions in the apiary.

Enrolment form

If the google form doesn’t work for you then please contact the association

Update from National Bee Unit confirms finding of Asian hornet

October 2016 – A confirmed finding of Asian hornet north of the Mendip Hills in Somerset

As with the first sighting, work to find, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, and includes:

• setting up a three mile surveillance zone around the location of the initial sighting
• opening a local control centre to coordinate the response
• deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests
• readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests

Bee inspectors in Somerset will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.

The first Asian hornet confirmed in the UK was discovered in the Tetbury area. A nest in the area has since been found, treated with pesticide and destroyed. No further live Asian hornets have been sighted in the area since the nest was removed.

Husbandry advice:

It is very important that beekeepers remain vigilant and monitor their apiaries and surrounding forage for any Asian hornet activity. At this time of the year, Asian hornets can be seen foraging on the ivy for nectar and preying on other foraging insects for protein.

Traps should also be hung out and closely monitored. When using bait, please refrain from using light beer or lager mixed with sugar as this does not work. In France a dark beer, mixed with 25ml of strawberry syrup and 25ml of orange liqueur has proven to work well.

Additionally, a protein bait of mashed fish e.g. prawns or trout, diluted to 25% has also proven effective. Anyone wishing to make their own traps may find the following factsheet useful: How to make a homemade Asian hornet monitoring trap.

Further guidance on identifying the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of Beebase where you will find a very useful Asian hornet ID sheet and Asian hornet poster. Any suspected Asian hornet sightings should be reported to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

If you are not sure, please still send in a sample for ID or report any sightings. When emailing, please include your name, the location of the sighting and if possible, a photograph of the hornet. Please do not put yourself in any danger of getting stung when trying to take a photo.

First published on National Bee Unit (NBU) news stories. Please visit the NBU website regularly for important updates for beekeepers.

Another look at the long-term effects of neonics and wild bee decline

A new study has linked the use of neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) to the large-scale, long-term decline in wild bees across England.

The research spans the impact of neonics on 62 species of wild bees foraging on oilseed rape between 1994-2011. Researchers from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) used distribution data on wild bees, excluding honey and bumblebees collected by the bees, ants and wasps recording scheme.

Reporting on the study, BBC Environment correspondent Matt McGrath writes:

“The scientists attribute half of the total decline in wild bees to the use of these chemicals.
Industry sources say the study shows an association, not a cause and effect.”

He goes on to say about the study’s findings:

“There was a decline in the number of populations of 10%, attributable to neonicotinoids, across the 34 species that forage on oilseed rape. Five of the species showed declines of 20% or more, with the worst affected declining by 30%. Overall, half the total decline in wild bees could be linked to the chemicals.”

Dr Nick Isaac, a co-author of the new paper, says: “The negative effects that have been reported previously do scale up to long-term, large-scale multi-species impacts that are harmful. Neonicotinoids are harmful, we can be very confident about that and our mean correlation is three times more negative for foragers than for non-foragers.”

Lead author Dr Ben Woodcock from CEH says: “Historically, if you just have oilseed rape, many bees tend to benefit from that because it is this enormous foraging resource all over the countryside. But this co-relation study suggests that once its treated with neonicotinoids up to 85%, then they are starting to be exposed and it’s starting to have these detrimental impacts on them. What we can’t say is what these detrimental impacts are but what it does suggest is you can have these population declines and they can be big – I mean 30% is a big decline.”

The authors acknowledge that the research finds an association between the use of neonicotinoids and the decline of bee populations, and doesn’t prove a cause and effect.

Read more on the BBC news website.

Article sent to Ealing Bees by Andy Pedley. 

Test yourself on honey bees, Mastermind style

Ealing beekeeper Emily Scott challenges us to take Bee Mastermind!

Adventuresinbeeland's Blog

For those of you who have never seen it, Mastermind is a British TV show in which four contestants are tested on both their general knowledge and a chosen specialist subject. Thanks to Di Drinkwater for her post ‘Bees on Mastermind‘, which alerted me to the recent appearance of beekeeper Gill Taylor on the show, with the specialist subject of ‘The honey bee and beekeeping’. Gill is based in Airedale, West Yorkshire, and manages her local association’s website: airedalebka.org.uk. Viewers in the UK can catch the episode on iPlayer during the next couple of weeks.

Questions

Here’s the questions asked – answers further down…

1. The cells of the bees’  honey comb are constructed in which distinctive geometric shape?

2. What term derived from the latin for ‘little basket’ is used for the haired structure on the hind leg of a honey bee carrying pollen?

3. What astrological name is widely given to…

View original post 442 more words

Four years and still counting

Ealing beekeeper Thomas Bickerdike tells us about a remarkable queen who took everything in her stride.

Beekeeping afloat

20160813_123843Don’t let that faint green mark on this queen fool you as she is actually a yellow queen and therefore four years old. It’s a good age but by no means exceptional but it’s the journey myself and this queen have had that makes me look back on her life.

Spring 2012     She was born, created from a split from my TBH that was going through an AS.

Spring 2013     After overwintering well she was given to a friend who lost his TBH and so she had her first move and went on to give good service and a surplus of honey.

Spring 2014      Over wintered well but following a house move she and her colony in the TBH came back to me and mentioned in my post what goes up has to eventually come down.

Summer 2014     The colony…

View original post 332 more words

In memory of Alan Kime

We wish to express our deepest sorrow at the passing of fellow beekeeper Alan Kime. Alan was a well known and respected figure within the beekeeping community. He was one of the senior members of Ealing and District Beekeepers Association and excelled in microscopy, teaching this to Ealing members and others for many years. We will miss his knowledge of the craft and his wisdom of the bees.

In a long-held tradition when a beekeeper dies, a black ribbon has been tied to one of Alan’s hives by John Chapple at Ealing apiary.

alan kime beehive with black ribbon

Ealing and District BKA Introduction to Beekeeping Course 2016

Want to learn how to keep honeybees? We often run an Introduction to Beekeeping Course, which starts early in the year.

The beginners’ course is informative and fun, taught by experts in an informal and friendly environment. You’ll learn about the honeybee, beekeeping skills, bee health, swarms and honey, and much more.

The course includes six weeknight classroom sessions at the Litten Nature Reserve and three practical sessions at the apiary.

The classroom sessions in 2016 were held 7:30-9pm on Tuesday 8th, 15th and 22nd of March, and 12th, 19th and 26th of April. The practical sessions were held 12-1pm on Saturday 9th and 16th of April, and 21st of May. The 2016 course is now closed.

The course costs £135, which includes membership of the Association.

If you’re interested, please contact us to register and find out when 2017 course dates become available.

Read more about our introductory course, and other beekeeping assessments and examinations here.

 

A fond farewell to a champion beekeeper

Clive Watson funeral 3

“Clive was the Chairman of the Kent Bee-Keepers’ Association and Chief Show Steward of the National Honey Show.Clive was a great champion of the beekeeping community and among other things was our swarm coordinator for many years.

Clive Watson funeral

His involvement along with former chair John Chapple ensured the LBKA’s survival during difficult times in the 90’s. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. The LBKA’s thoughts are extended to Clive’s family.”

From the London Beekeepers’ Facebook Page. Sent to Ealing Beekeepers via John Chapple and Emily Scott.

Clive Watson funeral prayers for the bees

Bees about with John Chapple

A treat from John Chapple this May Bank Holiday brings picturesque scenes of hives at his apiary, elaborate bug hotels and inventive hive sites in Holland. Ealing beekeepers – enjoy!

John Chapple hives

John Chapple bug hotel

John Chapple hives abroad

Thanks to the technical skills of Ealing beekeeper Llyr Jones in delivering this gallery at the apiary table for the website’s news blog.