The Newsletter of the North Devon Branch of the
British Beekeepers Association
pulled together at the apiary to get the new bases dug out and slabbed. The new stands
have been delivered (thanks to Kevin Stach), assembled and are now in pride of
place. I think everyone visiting the apiary will agree that they look great. The 8 hives
for the stands have gradually been moving 3 feet per week towards their new home and we
hope that we will have achieved the move with minimal losses. Elsewhere the meeting shed
has been spring cleaned and preparations have begun to get ourselves ready for the coming
beekeeping year equipment cleaned & sterilised and frames made up. Many of the
bees have been getting to the end of their stores and have been fed with fondant to keep
them going until the nectar flow begins in earnest.
Tony Wright (Patrick is away)
In March a beekeeper's
mind is full of hope. It is an optimistic time, and half the fun of beekeeping is the
uncertainty, not knowing what the season is going to bring. Those record cards we keep so
carefully, will, in my experience, bear little resemblance to the colonies we end up
with next August. But looking back in August or September, I always
remember the interest, what the bees have taught me, and how enjoyable it has all
been. It seems to be a hobby where you are constantly called upon to do things you have
never done before, or even dreamed of doing.
Whatever your hopes and plans this season,
do get your bees strong early. Fondant is a good feed to encourage to queen to
lay, especially if the bees are not keen to take syrup. It is true that there is
risk of early swarming, but if the colonies become too strong, it is helpful to
make up a small nuc, e.g. three frames, with any good charged queen cell which might
appear. Naturally this needs weekly vigilance.
I will be away in the land of the Kiwis for
most of March, but Chris Tozer will be writing to you in Aprils
I have recently taken over as Branch Librarian. The
books are being kept at my home in Kentisbury which I appreciate wont be convenient
for everyone but it certainly wont be any more difficult to find than Alberts
cottage in the country! If you would like to browse through the collection, please give me
a call and we can arrange a mutually suitable time. I am happy to post or e-mail a list on
request to Northern Branch members. My phone number is 01271 882940.
In the meantime, I will bring a small
selection to the meeting at the Castle Centre on Monday 14th March. Would
members with outstanding loans, please take advantage of that opportunity to return them.
I would respectfully suggest that three months is a more than adequate loan period.
The books are there for us all to enjoy and
I want to make access to them as easy as possible for all members. Happy Reading!
correspondence has been received a retail opportunity for someone able to supply in
the Ilfracombe/Combe Martin area.
"I am looking for a source of local
honey to stock in Berrynarbor Community Shop. We are trying to find local products to sell
all year and aiming to launch this theme to coincide with the tourism season this
I appreciate that honey is a seasonal
product and that stocks might be low now but if there is anyone out there who would be
willing to supply us now, or in future years, please contact me ASAP. If you are
interested please indicate availability, wholesale and recommended retail price, and
whether you can
deliver (we are between Combe Martin and
Ilfracombe). " Jill Massey
Albert on the Irish Beekeepers website
"It is salutary reading "Beekeeping" the Devon BKA
magazine to see what turmoil the arrival of pyrethroid resistant mites has had there. To
an outsider they appear a more cohesive and informed group than is generally found in
beekeeping. How then is it going to be for us when resistance arrives?"
Robin Dartington (he of the hive fame)
If any of our members would like a large print
(approximately this size) version of the newsletter please let the editor know.
Will 2005 be the year our Branch finally
gets the Awards for All application off the ground? Chris Utting has
done a lot of the ground work, but he has many claims to his time. An assistant
could make all the difference this year. Please apply to Chris ASAP.email@example.com
Kay Thomas needs no introduction to most of us. As she has been teaching
basic beekeeping in North Devon since 1982, nearly all the branch members have been her
students. Kay is a Master Beekeeper, a Honey Judge and a BBKA Examiner.
For the last three years she has held the position of Devon BKA President. On Monday 14th
March Kay is giving a talk on 'Floral Biology' at The Castle Centre, Castle Street,
Barnstaple starting at 7.30 p.m.
|DBKA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Saturday 29 January
2005 at the South Park Centre, Buckfast
There was quite a good turnout; most
branches were represented including Holsworthy. Some notes on the main points
- Proposition from Northern Branch to change
name to North Devon Branch was supported as being sensible and appropriate.
- Some initial tetchiness over DARG not being
invited to join the DBKA marquee at the Devon County Show and the amount of
"profit" arising from the 04 Summer Conference, neatly countered by Treasurer
Milford it was a "surplus" not a "profit"!
- Terry Clarkes innovatory
observation chamber will be installed at the entrance to the DBKA marquee; if it
"works" it will be purchased by the Association.
- All being well, a new DBKA Treasurer will be
installed at the AGM (Saturday 19 March) Richard Howes of Tavistock.
- Suggestion (accepted) that the annual sub
for Country and Social members be increased to £11 in 06 to cover postage costs; some
Branches already surcharge all their members to cover mailing costs.
- DBKA website now up and running: webmaster Henry
Morris ;some 700+ hits already. We at North Devon Branch need to decide if we are
going to post our news and events on DBKA website as well as our own.
- Buckfast Bee Day will be on Saturday 29
October this year; members £6, non-members £10.
- DBKA "training" video: clearly not
universally accepted without reservation; constructive criticism welcomed comments
to Gen Sec
- DBKA President 05/06: several names proposed
but no-one willing as yet; proposals to Gen Sec Glyn Berrington ASAP.
- Kay Thomas outlined her plan to raise
funds to support Sri Lankan beekeepers; it was agreed that DBKA would support Kays
plan and that after say six months, Kay would follow the BBKA policy of sending all such
monies to Bees for Development, targeting Sri Lankan beekeepers specifically. All
donations to Kay directly.
Next meeting: Saturday 23
Mike Canham, Branch Secretary,
North Devon Branch
|The Devon County Show:
This year is on 19th, 20th and
21st May. We will need volunteers from our Branch, mainly to support our stall
run by Judith Westcott, Elizabeth Reynolds and Peter Woollard, but also
as general duties stewards. We would like a good selection and stock of plants suitable
for bee forage for the team, and also some donations of one jar of honey for the
honey-tasting stall. The Show Secretary is always keen for more entries. If
you can spare a day's stewarding, and
incidentally have a good look at the magnificent show, please contact Chris Utting, (Chief
of all the stewards). Chris will always be happy to answer your enquiries.
There will be a
one-day course locally on Disease Recognition and Liaison, to be run by our Regional
Bee Inspector Richard Ball, on Saturday 4th June 2005. As members are
aware, many changes and Government cut-backs are taking place in the organisation of
the National Bee Unit. All our beekeepers must be vigilant about bee disease, and as
a Branch we must be as self-sufficient as possible. Details are not available yet,
but please, keep this date free, and attend the course if you possibly can.
12th March & 23rd April: Skep
14th March: Floral Biology Course
19th March: President's Day / DBKA AGM
31st March: Logo Competition closes
9th April: Beeswax Handling Course
10th April: First 2005 Horestone Apiary Open Day
16th April: Stoneleigh Convention
Branch Treasurer Kevin Stach is launching a season of
fundraising in order to pay for improvements to the apiary at Horestone. First up is the
100+ Club. Members (not necessarily beekeepers) pay £1 month (£12 year) and have the
opportunity to win up to £25 each month. The balance of the funds will go to the apiary
& the first job will be to convert the small shed into a hygienic area for honey
bottling. 100 members are required to start us off so contact Kevin now for more
information. Please make an extra special effort to make this a success by selling to
family & friends. Kevin has sent application forms to all members which can be copied
if required or additional forms can be obtained from Kevin.
|Middle East Honey Recipe:
Sent in by Jean Morris
Makes 30 pieces
Oven Temperature 160C (325F)
Cooking Time: 1 hour
20 sheets of filo pastry
¾ cup of melted, unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 cup finely chopped almonds
¼ cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Eighth teaspoon ground cloves
1½ cups sugar
1½ cups water
¼ cup honey
Thinly peeled strip of lemon rind
Small piece of cinnamon bark
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- Butter base and sides of 33 x23 x5cm (13 x9 x2 inch)
oven dish and place 9 sheets of filo separately into dish, brushing each with melted
- Mix nuts, sugar and spices and spread half of this
mixture over filo. Top with another two sheets of filo, buttering each sheet
- Spread remaining nuts on top, and finish with
remaining filo, buttering each sheet.
- Trim edges and brush top with butter. Cut
Baklava with a sharp knife into diamond shapes. Sprinkle lightly with water to
prevent top layers curling upwards.
- Bake on centre shelf in a moderately slow oven for 30
minutes. Move up one shelf and cook for further 30 minutes. Cover with greased brown paper
or foil if top colours too quickly. Pastry must be allowed to cook thoroughly.
- When Baklava goes into the oven, make the syrup.
Place sugar, water and honey in a heavy pan and stir over medium heat until sugar is
dissolved. Add remaining syrup ingredients, bring to the
boil, and boil for 15 minutes. Strain and cool
Spoon syrup evenly over hot Baklava. Leave for
several hours before cutting again and serving portions.
|Northern Branch Committee
25th January 2005
This was a long meeting, as the first one after the AGM always is. There is such a
lot to get through and new officers feeling their way. We are now arranging
Committee meetings to happen just before Executive Committee meetings of the DBKA, this
way the Committee can comment on the agenda of the EC meeting so our representatives
attend primed with Northern opinions!
The 2005 Open Days were agreed as 10th April, 8th May, 12th June, 10th July,
7th August, 11th September and 9th October. Other decisions on matters
discussed are being/and will be made public on an individual basis. Judith Westcott
|BBKA Members Register:
I have just learned that a number of our members - probably
those who joined us in the last year - have never received mail from BBKA HQ e.g. new
members 'welcome pack', copies of BBKA News and their annual membership card. I am trying
to find out just how this has come about from the people at Stoneleigh who run the Members
Register. Meanwhile if you have not received any of these items, please call me as soon as
possible on 01271-372018. If I am out please use the friendly answer phone.
Mike Canham, Branch Secretary
|Web Site for North Devon Branch:
The new website for the North Devon Branch is currently under
construction and will be available for members to access and comment upon very soon. It is
hoped that we can launch towards the end of the month. The webmaster is Kevin Tricker and
if anyone has queries or contributions to make, Kevin can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org . The web address will be:
Pages should be appearing towards the end of March.
|Quiz Question for March: Which
brewery has had bees on its logo since 1900?
Februarys answer was Henry Fonda who kept bees from boyhood.
|Edited by Marnie Quy, Email: email@example.com
All contributions welcome, copy by 19th of month for following month