St Andrews parish church held their Festival of Christmas Trees event again and 2018's theme for the festival was ‘Eco and Recycling’.  As always, the main purpose of this event is to raise funds for charities that support the local community. This year, in addition to the work of the church, Gift of Years, Rugby and Futures Unlocked were supported.

This year’s Festival was formally opened by the Mayor, Councillor Mrs Belinda Garcia on Thursday 30th Nov at 6pm and before the formal opening children were invited with their parents or group to a ‘Winter Wonderland’ craft session.

We were very pleased when it was announced that Rugby Beekeeping Association had won the Christmas Tree competition with our 12 Days Of Christmas entry and the award was presented at the Christ-dingle Service on Saturday 22nd December.

Items with tree include cut out shapes from foundation including a 3d tree topper, dried apple slices, wax blocks, soap made with beeswax and honey, beeswax nightlights in jars, honey, wax coated cones, ivy instead of tinsel, wax snow and John & Peggy Theader’s wax angels

Our entered tree has been recycled for a number of years, and is still looking good and our lights are no longer needed by one of our members, so donated to the tree, while our tree decorations are all made of by-products of the Bees.

The Bee cut out decorations were made from foundation wax which is used by the Bees to begin the process of honey making.

After the Bees have built their comb on the foundation, filled it with delicious honey for us and capped it for safe keeping we sneak away the excess - (they always over produce which is kind of them), uncap it and spin it to extract the honey!

What remains is beeswax, in the form of capping and empty comb. This can be melted to produce many different materials such as wax block, soap, candles and the sculptures that can be seen here. Bees just keep giving! The frosting on the Bee decorations and the wax dipped Pine cones is wax shavings. The wax dipped cones will then be excellent firelighters to help keep the winter chills away.

We may be unaware that many products we use daily contain Bee products: Food, drink, alcohol, medication, beauty products,and household items such as cleaning products and polish. The list is almost endless!

All string and paper on our tree is manufactured using recycled materials and has been used several times, therefore has been recycled many times with the potential for more! The wire holding the Bees is recycled from foundation wax re-enforcement.
When this tree is removed all the items on the tree will be reused/repurposed.

Bees maybe unknowingly carry out a vital service in the pursuit of honey production. As they visit the plants and flowers on their daily rounds to collect nectar and pollen for their own purposes, they distribute pollen from flower to flower, plant to plant, tree to tree. It is no exaggeration to say that without this service, life on Earth would not continue for very long.

The RBKA meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, we have regular speakers and share our knowledge. If you have ever considered bee keeping, we run beginners courses annually and we mentor new beekeepers. Please contact us if you would like to find out more.


On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A Honey Bee in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Two buzzing swarms

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Three jars of honey

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
four flying drones

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
five capped frames

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
six queens a laying

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me
seven wasps a robbing

On the eight day of Christmas my true love sent to me
eight frames a spinning

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
nine bees a waggling

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
ten trees a swaying

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me
eleven bees a piping

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
twelve hives a humming

Merry Christmas to one and all from Rugby Beekeepers Association!


BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • COVID-19 and Beekeeping update
    11 January 2021
    This is a re-issue of the guidance provided in October 2020:

    Please find the latest Covid-19 beekeeping guidance. The update includes separate links to the current Public Health Guidance for England, Wales and Scotland.

    Covid-19_and_Beekeeping_Update_v3

    COVID-19_and_Beekeeping_-_Welsh_Language_Version v3

    If you have any queries please contact:

    For England: BeeHealth.Info@defra.gov.uk
    For Wales: HoneyBeeHealth@gov.wales / GwenynMelIach@llyw.cymru
    For Scotland: Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot
  • Starvation and Varroa Alert
    04 December 2020
    Observations from beekeepers and Bee Inspectors across the UK suggest that some colonies of bees are becoming short of food.

    Please monitor your colonies throughout the coming months and feed as required to ensure your bees do not starve. A standard full size British National colony needs between 20-25 kg of stores to successfully overwinter. If they need feeding at this time then fondant should be used. This should be placed above the brood nest so that the bees are able to access it easily.

    For further information, please see the ‘Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar’ on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167

    It has also been observed that Varroa levels in some hives are starting to increase again. This may be due to a number of factors, but the exceptionally mild weather this autumn has encouraged some colonies to produce more brood than usual which has allowed an increase in mite reproduction.

    Please monitor mite levels and treat accordingly.

    For further information, please see the’ Managing Varroa’ Advisory leaflet on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167
  • Julian Parker – Head of APHA’s National Bee Unit.
    23 November 2020
    Following a recent recruitment process Julian Parker has been appointed as Head of the National Bee Unit (NBU) within Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency. Within the NBU Julian has previously been Acting Head as well as National Bee Inspector and before that Regional Bee Inspector for Southern and South East Regions. Julian has over 12 years operational experience with the NBU including leading outbreak situations. Julian is also well known in the wider beekeeping community and his expertise is highly respected across Defra and Welsh Government as well as with Bee Health stakeholders. He has also played a key role in the review of the 2020 Healthy Bees Plan and will now play a significant role in delivering the Healthy Bee Plan 2030. Many congratulations Julian.