Dear Member

Happy New year to you and your family (and your bees!). Let us hope that 2019 is a good year for bees and their other pollinating buddies and that we beekeepers get a good honey harvest as a bonus.

At our January meeting Celia Davis, a nationally well known author of bee books and a local beekeeper and educator, will be talking to us about using Nucs in our beekeeping. Celia is always an interesting and informative speaker, so I can guarantee that everyone, no matter what their level of beekeeping, will gain something from her talk. So do come along if you possibly can. Knowing how to make best use of a Nuc can be extremely useful and can save you time and money - always a good investment.

I know parking near the Friends Meeting House has been a bit difficult lately as there have been roadworks around Regent’s square, but the North Street car park usually has spaces available if there is no on-street car parking.

In December we had two festive events which were enjoyed by those who attended. The December meeting where we played ‘Turkey foot’ dominoes resulted in Gail Plester walking away with the prize bottle of fizz, while Douglas Wells came up trumps with the wooden spoon. Our Christmas meal at Crackerteria was well attended and despite some initial anxiety about gaining access to the locked precinct Shopping Centre, everyone seemed to have a good time and enjoy the meal.

I hope some of you are thinking about attending the BIBBA Queen rearing workshop in our area on Saturday the 16th February. You may have seen the recommendation in the last BBKA magazine encouraging us all to rear our own queens rather than import queens or bees to try to reduce the possibility of importing non-native pests and disease. I have in the past attended BIBBA events and found them good value.

You may all be aware that we are planning to run another Beekeeping for Beginners course in February. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please encourage them to look our page under Introductory Weekends.

Once again thinking about the weather and its impact on our bees, it has been unseasonably warm. This is not especially good news for the bees who have been out and about although there is no forage available. Of course this means that they will be using up more of their stores than usual, so do make sure you heft your hives and feed fondant if necessary. It is not unusual that one colony will need feeding when the others do not, so check and act as necessary.

Do note our AGM in February and think about whether you would like to join the committee, or retire from the committee, and also who you would like to nominate as chair or any of the other posts. Nominations should ideally be made ahead of the meeting.

Margaret Holdsworth


Beebase News Web feed
  • Starvation Alert
    29 November 2018
    Beekeepers should continue to monitor their colonies throughout the winter as temperatures in some regions of the UK have been unusually high for the winter months, allowing honey bee flight and forage of pollen. In some cases, small patches of brood are still being reared and the demand on the colony's food resources ongoing. 

    Where temperatures do not allow for a sugar syrup feed, fondant icing can be placed directly on the top bars of the colony, above the cluster and fed as required.

    For further information, please see the ‘Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar’ on the following BeeBase Page:

  • Importing Animals and Animal Products If There’s No Brexit Deal
    28 November 2018

    Defra have published guidance on importing animals, which includes bees, if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. The information can be viewed by clicking on the following link:

    Specific honey bee information will be provided on BeeBase as soon as it is available.

  • Northern Regional Bee Inspector Vacancy
    06 November 2018
    A Regional Bee Inspector Vacancy is now live on the Civil Service Jobs website. The area we are recruiting in is:

    Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Wirral and Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland (Northern Region) - Please contact the National Bee Inspector Julian Parker if you have any questions about the post. His contact details are as follows:
    Phone: 07775 119469

  • The National Hive Count 2018
    01 November 2018
    The 2018 Hive Count launches today (1st November)!

    More information can be found here.

    This year the emails will be sent out using the Government Notify system and you will receive an email from Please make a note of this mailbox and mark it as a friendly to prevent it from being blocked by your email provider. Any replies to this mailbox should still reach us directly.
  • Seasonal Bee Inspector Vacancies in Greater London and Co. Durham
    22 October 2018

    Seasonal Bee Inspector Vacancies are now live on the Civil Service Jobs website. The areas we are recruiting in are:

    Greater London, London, Kent (South Eastern Region) - Please contact the Regional Bee Inspector Sandra Gray if you have any questions about the post. Her contact details are as follows:
    Phone: 07775119430

    Northern Region - Co. Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. (Northern Region) - Please contact the National Bee Inpsector Julian Parker if you have any questions about the post. His contact details are as follows:

    Kind regards,

    National Bee Unit