Dear Members,

I am surprised that no matter how often I attend beekeeping lectures, I always hear something new and feel enthused to learn more. Graham Royal, at our September meeting, stressed that beekeepers need to keep up to date with changes in the climate and environment as well as beekeeping research and adjust their practice accordingly to get maximal rewards from their beekeeping . Of course this is common sense, but sometimes it helps to bring it into the light.


I would like to tell you a ‘story’ of one of our beekeepers which I think is a lesson for all of us. I was asked by this beekeeper if I would let them know when I went to collect a swarm so that they could observe and then feel equipped to collect further swarms themselves. If you recall there was a slow beginning to the swarm season as temperatures didn’t begin to rise until mid-May, so when I received a message to say there was a swarm on the Hillmorton Recreation Ground, hanging over the path, I was surprised as the weather was grim, windy and wet, but I duly rang the beekeeper to meet me at the site.

I arrived early and scouted out the site, walking up and down the path in the area I had been directed to. No sign of the swarm. Then I saw a small black clump hanging from a branch over the path, for all the world looking like one of those little parcels dog-walkers sometimes enjoy throwing into the bushes. This fist sized clump of bees was the swarm.

I sheepishly walked to the car park where the beekeeper and her husband were donning their bee suits and boots, having left work to collect this swarm. I explained the situation and apologised saying it hardly seemed worth collecting the bees as they could be just remnants of a swarm and queenless, but the pair insisted on collecting the bees and subsequently housed them in a nuc.

The beekeeper later told me she had nursed the nuc by bringing it indoors when it was cold overnight. Obviously also feeding it well. The result - a thriving colony which produced a good crop of honey at the end of the season! Amazing what TLC and a concerned beekeeper can achieve!

As you are aware, on occasion Steve Brown and others have made bulk buys of feed, wax, bottles etc and offered members the chance to join in. These bulk buys offer a great opportunity to make savings on buying these items but it does mean that you need to respond promptly and collect the articles promptly to minimise the inconvenience to the person organizing the purchase.

Hopefully some of you will attend the Rugby Honey Show, even if you don’t want to attend or enter the show, there will be an interesting talk about using hive products and of course lots of tea, coffee and CAKE. So come along, have a chat to other beekeepers and admire the fruits of the bees and beekeepers here in Rugby.

We shall again this year be entering the St Andrews Parish Church Christmas tree Festival where we decorate a Christmas tree around the theme of ecology and, hopefully, again win first prize. If you are interested in joining in with this please let us know on our contacts page

Regards,
Margaret Holdsworth


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