Dear Members,

The observant among you may have noticed that the previously vacant Chair of the Association has now been filled!  With only a little pressure Andy Dixon has agreed to take on the Chair until the next AGM in February 2023.  This was agreed at our last Committee meeting and we are very grateful to Andy for agreeing to take on this task to keep Rugby Beekeepers running smoothly.

As the beekeeping year starts to take off in earnest we will hopefully be calling on you, as members, to also support the Rugby Beekeeping Association by participating in some of our planned events during the year.  One of the main objectives of the Association is to inform and educate both beekeepers and the public about bees and beekeeping and participating in events such as the Spring Fair, Dunchurch Festival and other smaller events, which give us the opportunity to do so.  So, please, volunteer when asked even if you feel you are not an ‘expert’ on beekeeping, you know a great deal more than most of the public and if you get asked a question you can’t answer, there will be others present who can, but we do need your support to fulfil our aims - and it can be quite good fun too! 

We also desperately need someone to take on co-ordinating these events, so if you think you could organize a willing group of volunteers, please let Martin or Andy know either directly, or via our Contact Us page.

Our annual Beekeeping for Beginners course this year was well attended and as a result we will be welcoming new beekeepers who will need support and mentoring to hopefully become good beekeepers.  If you think you could mentor a new beekeeper, please let us know.  

Also, I do hope that those of you who have been beekeeping for a year or two (or more!) will consider undertaking the Basic Assessment.  If you do, it will give you and others the confidence that you have the basic knowledge required to be a good beekeeper.  You may also then decide to undertake some of the BBKA modules to further your knowledge and enjoyment of beekeeping.  If you want more information look on the BBKA website or talk to a committee member who will help you through the process.  The Rugby branch offers to reimburse you for the first Module you undertake and if you set up a study group (two or more people) Warwickshire Beekeeping Association will refund you half the cost of the correspondence course to assist the group study.

April is an exciting time as this is when the beekeeping season becomes very active.  The blossom is out and forage becomes more plentiful allowing the bees to build up quickly and beekeepers need to be prepared.  Make sure you have hives and frames made up to deal with swarm control if you come across queen cells or if you collect a swarm.  

If you have time available, contact Sam to be put on the BBKA swarm collecting list so that members of the public can contact you to collect local swarms. As a beekeeper you should know how to collect a swarm, so if you are unsure, speak to a more experienced beekeeper and ask to accompany them when collecting a swarm. Remember to leave the box or skep in which you have collected the swarm until evening so that you collect all the flying bees and don’t leave a lot of disoriented bees who can’t return to their original hive. Be aware that the 3 metres 3 mile rule ceases to operate with swarms, so swarms you collect near your apiary can be returned to your apiary and won't fly back to the original hive.

Regards, and stay safe and well.

Margaret Holdsworth  


BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • A confirmed finding of a single Asian hornet in Felixstowe, Suffolk
    29 April 2022
    The National Bee Unit is carrying out enhanced monitoring and awareness raising together with local beekeepers after a single insect, confirmed to be Vespa velutina was killed at a sentinel apiary, reported by a beekeeper.

    Laboratory analysis has shown that the Asian hornet was a female but as it was dried out and damaged it couldn’t be ascertained if it was a queen or worker. Additionally it is highly likely to be from the European population rather than a new introduction from Asia and is highly unlikely to be the offspring of either of last year’s nests in the UK.

    Further information regarding the yellow legged Asian hornet can be found on Defra's Asian Hornet sightings page and on BeeBase’s Asian hornet page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

    We continue to ask beekeepers to remain vigilant, record monitoring trap locations on BeeBase (guidance here) and report suspect sightings here.
  • Registration Page - Error - FIXED
    24 March 2022
    We are currently experiencing an error with our registration page which is preventing beekeepers from registering.  We are working hard to find a fix and will update this News items as soon as a fix is found. 

    To register, please come back in a few days or give the NBU a call on 0300 3030094 and we can process your registartion for you. 

    UPDATE: This has now been fixed. 
  • Analysis of 2021 Asian hornet nests
    03 March 2022
    During the 2021 season, two Asian hornet nests were located and successfully destroyed by NBU inspectors and APHA colleagues, following sightings reported via the Asian Hornet Watch app.

    The nest found in Ascot, and destroyed on 11th October, was 35 cm in diameter and contained six combs. Results from genetic analyses suggest that all Asian hornets collected in the surrounding area were likely to have come from this nest, and that the nest hadn’t reached the stage of producing adult sexual stages.

    The nest found in Portsmouth, and destroyed on 31st October, was 31cm in diameter and contained 4 combs. Results from genetic analyses suggest that all Asian hornets collected in the surrounding area were likely to have come from this nest. The nest had reached the stage of producing sexual stages but was highly inbred and a large proportion of the offspring were triploid.

    The queen and drones for both the Ascot and Portsmouth nest were highly unlikely to be direct offspring of the Gosport nest from 2020.

    Further information regarding Asian hornet can be found on Defra’s Asian hornet sightings page and on our BeeBase Asian hornet page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560.

    Use the Asian hornet Watch app for Android and iPhone to report sightings.

    Yn ystod tymor 2021, cafodd dau nyth cacwn Asiaidd eu darganfod a'u dinistrio'n llwyddiannus gan arolygwyr yr NBU a chydweithwyr APHA, yn dilyn golygfeydd a adroddwyd drwy'r ap ‘Hornet Watch’ Asiaidd.

    Cafodd y nyth a ganfuwyd yn Ascot ei ddinistrio ar yr 11eg o Hydref. Roedd yn 35 cm mewn diamedr ac yn cynnwys chwe adran i atgenhedlu. Mae canlyniad y dadansoddiadau genetig yn awgrymu bod yr holl gacwn Asiaidd a gasglwyd yn yr ardal gyfagos yn debygol o fod wedi dod o'r nyth hwn, ac nad oedd y nyth wedi cyrraedd y cam lle y caiff ffurfiau rhywiol llawn dwf eu cynhyrchu.

    Roedd y nyth a ganfuwyd yn Portsmouth, a'i ddinistrio ar 31 Hydref, yn 31cm mewn diamedr ac yn cynnwys 4 adran i atgenhedlu. Mae canlyniad y dadansoddiadau genetig yn awgrymu bod yr holl gacwn Asiaidd a gasglwyd yn yr ardal gyfagos yn debygol o fod wedi dod o'r nyth hwn. Roedd y nyth wedi cyrraedd y cam lle y caiff ffurfiau rhywiol llawn dwf eu cynhyrchu ond roedd wedi mewnfridio i raddau helaeth ac roedd cyfran fawr o’r epil yn driploid.

    Roedd y frenhines a'r dronau ar gyfer nyth Ascot a Portsmouth yn annhebygol iawn o fod yn uniongyrchol o’r nyth darganfyddwyd yn Gosport yn ystod 2020.

    Mae rhagor o wybodaeth am y gacynen Asiaidd ar gael ar dudalen golygfeydd cyrn Asiaidd Defra ac ar ein tudalen cyrn Asiaidd BeeBase. Dylech gyfeirio pob ymholiad gan y cyfryngau at Swyddfa'r Wasg Defra: 0330 0416560.

    Defnyddiwch yr ap Gwylio Hornet Asiaidd ar gyfer Android ac iPhone i roi gwybod am olygfeydd.