HONEY SHOW VOLUNTEERS BARGE TRIP 11/11/23

On a brisk November afternoon, some of the people that volunteered during the Honey show came aboard the good barge “Victoria” for a 2 hour cruise down from Gas Street Basin. Did you know Venice has more gondolas down the canal than Birmingham? The sun was very welcoming, the rain held off and although bee talk was banned during the trip, im sure the ban was lifted on several occasions! A lovely buffet was put on for us .The slightly metallic taste to the pasta was added by Tim who dropped his keys in it(not really .They were found under the table) We had a bit of a sing along as DJ TIm played the tunes for the trip.
After this “do”, some of us ended up in the Tap and Spile. It was a really enjoyable afternoon and evening.

Bumble Bee Conservation Trust

As always, a HUGE Thank You to the Birmingham and District Beekeepers Association for making us so welcome at the Birmingham Honey Show.

Special Thanks also to our 2 Bee Inspired Walsall volunteers for their amazing help on Saturday.

So, we engaged with well over 300 people.

We raised £159.50.

We possibly have 4 new members for BBCT.

We met some great people.

We were overwhelmed with the rise in pollinator awareness, so many people of all ages turning their gardens in to havens for bumblebees.

The weekend left us filled with optimism and hope for the future, we had a lot of fun and talked so much we had sore throats.

We left tired but very happy, calling at a flower known in Stafford known as the Greyhound. A sure source of nectar for thirsty bees!

Ron Rock

Bumble Bee Conversation Trust

Beekeeping experience day at Kuenhe Nagel Aston

Some time ago I was approached by Keunhe Nagel who are interested in housing a bee hive on their company premises in Aston The plans for this are well under way and next spring there will be a hive on site managed by one of our members.
After this  introduction ,I was invited to come and judge their national cake competition , meet some of the staff and let them know a little bit about bees.
Jane joined me and we were made to feel very welcome with exceptionally hospitable hosts.
It all felt a bit surreal as porters took all of the bee displays through the office on a trolley.
We set up our display at lunch time and  the first person I spoke to had bees on his patio in Canada. He actually pays a bee keeper to manage his colony. It looks like I’m moving to Canada!
Then it was down to tasting and judging the cakes( I know. The hardships I have to go through as a beekeeper!)
The site is in quite an industrial district. I had a good look around the area when I was going home(I got lost!) and there seems to be a lot of pockets of greenery and trees.
I’m looking forward to trying some Keuhne Nagel honey next spring/summer
By
Richard James

NATURE BUDDIES BEEKEEPING CLASS

I was approached by Rob the manager of Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick asking if I could run a class about Beekeeping on 2nd Sept for their Nature Buddies students and parents.
I agreed to help out as it was for a good cause. Many thanks to Sam who helped me immensely with honey bee paraphernalia, a virtual hive and other bits and pieces which all came in handy.
The children liked the Bee toys immensely which they could touch and play with.
Finally, everyone thoroughly enjoyed and commended the taste of my honey being way better tasting than any shop bought honey.
Rob contacted me today and commented how well received my class was by all and they would like me to host more classes in the coming weeks. Some local schools have since got in touch with Rob to attend the Beekeeping classes in Sept and Oct.
It seems in the coming weeks and months I’ll be kept busy!

Abid Hussain

Marsh Hill Allotment Open Day

The annual open day was on the 12th August. Due to the fact the allotment had its own apiary they have a stall displaying an observation hive and information for visitors. Also there was a small quantity of honey for sale, unfortunately the honey wasn’t produced from the allotment apiary as the 2 colonies didn’t come through the winter, and the area where the apiary was  before was being developed as below. So there were no colonies on site.
The allotment Committee has gained funding to create a wildflower area with a pond and has given an area to site the new apiary, currently there are 2 colonies but there is space for a total of 6 colonies.
I was there to explain the structure of the colony, the process of honey production and extraction.
Although it was a small affair I had about 15 visitors who were interested in learning more about the honey bee. Amongst the 15 visitors there were about 6 young people who were willing to learn about the bees.
Going forward the committee are looking at having more structured meetings and getting the plot holders more involved. Any honey produced is sold to the plot holders
By Roger Peczek

A Day using an Observation hive at St John,s Church Halesowen

In 2015 the theme for the RHS Britain in Bloom Competition was Pollinators. Being part of the Halesowen in Bloom committee, it seemed a readymade opportunity to take up beekeeping. Visits to Highbury Park, joining the B&DBKA and going to Winterbourne Gardens followed. A hive was purchased from a retiring beekeeper and was set up in a fairly remote and unused church hall walled garden. A local beekeeper offered a six frame NUC of bees, having first inspected the hive and location. So in June 2015 everything was up and running!

The Local Primary School had shown an interest, but the best I could offer was to show them the working hive, from a distance and the safety of the back door to the hall. The following year I gained a lot more experience from working with the bees and beekeepers and I discovered the Observation Hive. This enabled the bees to be shown up close. My talk still consists of a short DVD on the History of the Honey Bee and the Working of the Hive followed by making up a basic hive from the various individual parts. Then all we need are some bees and the front plywood panel of the Observation Hive is taken off. The surprised look on the faces of the children and adults together with their questions is worth getting up early to sort out a frame of brood in all stages and the marked queen. Two frames of stores with open nectar and sealed honey complete the Observation Hive. The Halesowen in Bloom RHS Judging Day takes place every July in St John’s Church, an 11th Century Grade 1 Listed Building. The location of the hives moved to Leasowes Walled Garden some years ago, but the Observation Hive is as popular as ever with children and adults alike.

 

By Ken Rudge

School Visit

One of the aims of our association is to ‘advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment.’ Children and young people are fascinated by bees so surely taking an observation hive full of bees into a school is a good idea?
Two of our members, Jan and Jane, visited Lindsworth School (at the end of June 2023) a specialist school in south Birmingham. The 20 youngsters who took part in the visit were really knowledgeable about bees and enjoyed rolling candles, tasting honey and meeting the queen and her entourage.
The staff enjoyed the visit as well and couldn’t help trying on the bee suits and buzzing around the playground

Gardeners World Live 15/6/23

I was recently asked to attend Gardeners world live as a bee steward.I arrived at the BBKA stand at 9 am for a four hour slot.Their stand was very impressive with lots of information about bees. There was a chance to look at bees and pollen through a microscope and a chance to spot the queen in an observation hive.

Once the public stampeded into the show there was a lot of attention at the stand and a quick chance to try various types of honey(not the mead unfortunately!)

 

The Gardeners world presenters were filming throughout the day but sadly they didnt come and say hello. It amazed me how many people were needed to do the filming.

At the end of my 4 hours I was free to walk around the show and enjoy the wonderful gardens and plants.

Richard James

Swarm Management training day 8/7/23

Yes, why bees swarm, what to look for before they swarm, how to recognise when they are in a swarming mood. How to perform a pagden Artificial swarm split

  • When the queen is found
  • When she is not found

How to perform a split using a Nuc. Equipment needed to catch a swarm, how to collect a swarm, and how to hive it. All the techniques on swarm control were demonstrated using modified national and nucleus hives without bees.

Handouts were produced and distributed to the members who attended. They seemed to enjoy it and found it useful despite the threat of thunder storms, we then visited the apiary  where  I examined and manipulated three colonies.

Colin Overton

Spring Beekeeping Shows in 2023

British Beekeeping Show

This is at Stoneleigh Park on 4th February 2023.  This is a far smaller show than the old Tradex at Stoneleigh.

https://www.britishbeekeepingshow.com/

 

The Beekeeping Show

This is a new show on the 25th February 2023 @ Telford.  This has more of the big names that you would expect and looks a lot more like the old Tradex.

https://www.thebeekeepingshow.co.uk/

Note that neither of these shows are anything to do with the BBKA so don’t confuse their names with anything to do with the BBKA.

 

The BBKA Spring Convention

The BBKA’s annual spring show and convention is on 21st – 23rd April @ Harper Adams college.  They start to advertise & start ticket sales at the end of Jan so I would expect more details available then.  There is a trade show as well as many education talks that might be of interest.  The trade exhibition is usually fairly large and the educational programme is designed to support all levels and a broad range of interests.

https://www.bbka.org.uk/spring-convention-2022-updates