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Bees in flight

West Sussex BKA Convention

Annual Convention A one day Beekeeping Convention is held annually at the beginning of the year.  It is intended to suit all abilities and as well as the main lectures there is a choice of seminars to attend. This year’s event will be held on Saturday 23rd February 2019 at Lodge Hill Centre, Watersfield, Pulborough, RH20 1LZ

The West Sussex Beekeepers’ Association is pleased to invite beekeepers and those interested in bees and beekeeping to the WSBKA Annual Convention.  The event is designed to suit beekeepers of all standards. As well as the main lectures, the seminars offer a choice of more specialised topics.

Main Lectures

  •   ‘The Joys of Raising Queens’ – Clive de Bruyn
  •   ‘Monitoring Honeybee Colony Activity with Accelerometer Sensors’ – Dr Martin Bencsik
  •   ‘Melissopalynology – The Study of Pollen in Honey’ – Adam Leitch NDB

In addition there is a choice of seminars

Seminar 1 (You may attend one of these)

1)      ‘Beekeeping Mistakes’ – Clive de Bruyn

2)      ‘Experiments in Skep Beekeeping’ – Chris Park

3)      ‘BBKA Examination System & what you can get out of it’ – Celia Perry

Seminar 2 (You may attend one of these)

4)      ‘Asian Hornet Update’ – Adam Leitch

5)      ‘Mead, Metheglin & Medicine’ – Chris Park

6)      ‘Wings, Stings and other things under the microscope’ – James Donaldson

For further details contact Chris O’Riordan on 01403 253020 or email

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Queen cell

First apiary meeting of 2019

We had a good turnout at our first apiary meeting Saturday 12th January 2019. The forecast was good so it was arranged, we really needed to check the colonies for stores by “hefting” the hives, in fact only one full hive and a nuc needed some fondant, there were live bees in all the hives so looking good at the moment, but still early days.

Extra Varroa treatment using Oxalic acid vapourized was discussed but as the colonies were treated with MAQS in the autumn it was decided to monitor Varroa drop in early spring when another treatment of MAQS is possible, Some more equipment was cleaned and stored in the shed. Also our stock of frames and gloves were counted to be passed to our treasurer.

It won’t be long to wait until we are looking at queen cells again!

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Richard's apiary

Visit to Richard’s Apiary

Saturday September 29th meeting was at our member Richard’s yard: it was a lovely dry sunny morning, a bit cool, members started to arrive and it was clear some parking management was needed as he was expecting half a dozen members. Wrong! I didn’t count how many came but a good number didn’t want to miss this great opportunity. A few at a time had a look at his extracting set up, the rest came to the storage barn to play with the wax, Richard donated a huge heavy block of lovely clean wax, I’m afraid I ruined it by attacking it with a hammer, we cleaned some of Elaine’s capping’s and used the large block of wax to mould some figures for the show. We then had refreshments on a large lawn in front of the house in the warm sunshine.

When the extracting tours had finished Richard asked if anyone wanted to see some of his bees. Yes, please! A group started trekking through the woods. I tidied up in the barn, filled my car up with the wax kit and caught up with the group. We kept walking and thought we can’t see any hives, yet, until we came to a lovely, sun-drenched, sheltered clearing in the woods.

Richard told us about his bees and a few stories later, he said: “Do you want to see some more?” Yes, please, and we strolled off through the woods again to another field to see a large row of hives. Some had come back from the New Forest Heather. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning. He had a reminder that his dinner was due, so we thanked him, some purchased some honey. Thank you, Richard, for inviting us.

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