The 2018 Summer Programme is now available. This information can also be found on the website Programme page.
A copy of the programme can be downloaded here – 2018 summer programme.
Scottish Native Honey Bee Society
Annual Meeting – Loch Leven Community Campus, Kinross
Saturday 17 March 2018 at 10:00-16:00
Per Kryger, Aarhus University, Denmark.
Per is a Danish scientist working in the SMARTBEES and other projects. He will give us an update on progress exploring genetic variation in honey bees and on the tools becoming available for breeders.
Jon Getty, Native Irish Honey Bee Society.
Jon is secretary of the Belfast Beekeepers Association and the webmaster of NIHBS. He will share his extensive knowledge of queen rearing and the use of mini-nuclei.
Ian Lennox, Coordinator of the new project on assessing the status of native honey bees in Scotland.
Ian will report on the activities of a newly formed group to support this project and on the progress expected in 2018.
Report from the Chair on SNHBS activities since the launch and a look ahead to 2018 and beyond.
Financial report; Members’ forum; Changes to the Constitution; Election of the new board.
The meeting is open to members. Anyone interested can join the society for £20 at www.snhbs.scot
A buffet lunch will be available at £7.50 for people registering their interest by 10 March via the Eventbrite link at the website above or at the direct link here.
Please see the following message from the SBA Scientific Officer.
Today the National Bee Unit confirmed that Asian hornet workers have been positively identified in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. A 3-mile surveillance zone has been established and teams of bee inspectors are endeavouring to locate and destroy nests in the area.
This is the first confirmed detection of Asian hornet on the UK mainland. Earlier this year Asian hornets were confirmed on the Channel Islands.
See this link for identification pictures. The earlier photo was of an Asian Giant Hornet which was inserted in error and is now removed.
There is no immediate threat to honey bees in Scotland but the confirmation of this pest in the UK is a serious cause for concern. At this stage we are uncertain how far north this pest will thrive.
SBA Scientific Officer
The Dunfermline and Fife beekeepers attended the annual Kinross Agricultural Show on Saturday 13th August 2016. We arrived on the Friday morning to set up our marquee but were met by strong and blustery winds which made it impossible to set up the stall and safely leave it overnight. However, the forecast for show-day was good and we were not disappointed when we returned early on the Saturday morning. Our dedicated team under Enid’s direction soon set to and we had everything in place with 2 well stocked observation hives. The show was a great success with many visitors to our stall. We were kept busy all day answering enquiries and explaining the work of the Fife and West Fife associations. The 2 observation hives attracted a lot of interest and a model comb set up as a jigsaw with parts to represent what is seen on the comb was a favourite with visiting children and their parents. At the end of the show we were delighted to be presented with a certificate and bottle of wine for the ‘best small trade stand’ exhibit.
Thanks to Enid for supplying all the materials and observation hives and to our helpers Liz, Sheila, John, Jeff, Janice, Kay and Bob. ……………..
John E Durkacz
Check out the Scottish Beekeeper web site on Swarm Information
Rescue WILD BEE COLONY Nairn April 2016
Dear interested friend of bees,
As many of you know, I have been using a group of volunteers for a number
of years to monitor various sites in which feral colonies of honey-bees are
continuing to live despite the spread of Varroa throughout most of Scotland.
Sadly, one of these sites has now been lost. The tree in which the bees were
living near the River Nairn had become unstable, and it was judged to be a
public danger and felled. Those who had been monitoring the site were
quickly alerted to the situation, and within a few hours of the tree
they went there to rescue the bees.
A year or two ago, I was sent a small sample of bees from this colony to
do some wing morphometry on, and from the characteristics of the
venation pattern on their wings, it appears likely that they are largely
of the Carniolan race. These have a reputation for mild temper, and
the behaviour of the bees while they were being rescued would
certainly confirm that for this stock.
Those carrying out the rescue have made a most interesting video
of their proceedings, and I hope you will enjoy watching it on
Youtube via the link
Ann Chilcott, who was the leader of the rescue team,
has said that she would like this to be widely circulated among interested
beekeepers, so feel free to share it with you beekeeping friends. It
has many useful lessons for others who may be faced at some time
with a similar problem.
Beekeepers may wish to monitor their colony food levels closely over the next month as in many northern parts of the UK, the weather is still cold and foraging opportunities for large colonies are few and far between. It is important to check and monitor all your colonies feed levels, if you do not wish to open them up, lift below the floor, in turn, on both sides of the hive to see how much it weighs. Where the hive is light, liquid feed should be applied directly above the bees. Remove any supers from above the brood box which are empty or have few bees in them. This will help the bees get to the food quickly; Feed can be sugar and water mixed at 1:1 ratio or one of the proprietary ready mixed syrups available from Beekeeping Equipment Suppliers. More information about mixing up sugar can be found in the Best Practice Guidelines no. 7 http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167 Fondant can also be used. Large starving colonies of bees will take 1 gallon (approx. 5 Litres) of syrup very quickly while smaller colonies will take half a gallon (approx. 2.5 Litres). After feeding, heft the hives again and check the weight and if in doubt feed some more in a few days’ time.
Some colonies in northern areas of the UK have low levels of pollen, which is essential for brood production. If this is the case, then some form of pollen patty will need to be given to colonies which should be placed directly above the brood nest, after you have fed any syrup.
Some of you may not have gotten round to treating your colonies with oxalic acid as the weather was so mild in winter. Treatments that were applied in winter may have had lower than normal efficacy due to the presence of brood and therefore beekeepers may want to consider treating colonies again, especially where bees are showing signs of deformed wings. Thymol based products and formic acid pads may be ineffective at the present time as daytime temperatures respectively of 12-15 °C or above are recommended. Neither should MAQS strips be used on smaller colonies.
Therefore contact strips such as Apistan or Bayvarol may be beneficial, these offer a rapid knock down in severely infested colonies. However, resistance to these products has been reported in some areas and therefore colonies will need to be monitored after the treatment and an alternative treatment applied if necessary later in the season.
Alternatively, Apivar & Biowar (Amitraz) are available under the EU Cascade system by using a special import certificate. For more information about this, contact your local vet.
National Bee Unit.
Bee Matters – Bees Matter!
FB and DWFB Association newsletter
First, our summer programme – print out and pin on your notice board and/or write into your diary. It will also be on the website. You will see that as a general rule FBA meet 2pm on Saturdays and DWF 2pm on Sundays though there are a few joint demos which are the exception to the rule. Beginners are welcome to all meetings of their association except those for Intermediates.
|Sun 3 April||Intermediates||Mawcarse|
|Sat 9 April||FBA||Balcaskie, spring inspection|
|Sun 10 April||DWF||Muirside, spring inspection|
|Sat 16 April||FBA beginners||St A Botanics|
|Sun 17 April||DWF beginners||Muirside|
|Sat 23 April||Intermediates||Mawcarse|
|Sat 7 May||FBA beginners||St A Botanics|
|Sun 8 May||DWF beginners||Muirside|
|Sat 14 May||FBA||Botanics, early swarm prevention|
|Sun 15 May||DWF||Muirside, early swarm prevention|
|Sat 21 May||FBA||at Fife Show, Cupar|
|Sun 22 May||Intermediates||Mawcarse|
|Sat 28 May||FBA + DWF||Swarm control demo|
|Fri-Sat 3-4 June||DWF||at West Fife Show. Kelty|
|Fri-Sun 3-5 June||All interested||at Gardening Scotland, Ingliston|
|Sat 4 June||FBA beginners||St A Botanics|
|Sun 5 June||DWF beginners||Muirside|
|Sat 11 June||FBA||St A Botanics|
|Sat 12 June||DWF||Muirside|
|Mon-Sun 20-26 June||Royal Highland Show||Ingliston, volunteer stewards needed!|
|Sat 2 July||FBA beginners||St A Botanics|
|Sun 3 July||DWF beginners||Muirside|
|Sat 16 July||FBA’s 100th b-day event||St A Botanics, talk, demo, party – DWF invited!|
|Sat 23 July||FBA + DWF||Lethangie, John Hendrie, BBKA president, to take demo.|
|Sat 30 July||FBA beginners||St A Botanics, nucs|
|Sun 31 July||DWF beginners||Muirside, nucs|
|Sat 6 August||FBA||Newton Bank|
|Sun 7 August||DWF||Muirside|
|Sat 13 August||DWF and FBA||Kinross Agricultural Show|
|Sun 21 August||FBA and DWF beginners||Lethangie, winter preparations|
|Fri-Sun 2-4 September||Scottish National Honey Show||Camperdown Park, Dundee, honey, wax and baking entries needed, also stewards|
|Sat 10 Sep||SBA Autumn Convention||Nairn – see SBA website|
|Sat-Sun 17-18 September||Fife Honey Show||Dobbies, Dunfermline, entries and stewards needed|
|26-30 October||National Honey Show||Sandown Park|
Phone numbers: for Muirside John Durkacz 01383 722 186; for Mawcarse and Lethangie Enid Brown, 01582 840 582 or 07763 809 367; for Balcaskie Janice Furness, 01334 880 469 or 07972 325 724; for St Andrews Botanics Enid or Janice; for Newton Bank Martin Kay 01334 828 187 or Enid.
We will email before noon on the demo day if it is cancelled, so keep your eye on your emails if weather looks uncertain.
… and John and Janice stewarding at the 2015 Fife Honey Show:
… and Martin at SBA wax day, Newburgh
…and Polly making up frames:
12 Nov 2015, The Times, Oliver Moody, science correspondent: Stone Age settlers had a taste for honey. Bees are among mankind’s oldest and closest friends, according to a study that has found that ancient farmers were using honey and beeswax at the dawn British agriculture…. Scientists have now found evidence that Stone Age settlements were taking honey out of beehives 9000 years ago, and that bees have been in this country for much longer than was thought … Fragments of Neolithic clay pots found beneath Eton rowing lake had demolished arguments that the Romans had brought honeybees to Britain ….They analysed 6.400 pieces of Stone Age pottery from more than 150 archaeological sites (in Ancient Europe and Turkey) and found that 81 had beeswax residues….
3 February 2016 The Daily Telegraph, Hana Carter:
The honeybee weather forecast. Honeybees may be able to predict the weather to help plan their workday and avoid downpours. The discovery was made …. after attaching radio-frequency identification tags to 300 worker bees. The bees spent more time out of the hive foraging and stopped work later in the afternoon when the following day was a rainy one. They seemed to be responding to changes in humidity, temperature and barometric pressure that precede rainstorms…
Thurs 31 March, 7.30pm, beginners class 7, Portmoak
Thurs 7 April, 7.30pm, DWF, talk on dragonflies, Portmoak
Thurs 14 April, 7.30pm, FBA, Dairsie Memorial Hall, Prof. Pat Willmer on Cheats, Chancers and Pollinators
Thurs 21 and 28, beginners classes 8 (diseases) and 9 (making up frames and hives), Portmoak
That’s all for now, hope to see lots of you at the summer events! Janice
Dunfermline and West Fife Beekeepers’ Association
Invite you to join them for a talk on Dragonflies
By Ruary McKenzie Dodds(BBC SPRINGWATCH’S ‘DRAGONFLY GEEK’) fell in love withdragonflies in 1985.
He ran a team of dragonfly volunteers for twenty-five years, and nowbroadcasts, writes and talks about dragonflies. His latest dragonflybook, The Dragonfly-Friendly Gardener, has just been published. He’sconvinced that everyone needs to know at least something about dragonflies, and their importance to the environment.
at Portmoak Hall Scotlandwell
on April 7th 2016 at 7.30 pm
All are welcome. tea, coffee , & home baking is included in the entrance Fee
DWF members & other BKA members £1
None members.. £5
further information contact Liz Wyatt firstname.lastname@example.org