Lynfa has been keeping bees since 2005 with her husband and currently has approximately 30 hives. In 2015 she became a Master Beekeeper after working her way through the modules and practical assessments and then in 2019 she achieved the National Diploma in Beekeeping (NDB). Lynfa enjoys teaching beekeeping and is passionate about helping new beekeepers to learn the skills required to keep bees healthy and productive. Covid-19 might have curtailed many activities but Lynfa has adapted to this and regularly gives talks via digital platforms. She also regularly writes articles for beekeeping magazines. Lynfa is a member of the Welsh Beekeeper's Association (WBKA) Learning and Development Committee and has delivered courses for the WBKA as well as being a tutor for the NDB short courses and contributing to workshops at the BBKA Spring Convention. In her day job, Lynfa is a Knowledge Exchange Manager on the Farming Connect programme in Wales.
3. Don't name your Qs or grow too attached to them. Culling aging Qs is a necessary part of the beekeeper's job.
4. Cover over the escape holes in crown boards to stop the bees entering the roof space. This gives you extra time to assess the hive, and more roofs, acting as bases, to stack supers on.
5. When assessing advice from other beekeepers take into account their "hive years" of experience. Try to increase and broaden your own experience by assisting your colleagues.
6. Bees generally flourish whatever the beekeepers think they should be doing.
7. Don't forget to clean your tools and gloves in the handy bucket of washing soda. Also have a container with lid for the hive wax debris.
8. Are mouse guards really necessary?
9. Float a piece of wood in the water trough or feeder container to prevent bees drowning. An old tea towel can serve the same purpose.
10. Refill your honey jars!
The annual display of our best apiary products, with competitive categories including: clear and set honey, cut comb, home baked honey cake and biscuits, candles, and mead, took place on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Memorial Hall. David Capon kindly acted again as Judge and Commentator, with an audience of around 20 members taking notes as he progressed through a record number of entries for all the categories.
David Charles – A History of Somerset Beekeeping: 26 January 2019 at Shipham Hall, New Road, Shipham, BS25 1SG.
David’s talk starts in 1870 when the first SBKA was formed. Somerset was then a large county which included the Bristol area. The SBKA is now on its fourth association and celebrated its centenary in 2006. The talk will be about the structure, activities, politics and personalities, including great men like L. E. Snelgrove of Yatton. The effects of WW1 and the IOW disease, followed by the restocking scheme will be described. More recent challenges, such as Varroa and the Asian Hornet, will be presented in an historic context.
Here’s what you should be doing this month:
Things to do this month:
Vespa velutina or the Asian hornet, also known as the yellow legged hornet, is native to Asia and was confirmed for the first time in Lot-et-Garonne in the South West of France in 2004. It was thought to have been imported in a consignment of pottery from China and it quickly established and spread to many regions of France. The hornet preys on honeybees, Apis mellifera harming beekeeping activities. It has also altered the biodiversity in regions where it is present and is potentially deadly to allergic people. All beekeepers should remain vigilant and be on the look out for it in their apiaries. For identification use the button below:
If you think you have seen an Asian hornet, please notify the Great British Non Native Species Secretariat alert email address at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. Additionally, you can report sightings on their website (http://www.nonnativespecies.org//alerts/index.cfm?id=4). As well as this function, the website provides a great deal of information about the wide ranging work that is being done to tackle invasive species and tools to facilitate those working in this area.