Sheffield BKA Honey Show at the Sheffield Fayre

We had yet another successful honey show at our Norfolk Park venue over the Bank Holiday weekend 26-27 August. With 116 entries we achieved Blue Ribbon status – which we have managed for the last 4 years or more.

Competition was hot but it could have been fiercer. With only 16 entrants some prizes went to sole entries! All entries are a celebration of beekeeping effort and it contributes enormously to the SBKA community spirit when we have more entrants. You don’t have to wait until you have the faultless entry of course  – see the magnificence of the carrot entry below.

Class Class desciption First Second Third
29 light honey Mrs O Lane Tony Lane Ian Smith
30 medium honey Ian Smith Philip Khorassandjian Cathy Butcher
31 dark honey no entries
32 ling honey Cathy Butcher no award
33 naturally granulated Tony Lane Bronwen White no award
34 creamed honey Tony Lane Bronwen White no award
35 chunk honey Bronwen White Philip Khorassandjian Cathy Butcher
36 3 distinct varieties Tony Lane no entries no entries
37 honey for sale Cathy Butcher Philip Khorassandjian Nicky Campbell
38 cut comb Philip Khorassandjian Bronwen White Cathy Butcher
39 sections no award Tony Lane no entries
40 comb Bronwen White Cathy Butcher John Shaw
41 cake wax Mrs O Lane Bronwen White John Shaw
42 Wax commercial Bronwen White no award John Shaw
43 decorative wax Mrs O Lane Bronwen White John Shaw
44 Candles John Shaw Bronwen White
Philip Khorassandjian
45 photo Philip Khorassandjian Mrs O Lane Cathy Butcher
46 plain cake Sharron Henderson Bronwen White John Shaw
47 fruit cake Sharron Henderson Anne Whitworth Nicky Campbell
48 honey sweets Nicky Campbell no entries no entries
49 honey chocs Mrs O Lane no entries no entries
50 wholemeal cob Philip Khorassandjian Tony Lane Cathy Butcher
51 dry mead Tony Lane Bronwen White Helene Pigott
52 sweet mead Bronwen White Helene Pigott Tony Lane
53 melomel Tony Lane no entries no entries
54 blacked out jar Philip Khorassandjian John Shaw Mrs O Lane
55 two different honey/wax products Mrs O Lane Philip Khorassandjian no entries
56 6 pieces wax Bronwen White Nicky Campbell John Shaw
57 display beekeepng products Mrs O Lane no entries no entries
58 educational /interesting no entries no entries no entries
59 Novice Class no entries no entries no entries

Trophy winners

best in show Mrs O Lane
best honey Mrs O Lane
Blue Ribbon Mrs O Lane
best cake Class (46 or 47)
Sharron Henderson
wax trophy Mrs O Lane
dry mead Tony Lane
sweet mead Bronwen White
Novice Class no entries

BBKA Exams & Correspondence Courses

Congratulations to all 15 candidates who recently took their Basic Assessment. All were successful receiving either a pass or a credit. I will contact you when certificates and badges are available. The next Basic Assessments will take place in Summer 2019.

The closing date for the next Module Exams is 30th September 2018. Exams will take place on 10th November at a local venue (tbc). If anyone is considering sitting an exam this Autumn please download your application forms here and return to Nicky Hine by the end of this month. I need either your original application or a good quality scan. (FYI 23rd March 2019 is the following exam date).

If you would like further information on the BBKA Modules please go to https://www.bbka.org.uk/modules

BBKA offer correspondence courses which currently cost £60 however SBKA is offering to pay this fee if you form a study group of 4 or more members. Please register your interest by filling in the form on our website. You don’t have to sit the exam to join a study group – you could just take the course out of interest. Our Library compliments these courses and offers appropriate specialist texts.

LIST OF CORRESPONDENCE COURSES:
1 – Honey bee Management
2 – Honey bee Products and Forage
3 – Honey bee Pests, Diseases and Poisoning
5 – Honey bee Biology
6 – Honey bee Behaviour
7 – Selection & Breeding of Honey bees
8 – Honey bee Management, Health and History
Microscopy Theory

Summer Barbecue & Auction

We all enjoyed the association barbecue held 19 August with more than 30 people taking part (and some of them were vegetarians). Many thanks to Peter for organising it so efficiently and making sure we all had plenty to eat. Many thanks to Ron for making sure our sausages weren’t burnt to a cinder and many thanks to all who brought food to share.

The highlight for many was the spectacular auction that took place before the food was dished up. Members were able to purchase outstanding equipment at rock bottom prices – brood boxes for as little as 3 for £5, crown boards for £1, floors for £5. Not only did purchasers get amazing bargains, we helped a member raise over £300 for St Luke’s Hospice and we made space in our lock up whilst raising over £250 to bolster the Association coffers. It looks like we’ll have to make the auction a regular feature of the barbecue.

Preparing a double brood for winter

Question:

We currently have double brood boxes below our QE. There are mostly stores and some brood in the top box. There’s mostly brood in the bottom box.

For winter, do we need to rearrange the boxes so the stores are below the brood?

Last winter we had a slightly different setup, so we put the brood box with 100% stores under the brood and it worked really well.

Not sure if it’s worth messing with this year?

Answer:

Yes, it’s worth messing around to get things right. I’ve consolidated some double BBs down to singles but I’ll wait until next month to put stores below brood nest, when I put on mouseguards.

If you have a question about beekeeping, please email us: ask@sheffieldbeekeepers.org.uk

Room for bees after removing honey supers

Question:

How do the bees “fit” in the hive after you take supers off? (How do they have enough space?) Do we need to replace the full frames with empty frames just to give them some room?

Answer:

The bees need space to hang out. Supers with drawn comb preferably, foundation if nothing else available. Extract the Honey ASAP and return the wet supers for them to fill up again.

If you have a question about beekeeping, please email us: ask@sheffieldbeekeepers.org.uk

What to do about wasps?

Wasps can become a problem for us and our bees at this time of the year. To understand why and what to do, it helps to know something about their lifestyle. Wasps are carnivorous. The larvae are fed chewed-up insects by the adults and they exude a sweet substance which the adults lick up and from which they obtain much of their carbohydrate intake. When the breeding cycle comes to a close at the end of the summer, the adults no longer have access to their “sugar fix”. They raid our picnic tables and they raid honey from weak colonies.

The fact that wasps eat insects means that they do provide a beneficial service to gardeners in controlling aphids and greenfly during the summer. This function is no longer available at the end of the summer. Most people do not like killing (even!) wasps but you should be aware that the breeding cycle is over and the adult wasps have no further useful purpose to serve and they will soon die (the mated queens hibernate until next spring).

  • if your bees are being harangued by wasps, you can do one or more of the following:
    narrow the hive entrance to the smallest practicable extent (say 30mm wide)
  • ensure that your hives are bee & wasp proof (many old hives have broken corners or joints that are opening or roofs with ventilation openings that once had mesh over them but which are now open to wasps and bees)
  • if you’re feeding your bees, do so in the evening and mop up any spills immediately
    hang up a large grey bag stuffed with newspaper in your apiary (something the looks like a wasp nest). Wasps will be deterred from coming into the apiary because they will be fooled into thinking that there is a wasps’ nest and they are safer elsewhere. (I guess it doesn’t hurt to try!)
  • put up wasp traps. These can come in two forms – traps that kill and traps that trap insects without killing them. The latter are useful if you want to release insects other than wasps that have entered the trap. You will find examples of both on the web – see http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/downloadNews.cfm?id=122 for a trap designed for hornet monitoring but which can also be used for wasps. Bait them with jam, beer – fermenting sweet concoctions of any type.

Notes from the hive: August 21, 2018

I was carrying out a standard inspection yesterday and noticed a queen that was, strangely, unmarked & unclipped. (I mark & clip all my queens). I didn’t have queen marking pen or scissors so carried on with the inspection. Two frames later I saw a queen, marked red (this year’s colour). A perfect supersedure no doubt. Since I had already inspected a queenless colony the “red queen” went into an introduction cage and into the queenless hive. Let’s see what happens!

Bees donated to Wisewood Primary School

Wisewood Primary School is the first of Sheffield schools to take up an offer of free bee hives donated through SBKA. They took delivery of their first colony of bees Wednesday 11 July and will soon install two more colonies.

Together with the children and David Richards of the David & Jane Richards Family Foundation we found the queen, marked her red – the 2018 colour – and clipped one of her wings to prevent her being lost in a swarm.

The children were fantastic – excited but very well behaved around the hive. They all had a go holding a frame of bees and brood to look for eggs and larvae.

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