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The Bee Marquee is ready for the Melplash Show!

Many thanks to everyone who came along this evening to make light work of preparing our Marquee for the show. Everything is in place … most things have been found from last year (white painted display stand for honey sales still missing!) … and all we need now are the exhibits for the show and lots of lovely cakes and honey to sell on Thursday.

Thank you to all those who turned up to lend a hand … let the show commence!

Honey for sale at Melplash

Preparations are well underway for the annual WDBKA Honey Show and sales at the Melplash Show.

The honey from the Association Apiary is now bottled and ready for sale … we are delighted that our bees have been so busy!

WDBKA honey from the Netherbury Apiary ready for sale.

WDBKA Apiary Outing

On the 6th August members of the Association enjoyed a visit to Annabelle Jackman.

There was plenty of time for a leisurely inspection of her very calm and friendly bees before we all sat down to share a delicious array of teatime treats.

The skep cake was amazing … another entry for Melplash?!

WDBKA honey extraction workshop

Many thanks to the small team of willing volunteers who helped to extract the honey crop from our Netherbury Apiary. We had five heavy supers to process and used two, six-frame tangential extractors to complete the job in good time. Several buckets of honey have been emptied into the settling tank, the empty supers are back on the hives, and a power washer made short work of cleaning up the equipment! A good job done.

We just need to bottle and label the honey so it will be ready to sell at the Melplash Show.

Dont forget to make time to prepare your entries!

WDBKA Outing to Buckfast Abbey Apiary

WDBKA members and friends were fortunate to have a dry, warm day for our visit to Buckfast Abbey. Twenty four of us spent an enjoyable time with Clare Densely, the Buckfast Bee Manager. The party split into groups and had the opportunity to see the bees on two different sites. We received a warm welcome and there was plenty of time for bee-related chatter!

We hope Clare will be able to come to Bridport to give us a talk sometime next year.

Look out for a full report in the newsletter.

The Community Apiary at Buckfast

A grand day out!

WDBKA Auction


The sun shone for our auction of bee equipment on Saturday 25th March. Sufficient folk came along to clear the majority of the lots and most of us went home with some real bargain buys.

Many thanks to all those who prepared the lots for sale, to our excellent auctioneer and her assistant, and especially to those who turned up to support the Association. An entertaining time was had by all!

Beginners course update

We are approaching the half way point through our annual course for new beekeepers. So far students have covered the basics and are gradually building their knowledge and understanding … and most importantly, are beginning to get to know other folk who could be helpful bee buddies in the future.

Everyone has had an opportunity to build a super frame … and taken it home to share with family and friends … the initial step towards their first hive!

In our latest session we considered the importance of pollen and forage. The WDBKA microscopy equipment was available for students to have a closer look.

 

 

WDBKA Varroa treatment

The colonies overwintering in the WDBKA apiary have been treated with Api-Bioxal. It was straightforward to follow the directions to mix the crystals with sugar solution and apply 5mls to each seam of bees.

At this time of year it is good to be able to have a quick peep under the crown boards and check that all is well. Some of the lighter colonies were given fondant but some were still very heavy.

Thank you to everyone who came to help … hopefully the treatments will help the colonies to keep their Varroa levels down.

Apiary Clean Up

img_0710Many thanks to all those who joined the end of season apiary clear up event. In beautiful, warm sunshine, we scraped, scorched, scoured, swept and sorted! All the equipment is now ready for next year and the sheds are extremely tidy. The bee suits have been removed for washing and winter storage. Even the surrounding vegetation has had a serious pruning. There was time for a quick coffee break … everyone worked hard to get the job done by 1pm … brilliant!

Scraping and sorting …

Scraping and sorting ...

Scraping and sorting …

Scorching ...

Scorching …

Slashing ...

Slashing …

Time for a break.

Time for a break.

 

While we were busy the bees were equally active … still enjoying the balsam and making the most of the glorious weather.

Melplash Memories 2016

After a hectic run up to the show it was great to see so many members, friends and visitors taking time to enjoy the attractions. The Melplash Show is a terrific showcase for our Association and provides a great opportunity to share information with the general public … as well as sign up students for the next Beginners Course, starting in Jan 2017.

An excellent range of local honey and wax products were available for sale.

An excellent variety of local honey and wax products were available for sale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to everyone who made a wonderful range of cakes … a sell out!

We had 180 entries into the show classes from 35 people. Thank you to those who made the effort … there would be no show without you!

All set for the judging to start.

All set for the judging to start.

Judge, Hazel Blackburn and Steward, Chris Thompson begin their marathon task.

Judge, Hazel Blackburn and Steward, Chris Thompson begin their marathon task.

WDBKA wins the Branch Shield ... presented to our Chairman, Sarah More.

WDBKA wins the Branch Shield … presented to our Chairman, Sarah More.

Congratulations for 'Best in Show' awarded to Carole Astbury.

Congratulations for ‘Best in Show’ awarded to Carole Astbury by DBKA Chairman, Richard Norman.

Joyce Lyall collects the First Prize sponsorship award for her Honey Cherry Cake

Joyce Lyall collects the First Prize sponsorship award for her Honey Cherry Cake

Carole Brown collects First Prize for her bee photograph ... and awards Richard Norman, DBKA president with the FW Carter Challenge Cup!

Carole Brown collects First Prize for her bee photograph … and also awards Richard Norman, DBKA president with the FW Carter Challenge Cup!

Well done to Dennis Clemens from D&WBKA for winning the Dorset Challenge Cup.

Well done to Dennis Clemens from D&WBKA for winning the Dorset Challenge Cup.

 

Congratulations to Vicky Gaston for her excellent frame ready for extraction!

Congratulations to Vicky Gaston for her excellent frame ready for extraction!

Congratulations to Mr Wood !

Congratulations to Mr Wood for winning the MC Bond Shield.