John Hewitt

MSWCC – The Bee Conference – Booking Now

You can now book place at the 2017 conference at:  www.mswcc.org.uk

Accommodation can be provided at reasonable cost.

If you book for the day the cost of the meal (be it Friday evening, Saturday lunch or Sunday lunch) is included.  It is up to you whether you eat it!

The Gala Dinner (if you are not a full residential participant) has to be booked separately

To whet your appetite, the outline programme is:

Friday 15th September

15:00 onwards Reception and registration and start honey show staging
16:30 – 17:30 Lecture 1: Bee Husbandry ……………. [Exact title to follow] Anne Rowberry
17:40 – 18:40 Lecture 2: Virus Work ….. [Exact title to follow] Stephen Martin
19:00 – 20:15 Dinner
20:30 – 21:30 Q&A Session:. “There is no such thing as a stupid question” Colin Pavey


Saturday 16th September

08:00 – 09:00 Day visitor reception and registration
09:15 – 10:15 Lecture 3: Pheromones. “The chemical ecology of honey bees and how it is exploited by varroa” Stephen Martin
10:15 – 11:00 ·      Coffee / tea and Start Honey Show judging
11:00 – 12:00 Lecture 4: Pollen and Nutrition. ……………. [Exact title to follow] Bob Smith
12:10 – 13:10 Lecture 5: Swarm Control.  ……… “Reactive Swarm Control” Wally Shaw
13:15 – 14:15 Lunch
14:30 – 17:50 Three workshop sessions selected from the following
·      W1. Exams. ………. “Introduction to new BBKA exams”

·      W2. Disease Management. …….  [Exact title to follow]

·      W3. Apiary Hygiene. .  “How clean is your kit?”

·      W4. Colony environment.  …………… “DIY hive monitoring”

·      W5. Swarm control.  “Practical swarm control”

·      W6. Pollen reference slides…….. [Exact title to follow]

·      W7. Preparing for winter……….. [Exact title to follow]

Marin Anastassov


Colin Pavey


Liz Gardener

Nick Lambert


Wally Shaw


Bob Smith


Margaret Murdin

19:00 – 20:30 Gala Dinner
20:30 – 21:30 After-dinner lecture:

………… “Stray thoughts from an aspiring bee master”


Dave Maslen


Sunday 17th September

08:00 – 08:45 Residents hand back room keys and Day visitor reception and registration
08:30 – 09:00 Inter-denominational service
09:30 – 10:30 Lecture 6: Selection and Breeding. . [Exact title to follow] Jo Widdicombe
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee / tea
11:00 – 12:00 Lecture 7: Forensic pollen [Exact title to follow] Dr Michael Keith-Lucas
12:10 – 13:10 Lecture 8: Neonicotinoids…………….. [Exact title to follow] Margaret Murdin
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 15:30 Honey Show results

Present Honey Cup

Draw raffle

Information on 2018 Conference

15:30 Depart


I hope to welcome you there

Best wishes

M J D Forster

Chairman M&SWCC planning committee fo the 2017 Conference

M: 07866 977359

I have a Swarm of Bees!

Many Beekeepers offer a voluntary collection service for swarms of bees.  For details of these Beekeepers please click here…

Unfortunately we cannot help with wasp or bumble bee nests, or established honeybee colonies in buildings.  See below for more information about bumble bees.

About Swarms:

picture of a swarm of Honey Bees

A ‘typical’ swam of Honey Bees

Swarming is a natural process by which bees colonies reproduce. Normally when bees swarm they do not sting, so if undisturbed they are not an immediate threat. Don’t panic! Usually they will find themselves a suitable home and disappear after a few hours.

However, their idea of a ‘suitable home’ might not be yours. They have been known to occupy chimneys, wall cavities, bird boxes and house roofs. It is better to ask a beekeeper to collect them. This ensures that they will be given a good home and not destroyed. This service is normally provided free, but a contribution towards travelling expenses, or perhaps a donation to charity might be requested.

Unfortunately we cannot help with wasp or bumble bee nests, or established honeybee colonies in buildings.

If you are worried about bees in the roof or in a bird-box please watch this video before phoning. These are tree bumble bee drones. THEY DO NOT STING. The nest will die out at the end of the summer when you can block up the hole or move the bird box. We cannot help with these bees but you can find out more at http://bumblebeeconservation.org/

Other sources of information:

Concerned about Bumblebees? Visit www.bwars.com to find out more.

BBKA Swarm Help Page


Low food stores

A message from the National Bee Unit:

In some regions of the UK beekeepers have reported excessive use of food stores due to the un-seasonally warm weather. It would be advisable that you check your colonies have adequate stores and add supplements if required. With the weather being quite variable, fondant is the best option not liquid feed.

For those of you thinking about treating your colonies with Oxalic acid, we remind you to only use only approved products Api-bioxal or Oxuvar and to administer the treatment by label instruction only.

Further information about colony feeding and keeping good and accurate medicine records can be found on our website at www.nationalbeeunit.com .

Memberships Due

Welcome to 2017!

Just a quick reminder that Memberships are now due for renewal.   Go to Join Us to select and pay for your membership.  Remember to select the Renew Membership options if you are renewing your Full or Associate Membership.

We have a new payment system this year that will accept payment by:

  • PayPal
  • Debit & Credit Cards processed through PayPal (no PayPal account needed)
  • Bank Transfer – BACS
  • Payment by Cheque

The website will create an account for you as your purchase and send out a password to you – keep this handy as this will speed up future transactions.  You can manage your account on the My Account page, here you can edit your details and see details of purchases etc.

The new system should work seamlessly, however if you encounter any glitches please let us know at admin@herefordshirebeekeepers.org.uk and we will check it out.


Asian Hornet in Gloucestershire

An update from The National Bee Unit

asian-hornetFollowing the finding of Asian hornets in Gloucestershire recently the  The National Bee Unit have received a large number of suspect Asian hornet reports from members of the public and beekeepers which we are following up. Bee inspectors have now visited over 100 sites. Asian hornets have been seen at just six locations within 500 meters of the original site.

Efforts to track down the nest and destroy it are ongoing. There have been no other substantiated reports of hornets anywhere else in the UK so please be patient while we continue our field work and be assured that when appropriate, national alerts will be sent out via our email alert system. In the meantime, our news feed on BeeBase will be used to keep everyone updated.

Please also see the updated ID sheet to help you Identify Vespa velutina in your apiaries.  At this time of the year, the best bait to use in traps is fish bait diluted to 25%

Please continue to monitor your own apiaries using hornet traps and encourage those whom you know are not registered on our database to sign up here….