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Download Winter meetings programme (PDF file)

East Devon Beekeepers – Winter Programme 2018 – 2019

Events Colour Code:
Green = external site of beekeeping or general interest
Red = Beginners Event, Things you Must Know in Year 1 and beyond
Black = Things you Should Know and Practice


Thursday 6th December 2018, 1930 hrs Kilmington Village Hall ‘Here is one I made earlier’ A chance for Members to show off their inventions, plus a special supper.
Thursday 10th January 2019, 1930 hrs Whitchurch Canonicorum Village Hall DT6 6RF. Joint Meeting with West Dorset BK. ‘Medicinal Apitherapy: A journey into the healing hive’ with Dr Gerry Brierley An ‘Accidental Apitherapist’ and beekeeper, Gerry opens up the hive’s natural pharmacy and will uncover the medicinal properties of honey, drone larva, pollen, bee bread, Royal Jelly and propolis.
Thursday 7th February 2019, 1930 hrs Kilmington Village Hall ‘Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus – the Problem, Defences and Treatment’ Talk by Clare Densley CBPV is one of over 20 identified bee viruses. Get up to date with the help of Buckfast Abbey’s bee expert, Clare Densley.
Thursday 7th March 2019, 1930 hrs Kilmington Village Hall ‘Bees: importance of diversity and relationships with flowering plants’ Talk by Brigit Strawbridge Nationally known ecologist, broadcaster and beekeeper, Brigit explains that no single species has it all, either as a pollinator or a food source. Diversity is essential but under-appreciated.
Thursday 4th April 2019, 1930 hrs Kilmington Village Hall ‘Dance Like Nobody’s Watching’ Talk by Lynne Ingram Master Beekeeper and Psychologist, Lynne considers the role of dance communication in colony wellbeing. Come, learn and enjoy this insight into the colony mind from a knowledgeable beekeeper and able communicator.

2018 Summer Meeting Notes

Apiary Meeting July 14th 2018

Notes for Living With Varroa – download the PDF file

Swarming Control and Prevention

Notes on the Apiary Meeting of April 28th 2018

Swarming control is all about keeping your bees when you find queen cells being made. Swarm prevention is an attempt to stop or delay the swarming impulse.

As a beginner it can seem daunting, unfathomable or even intimidating, but the colony manipulations are all based on a simle set of rules.

  • Remember the basic life cycle of the queen and workers.
  • When moved, older flying bees will always fly back to the hive they know as home.
  • The colony may be thought of as consisting of three parts:
    The queen, the flying bees and the brood (including nurse bees). Separating one part from the other two will usually bring about a reduction of the swarming impulse.

As promised, Richard has put together some notes in the form of a PDF document which can be downloaded HERE.

Method 1 is for colonies where no queen cells have been found (swarm prevention) and Method 2 is for colonies where queen cells have been started (swarm control).

The diagram shows the layout of the Snelgrove board. The mesh is usually on both sides of the board to prevent physical contact of bees. The ‘doors’ need to be stiff to prevent accidental opening or closing. In Snelgrove’s design entrances were effected by cutting out a wedge. Pivoting doors have the advantage that they do not fall out, get detached or lost.

Snelgrove board

May is the time to carry out these types of hive manipulation as there is plenty of time for the resulting colonies to build up for the winter. You may even get a surplus.

Happy Beekeeping

Latest updates:
2019 Beginners Course
2019 Membership details

Recent update = Honiton Show

Recent update = Asian hornet page


News & Events

Scientists sew trackers to Asian Hornets to find and destroy nests before they kill honeybees
Britain’s beekeepers are turning to technology to prevent aggressive Asian hornets destroying their colonies. In a first successful trial, experts at the University of Exeter attached tracking devices to the backs of the voracious hornets and then followed them back to their nests.
Asian hornet information
The June edition of the BBKA News has extensive information about the Asian hornet threat. In particular, pages 209 and 210 have full colour reproductions of the Asian hornet alert document issued by the Non Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) for you to cut out and use as your personal guide to identification of this invasive species.
EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides
More information can be found at:          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/27/eu-agrees-total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of a single Asian hornet in Lancashire. More information can be found in the Defra Press release:   https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-identified-in-lancashire