Report of East Devon Beekeepers AGM 2019 & Quiz
Held at Kilmington Village Hall, 7th November 2019
Our AGM is a chance for members to hear what has been going on in the group over the last year and for them to vote-in Officers and Committee members. The meeting was conducted efficiently as much of the information had been issued beforehand. The new Committee are:
|Acting Chair||Alasdair Bruce|
|Committee||John Badley, Mary Boulton, Sarah Collins, Ralph Cox, Nicky Langley, Rosemary Maggs, Colin Osborne, Ann Pengelly, Richard Simpson, Peter Weller|
|Branch delegate to DBKA Executive Committee||Peter Weller|
Val Bone will also be Membership Secretary, Richard Simpson will be Education Officer and Keith Bone will be Apiary Liaison Officer.
Honiton Show Committee members will remain as last year (John Badley, Keith Bone, Ralph Cox, Angela Findlay, Sue Johnston and Mike Walters). We will be actively seeking new members to replace those who will be standing down in the near future.
Hilary Kirkcaldie congratulated the eight candidates who passed their Basic exam this summer (Sara Bredemear-Gill, Oliver Gill, Richard Croft, Jon Gosse, Mark Williams, Robert Sorrell, Angela Brooke-Smith and James Holbrook). The Craythorne cup for gaining the highest points in East Devon was won by Sara. Hilary also presented certificates to those who were present at the meeting.
During the break, tea, coffee and refreshments were provided. Thanks to Helen Bithrey with Kath West and Mary Boulton for their delicious cakes.
There followed a quiz described as ‘something to do with bees, but just a bit of fun’. The format was 5 teams, each with up to 6 people. Each team were provided with a buzzer that would indicate the first to answer. The quiz was organised and overseen by Val Bone. To start with it was all a bit chaotic as we quickly found out that the buzzers couldn’t cope with enthusiastic team members ‘just testing my buzzer’! So we carried on with a good, old fashioned show of hands.
The first question was an easy one, the Latin name for a honeybee. Then followed more questions requiring a good beekeeping knowledge e.g. ‘What is a DCA?’, ‘What does Mellitology mean?’, ‘What colour will we be marking queens in 2020?’.
Then things got more difficult. Identification of bee diseases from pictures. We should all know these but it’s not easy on the spur of the moment. Try these two images (Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright):
For those of you who like puzzles we had a section on beekeeping anagrams. Try these examples: RALOWESTXTOAARXCR (3 words), EFMRTERCROATE (1 word) and KEGQNNPREMIUNAE (3 words).
And bee related abbreviations: ABPV, CCD, WBC.
And if numbers are your thing: ‘Add a honey bees eyes to its legs. How many?’
For those not too familiar with bees there were the Music and Literature sections, all with a beesy theme. Again, try these:
Flight of the Bumble Bee was composed by Rimsky Korsokov. What nationality was he?
Who sang ‘Kiss me Honey Honey Kiss Me’ reaching no3 in the charts in 1958?
In Greek mythology who is credited as being the first beekeeper?
Meanwhile, Jes Pelham was doing sterling work keeping the score board updated. The final score was very close, only one point separating 1st and 2nd.
Val did a great job as quiz master, managing to keep the (slightly) rowdy element under control. She can definitely put ‘Quiz Master’ on her CV!
Feedback was very positive so if you find the questions above intriguing then come along to the next quiz we have, as I am sure there will be demand for another one. It really was fun, and we learned something about bees! Well done Val.
The next meeting of East Devon Beekeepers can be found HERE.
Reports of previous meetings can be selected from the list under Recent Posts on the left.
EDBK Winter Meeting, 6th December 2018
“Here is one I made earlier”
Our last winter meeting of the year usually takes the form of a Social evening. This year we had the added attraction of an exhibition of homemade beekeeping equipment and gadgets. Most of the owners/inventors were available to demonstrate and talk about their exhibits.
Hives and hive parts formed a large part of the display. Of particular interest were the items that could be used to display bees at shows or talks. Tim Purrett’s single frame design could be easily loaded and transported for use in schools where it could be passed round for close inspection without danger. There were two other similar frames on display as well.
An observation hive based on a standard nucleus box was demonstrated by John Badley. Features included double ventilation screening to prevent stings and provision for either one or two frames on display. Observation hives can cost £200 or more but this polycarbonate and plywood construction was a fraction of the price.
Colin Osborne brought along his simplified version of the Asian hornet floor. This robust design could be made from scratch very easily or used to modify an existing floor cheaply.
We had handmade standard hive parts by David Chambers, keeping the cost of beekeeping down. David Wiscombe was demonstrating the simplicity of the Smith hive in both manufacture, which he does himself, and use. Ann Pengelly and Peter Singleton were enthusiastically demonstrating their use of the Warré hive. For comparison, the branch apiary supplied the handmade top bar hive used for demonstrations.
Other large items on display were Nick Silver’s thermostatically controlled honey warming or wax melting cabinet, Keith Bone’s solar wax extractor and Alasdair Bruce’s ingenious hive transporter made from angle iron and bungee elastic.
Two bee vacuums were displayed, one based on a 5 frame nuc hive and the other based on a portable battery pack for picking up small swarms.
Bob Mercer had his apparatus for collecting a sample of bees. A simple adaption of a plastic food container, by making a two inch incision in the lid, inserting a short piece of wire into the flap, thus creating a handle, one is able to drag the box across the bees while holding the flap down with one’s thumb, then pulling the flap up into the closed position. An easily made solution to the Basic Assessment demonstration.
Richard Simpson showed us his homemade swarm catcher on a pole, for knocking swarms out of trees up to 16’ high, and a wax melter made from a steam wall paper stripper. An over-sized dummy board made to fit flush inside the brood box, immediately splits it into two nucleus-sized volumes. One nest uses the existing entrance and a wedge cut from the back of the floor makes a rear entrance. With some filling under the lugs, and, if necessary, completing the closure to the crownboard, two nucs can share a single roof and floor for the winter.
Gerry Humphries, who has been keeping bees for over 60 years, demonstrated queen rearing aids such as his patented tilting frame, a horizontal frame eke and a variety of boards that have been invented over the years for making queen rearing more efficient. He also had public demonstration frames all finished with a typically “Gerry” attention to detail.
Finally, Mike Walters, a prize winner at Devon County and Honiton Shows, brought along some of his retail sales packs combining very tasteful (and tasty) pots of honey with lovely beeswax products, clearly demonstrating how a few small changes to presentation can make a big difference to the end products of our craft. Mike and Nick Silver also showed us their much-admired skeps, made at our skep-making classes and frequently used for swarm catching.
The exhibitors of the 28 items are to be congratulated on their ingenuity and DIY skills, as well as their willingness to share their creations and ideas with the rest of our group.
Our thanks to Richard Simpson for organising the displays and to all the East Devon members who brought their equipment along. Several members commented that it was one of the most interesting and well attended meetings they had been to.