Basic Assessments 2017
The Basic Assessment is open to anyone who has managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months and is a prerequisite for anyone wishing to study for the BBKA module exams or husbandry assessments. It is a practical assessment in the apiary to judge your skill and knowledge in handling the bees.
The course will consist of three theory evenings on Monday evenings in May, followed by a practical session in the apiary. The dates are 8th, 15th and 22nd May at 7.30pm and the cost of the course will be £15 per person to cover room hire and refreshments. There will also be a charge of £20, payable to BBKA, for the actual assessment.
Depending on numbers, the venue will be at Frodsham Community Centre, or 2 Hatton Lodge Cottages, Warrington Rd, Hatton WA4 5NZ.
The Bee Dating Agency
My name is Lesley Parker and I will once more be running the Bee Dating Scheme for 2017. The purpose of this scheme is to put suppliers in touch with those members who have no bees, either because they have lost their bees or because they are just starting out in beekeeping.
The scheme is entirely voluntary and free but to participate you must be a paid-up, registered member of Cheshire Beekeepers.
Most purchasers will be beginners looking to buy a five-frame nucleus. For this reason the scheme is not intended for package bees or swarms, but some buyers may consider a full colony.
Sellers can register an intention before they have the bees ready for sale. I will not pass on your details until you are ready, but I would like some idea of what is likely to be available. Please don’t sell more than one colony to each buyer.
The principle of “first come, first served” will apply.
The following guidelines are based on BBKA advice (leaflet L014, which can be read in full on the BBKA website) and intended to ensure beginners get a good start. They are meant for standard National nucs and some adjustment can be made for hives with larger frame sizes.
Criteria for a suitable nucleus.
• Standard brood frames with wired combs in good condition.
• Not less than five frames, combs all fully drawn, with a minimum of three containing brood and two with stores to last at least two weeks.
• Brood at all stages and bees covering all frames.
• Not less than 30% sealed brood, a good brood pattern, less than 15% of the total area drone comb and no active queen cells.
• All brood to have been laid by the queen provided.
• Locally raised queen marked white for 2016 or yellow for 2017.
• The bees to be normally good tempered, when handled by a competent beekeeper.
• Adult bees and brood should show no signs of disease, though, as varroa is endemic, a very small number of mites seen on adult bees is acceptable.
• The supplier to provide a written record, with dates, of any treatments administered to the nucleus.
• The bees to be in a hive, ready for moving. Suppliers are advised to charge a returnable deposit on the hive.
• Buyers to collect the bees and transfer to their own hive after the bees have settled down a few days later.
• Empty hive to be returned to the seller within an agreed period.
• Any after-sales problems to be resolved between buyer and seller.
Beginners should consider seeking help at their local branch, for inspection of the bees before purchase and when transferring the nucleus to their own hive.
Finally, a word of caution to buyers; be wary of nucs offered before June. In this area, in most seasons, nucs with a locally reared queen, raised in the current year, are unlikely to be available before June. Unless you can be sure it is a genuine over-wintered nucleus, headed by a queen reared during the previous season, then you may be buying a nucleus headed by an imported queen. CBKA discourages the importation of queen bees and colonies from outside the UK. Buyers should satisfy themselves of the origin of bees offered for sale.
It will be assumed that those registering for the scheme, will be buying or selling bees on standard British National frames, unless advised otherwise.
Your name, `phone number, email address if you have one, the area where you are based and any other info you think pertinent.
Your name, `phone number, email, area the bees are situated and how many colonies you are likely to have available. Price and other details of the sale are to be negotiated between the buyer and seller. (The price of commercial nucs currently varies between £165 and £255.)
Chain Bridge Honey Farm,
Will give a talk:
‘Bee Farming with Native Bees’
At Frodsham Community Centre,
Fluin Lane, Frodsham WA6 7QN
On Saturday 25th February 2017
The talk will be sponsored by CBKA
with a charge of £1 only for refreshments
This is a one-off, not-to-be-missed talk by Willie Robson, whose family have farmed bees commercially in Northumberland for three generations, keeping up to 1800 colonies of indigenous bees in the North East of England and the South of Scotland, as well as developing a successful visitor’s centre selling a wide range of hive-based products. Willie has a lifetime of experience with bees and his talk will have something for everyone, from novice to experienced beekeeper.
Details of the Spring Convention
Spring Convention & Annual General Meeting
Saturday 11th March 2017
From 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
At The Woodford War Memorial Community Centre, Chester Road, Woodford, Stockport SK7 1PS
With presentations from:
Mike Brown (National Bee Unit)
Walter Shaw (Anglesey Beekeepers)
Tickets £20 in advance to include lunch and refreshments.
Tickets are be available from Branch Secretaries or directly from
Linda Towse, 30 Duncombe Close, Bramhall, Stockport SK7 3DD (0161 439 2937)
(Please make cheques payable to CBKA Stockport Branch)
Numbers strictly limited – please purchase tickets before the event.
Trade stands and Grand Raffle
Beeswax Candle Making Day
Sir John Deane's College, Monarch Drive, Northwich, Cheshire. CW9 8AF
Adult Education Department
Saturday 28th January 2017 - 10.00 - 3.30pm with a complimentary lunch - £38.00
Places are limited and booking up fast.
All bookings should be made by calling 01606 810020 and quoting "Beeswax Candle Making Day".
This is a basic introduction to making candles using beeswax. You will learn the candle making techniques as used
by hobby beekeepers i.e. rolled candles, moulded candles and, hopefully, dipped candles. You will take home any
candles you make and finish on the day, and also learn how beeswax is produced by honeybees, how it is
processed to produce wax suitable for candles and other uses, and, most importantly, safety when using and
melting beeswax to make candles.
Techniques covered in this class include:
Making rolled beeswax candles
Making moulded candles using silicone moulds
Making tea lights
Wick and the importance of using the correct size
Making dipped candles
Melting and using beeswax safely
You will take home any candles you make and finish on the day and
hopefully have the confidence to use simple candle making techniques at
home to make a variety of candles.
All materials will be supplied. Please bring an apron to protect clothing.
It is very difficult to remove beeswax from fabric!
Please ensure you wear sensible strong, flat footwear. Open sandals or shoes & high-heeled shoes are NOT
None – but there will be beeswax and wick available to buy for use at home if required.
Lunch and refreshments
A complimentary light buffet lunch is included. Hot drinks may be purchased from the foyer, so please bring some
small change with you. Due to Health and Safety regulations we are unable to allow hot drinks into the
classrooms. Unfortunately we are unable to cater for special diets.
The entire College campus is a no-smoking environment. Smoking is not allowed on the main College site or
Leisure Centre. Students and tutors who need to smoke are asked to do so away from the immediate vicinity of
the College, so as not to cause an obstruction at College entrances or on pavements.
Happy Candlemakers with their Beautiful Candles
The candlemaking day was a resounding success, with all participants enjoying the day and taking home their amazing work.
The workshop is scheduled to take place on Sunday 5th March 2017 9:30 – 4:00 at Frodsham Community Centre and will be led by Graham Royle.
There will be the opportunity to carry out honeybee dissection as well as pollen analysis and Nosema/Acarine detection.
The cost is £15 per person which will cover the cost of room hire plus the materials we will use (slides, cover slips, stains, etc), and tea/coffee. Lunch is not included so please bring a packed lunch. Please pay with cash or by cheque payable to 'Cheshire Beekeepers Association' on the day
In addition to lunch, please bring with you:
1. Microscopes together with lighting (if you have your own)
2. Sample of bees – 30 bees (dead!). The sample should be no more than 2-3 days old.
3. Honey samples for pollen analysis
The venue address is:
Frodsham Community Centre
More details of the venue can be found at: http://frodcomm.org.uk/cc/index.html
Another Gold at Tatton
The BBKA stand at RHS Tatton Flower Show which is designed, built and manned b Cheshire Beekeepers has once again been awarded a Gold Medal by the Judges. The plants, information, endeavour and overall impression were all rated excellent or very good by the judges. We had a slightly different design this year with new posters by Hammond Gosschalk of Stoke on Trent. The plants were grown by Stewart Hatton and of course the bees themselves! Special thanks to them and to the setup and breakdown teams, as well as everyone who stewarded over the five days of the show.