Beginners... and bees!

Today was the last day of this year's Beginners' Basic Beekeeping Course which brought together 37 people of all ages with one thing in common... bees! The course itself started at the beginning of the year in January with evening sessions followed by two practical sessions at our Exeter apiary.  The course was led by David Packham, Seasonal Bee Inspector, who provided all the coursework for the budding beekeepers that was based on the BBKA's Basic Assessment Syllabus.

Rolling out the Evolution of resistance to Varroa and DWV

REViVe (Rolling out the Evolution of resistance to Varroa and DWV) is a three year project currently being undertaken Jessica Kevill and Professor Stephen Martin, University of Salford, Manchester and Dr Declan Schroeder, The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom to find out if a small number of European honey bee populations (Apis mellifera) can persist without any Varroa control and to investigate if this can provide a long-term solution to the Varroa-Deformed Wing Virus problem faced by beekeepers.

Children's 'Bee Creative' Competition

Teachers - how about this as a project for your class? Parents - would your children enjoy this competition? The Bee Tent at the Honiton Show is always a very popular place to visit and this year a competition has been organised for children of primary school age to make a poster or mobile illustrating bees working together towards their common objective.

Skep Making Workshop

Are you interested in learning how to make a skep? If so, come along to our Skep Making Workshop which is a two day workshop spread over two months. The workshop will be led by expert local skep maker, Mick Male, who demonstrates skep making at the Devon County Show each year and is being held at Farringdon Village Hall, Farringdon, Devon EX5 2HY.

Hive weighing


David Friend, one of our members, has devised an economic method of accurately weighing beehives to check the weight of stores remaining. It certainly beats spending a large amount of money on high-tech weighing solutions.

When manually hefting a hive to either assess the weight of stores for winter or monitor seasonal changes in weight the lifting position is generally very awkward, the hive is heavy and the estimate is inaccurate. It is often better to use some form of balance attached to a convenient and ergonomic point away from the hive.