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Presentation by Megan Seymour (Seasonal Bee inspector) Saturday 8 October 2016 – Tickenham


Megan Seymour (Seasonal Bee Inspector – South West) will be undertaking a presentation on BEE DISEASES on Saturday 8 October 2016 at 2pm. at Tickenham Village Hall (205 Clevedon Road, Clevedon BS21 6RX).

Megan is replacing Ivor Davis who was originally planning to undertake this slot.

Megan Seymour Megan started beekeeping with her father who kept 3 WBC hives with colonies at the end of the garden.  She was always very interested and particularly loved the honey.  She started keeping her own hives about 20 years ago with 2 hives on an allotment, but rapidly moved up to 5 colonies.  This led to her taking the basic exam and working her way through the BBKA module system.  Finding the basic fundamental theory of keeping bees to be a great help with her own beekeeping, she was awarded the Wax Chandlers prize in 2008.
Currently managing about 25 hives on several different sites she concentrates on queen rearing and selling nucs rather than honey production.  Her job as a Seasonal Bee Inspector since 2008 has given her vast “Bee Miles” and the opportunity to work with the Bees and Beekeepers in the South West of England.

BeeConnected – Spray Liaison

A new web-based crop spray alerting system, BeeConnected, linking farmers and beekeepers, has gone live across the UK.

A new web­based crop spray alerting system, BeeConnected, linking farmers and beekeepers, has gone live across the UK.

The BBKA’s Tim Lovett told Radio 4s Farming Today “ It’s ironic that the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides has meant that farmers have had to revert to older chemical formulas which are sprayed.”

Alerts from farmers will tell beekeepers when spraying is happening up to a maximum of 5km from their hives, the crop being sprayed and the compound being applied. The beekeeper will receive an email allowing them to take mitigating action such as moving their hives or shutting the bees in for a short while. Tim Lovett said: “ The system is essentially anonymous but if the two sides want to come together they can do so. For example a farmer could say ‘Hey I am growing some borage, any beekeepers want to bring their bees to pollinate for me?’ So it could start quite a useful conversation there as well.” BeeConnected is a joint venture under the Voluntary Initiative between the BBKA, the National Farmers Union and the Crop Protection Association. The BeeConnected website will also allow beekeepers to read the approved manufacturers’ information on the compound and whether or not it is associated with a bee alert being known to harm bees.” Current best agricultural practice, as advocated by farm assurance schemes and the UK code of practice for pesticide use, requires that the beekeeper notification takes place 48 hours before spraying to minimise the risk to bees.

Beekeepers should go to:

Winscombe Michaelmas Fair 10 September 2016 – Report by Adrian Wells

Another successful show at Winscombe, and as ever a good turn out by the village, despite the weather, although maybe not as many braved the grey as in previous years.

It is always good to see the smiling faces, some amazed at seeing the observation hive for the first time, or learning something astonishing about bees, lights switching on as we put things into context, some we remind of their youth and memories of relations that kept bees. These shows are important, not just as part of the local social fabric, but they help us as a charitable organization to fulfil our remit to educate. Making one person smile, or stop and think ‘wow!’ is a pretty good indication of success.

Many thanks to David Capon for his Stirling work in setting up the observation hive, and of course for his judging. Quite a few entrants kept David busy and helped to spoil his appetite after he’d munched his way through a reasonable quantity of honey, cake, biscuit and fudge! Congratulations to everyone who won prizes, especially Belinda K. who did well in most categories.

I would like to embarrass everyone who helped to set up and work on the stand, by thanking them publicly here; and so in no particular order (I hope I haven’t missed anyone), many thanks to the following for giving up your time, David W, Eric S, John P, Martin G, Paddy B, Rob W, Belinda K.& Wendy W., and a get well message to Heather P who couldn’t make it. These shows are a great way to talk to and educate the public about these amazing insects, and we can’t do it without our members giving a hand.

If you’ve not helped on one of our stands before, I would urge you to give it a go, it’s huge fun and even complete novices can have a great input.

Adrian Wells

PRACTICAL BEEKEEPING –Improvers course leading to Basic Certificate (2017)

We are running this basic course again in the new year. It is designed for those who have been keeping bees for a year or two and leads to a Basic Certificate.
Details about what we cover can be found at:

The course will be run over 7 sessions on Mondays fitted in between January and April taking place between 7.30 and 9.15pm at The Rising Sun in Backwell starting on Monday 9th January 2017.

The course is ideal for those who, having kept bees for one or two years, wish to expand, extend and consolidate their knowledge and skills of beekeeping.
The course fee is £20 and includes the cost of all course materials. Needless to say it is subsidised by the branch and is open to any member from the Avon Beekeepers Association.

If you would like to sign up for the course or would like further information could you contact me, Rob Francis, (educational coordinator) at or phone 01275 462914 or 07970 298518

WOODWORKING: Equipment workshops early 2017

Steve Willmott has agreed to run a number of workshop sessions early next year to make useful equipment for your apiary.

However to do this he will need a couple of volunteers to help him plan, prepare and set up the workshops. If you would be interested in doing this could you let  Steve or me know.

Rob Francis: or phone 01275 462914 or 07970 298518


Club member Paul B. has apiary equipment to sell as shown on the linked list.

Contact Peter on

Hiring the Club Honey Extractors

Club extractors can be hired by Club members.  The cost is £5 for a 4 day period.  The extractors will be supplied clean and must be returned clean to our Honey Extractor Manager.
There are currently 3 Club extractors – we have just acquired a new four frame extractor, uncapping trays and filter buckets.
The extractors must be collected from the Honey Extractor Manager and returned on time and clean.
Please email:

Essential Items Purchase Scheme – Varroa treatment/Honey Jars/Ambrosia/Fondant

The aim is to provide a self funding/non profit making scheme to enable Branch members to purchase commonly used essential Bee Keeping supplies at reduced costs using the power of bulk purchasing to further the craft of beekeeping whilst reducing our environmental footprint.
We are offering members of North Somerset Beekeepers the following Essential Purchase Items:
  • Varroa Treatment
    • MAQS strips (1 treatment per hive) @ £3.00/strip REDUCED TO £2.10/strip
      • MAQS (Varroa treatment strips, our local bee inspectors recommend the reduction of dosage to one strip/hive/7 day treatment period/can be used with honey supers on the hive/minimum temperature of 100C (you must read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions/maximum one year shelf life but can be less if product purchased has already aged)
    • Apiguard trays (2 required per hive) @ £2.10/tray (PRICE MAINTAINED)
      • Apiguard (Varroa treatment trays, 2 trays/hive over a 4-6 weeks period/use after honey has been removed from the hive/minimum temperature of 150C/maximum 3 year shelf life but can be less if product purchased has already aged)
  • Honey jars with “gold” metallic lids
    • 1lb. jars @ 30p/jar REDUCED TO 28p/jar
    • ¾lb. jars @ 35p/jar REDUCED TO 30p/jar
    • ½lb. jars @ 25p/jar (PRICE MAINTAINED)
  • Bee nutrition
    • Ambrosia (14kg. in plastic non-returnable container) @ £19.60 REDUCED TO £12.80
      • Made up exclusively of sucrose and its building blocks fructose and glucose. The high proportion of fructose means there is little tendency to granulate in the honeycombs, even at low temperatures and so prevents starvation of the bees.
    • Bakers Fondant (2.5kg.) @ £3.15/2.5kg. REDUCED TO £2.90 AND WE HAVE PURCHASED FONDABEE IN 2.5kg. PACKETS
      • A small amount of Bakers Fondant from last year’s scheme is available for the price shown above.  Bakers Fondant is supplied in 12.5kg. blocks and will be cut to suit your requirements in portions of 2.5kg.  If you order 5kg. you get 40% of a 12.5kg. block, etc.

Essential Items Purchase Scheme 2016/2 - Varroa Treatment/Honey jars/Ambrosia/Fondant

Sign up below...

Name North Somerset Beekeepers memberMAQS@£3.00/stripApiguard@£2.10/tray1lb.Honey jars@30p3/4lb.Honey jars@35p1/2lb.Honey jars@25p14kg.Ambrosia@£19.602.5kg.Bakers Fondant@£3.20
Name North Somerset Beekeepers memberMAQS@£3.00/stripApiguard@£2.10/tray1lb.Honey jars@30p3/4lb.Honey jars@35p1/2lb.Honey jars@25p14kg.Ambrosia@£19.602.5kg.Bakers Fondant@£3.20
#1: John B.YES0460611
#2: Steve R.YES04480004
#3: david w.YES6case3
#4: Tom S.YES85
#5: alison w.YES222
#6: Tim L.YES61
#7: Garry P.YES310201
#8: jane B.YESnonononono14
#9: Scott F.YES0400024
#10: Nicki A.YES41
#11: Tom F.YES43
#12: Annabel L.YES128004030
#13: Beverly C.YES22
#14: frank g.YES6
#15: Apiary M.YES010000100
#16: David C.YES10
#17: Sandu B.YES83
#18: Lyn B.YES4 trays1061x14kg
#19: Heather P.YES21
#20: Tom L.YES3350
#21: Rob C.YES2040
#22: peter s.YES22
#23: Paddy B.YES63
#24: Rodney G.YES84811
#25: Steve W.YESyes 40
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#27: Alison F.YES4
#28: Dick B.YES1585
#29: keren p.YES4
#30: Geoff M.YES2
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#32: Richard E.YES7 x Trays2 x 14kg
#33: Richard B.YES2013
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#37: Rob F.YES9
#38: Gerry S.YES22
#39: Lee S.YES1152.5
#40: Ginny G.YES243
#41: Janet M.YES12
#42: Paul M.YES3
#43: Ian C.YES1
#44: Andrew A.YES01000040
#45: Margaret M.YES6403
#46: Susan B.YES1020
#47: Martin S.YES20
#48: Zdenek K.YES5
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#50: David H.YES05720102 x14kg0
#51: Rob W.YES21
#52: Stan W.YES2241
#53: Sandra S.YES111
#54: Juliet C.YES62013
#55: jenny w.YES62
#56: Mark Y.YES61
#57: Keith B.YES1205KG
#58: Rosemary T.YES2
#59: Nicola L.YES61
#60: Emma B.YES2412
#61: Sign up »
#62: Sign up »
#63: Sign up »
#64: Sign up »
#65: Sign up »
#66: Sign up »
#67: Sign up »
#68: Sign up »
#69: Sign up »
#70: Sign up »

Beekeeping Year – September

Things to do this month:-

  • Feed colonies that need it
  • Reduce to planned number of colonies
  • Prepare for Honey shows
  • Expect more nectar flows
  • Reduce inspections to fortnightly
  • Expect reduction in colony size and brood area
  • Remove Apiguard trays

Introduction to Beekeeping Course 2017

Please book your places for our popular Introduction to Beekeeping Course which starts 17th January 2017 at Churchill Memorial Hall and runs over 10 Tuesday evenings until 21 March 2017.  Course Fee £95.  The course is always oversubscribed so if you have friends and family keen to take up beekeeping ensure they book a place now.  For more details and to book the course, click on this link: COURSE2017

For further information, email the Course Secretary Paddy Brading:

Beekeeping Year – August

Things to do this month:-

  • Remove the supers for extraction
  • Ensure the colony is left with space to hold ~35 lbs honey
  • Extract and store honey
  • Check water content and labelling requirements
  • Clean supers (on colony and then using Certan etc.)
  • Render wax cappings etc.
  • Clean or replace dirty super frames
  • Move old brood frames to the edge of hive ready for replacement
  • Insert tray of Apiguard as soon as supers are removed add second tray after 2 weeks
  • Estimate mites removed after 4 week treatment (many 100s)