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Report on North Somerset Agricultural Show – 6 May 2019

North Somerset Agricultural Show

This year the show was held on 6th May.  The weather was cool and we were able to move some of our stand outside the marquees which gave us a much bigger area to spread out.

The candle rolling and badge making stands were an even bigger hit than usual with the children, many of whom already wore ‘I’ve seen the queen stickers’ from their time at the observation hive.

This year we displayed fully assembled deep national and WBC hives, and a skep, which became the focal point for discussion.

Honey sales were very buoyant, with almost all stores sold.

The honey show was judged by David Capon as usual and Jane Boss came away a very worthy winner of the Hans Wilson Perpetual Honey Cup and cash prize.  Very well done, Jane.

There was a lot of interest in beekeeping and bees in general this year and we were able to hand out many course leaflets to interested parties.  Hopefully the beginners course will be a sell out next year!

None of the success of the show would have been possible without the help and support of many of the club members who gave up their time to man the stalls and help with setting up and taking down the stands.  I hope that you all had as much fun as I did and that you will all be back next year for more.

I would like to particularly thank Lynne Ellis who looked after us all on the day by providing a constant stream of refreshment in the form of tea/coffee and biscuits.  She and Richard had parked their camper van behind our marquees and it made the day a lot easier having somewhere we could go for a quiet sit down and a cuppa.

I would also like to thank Hans Wilson who sponsored out stand again this year as well as providing the prize for the honey show.

Particular thanks also to Michelle Stagg who was with me all day working her socks off, and to Fran Frappell and David Capon for their sterling work on the honey show. # ##

Beekeeping Year – May 2019

For advice about what you should be doing with your bees in May, use this link: Advice for May 2019

North Somerset Show (6 May) – Bees & Honey Competition

Hi everyone

This is a reminder about the North Somerset Show.
The entries for the Bees & Honey competition at the Show are now open.
Click on the following link: SCHEDULE for the North Somerset Show Competition Schedule and ENTRY FORM for the North Somerset Show Entry Form
It would be great if as many of you as possible could enter as this is our showcase to the county.

Beekeeping Year – April

Here’s what you should be doing this month:-

  • Go to BBKA Spring Convention at Harper Adams (13 – 15 April, details on their site)
  • First Complete inspection
    • Shirt sleeve weather
    • Start with weakest hive
    • Gentle smoke
    • 5 rules of inspection
    • Queen/eggs
    • Space to expand
    • Stores ‘til next inspection
    • Building up well
    • Disease
    • Remove old brood combs and replace with new (feed)
    • Assess temper for later queen replacement
    • Start 14 day inspection

 If mite drop >4/day (200 mites in colony) dust with icing sugar when inspecting the colony

(Reproduced from “The Beekeeping Year” by Ivor Davis on the ABKA website)

Bees & Teas

As April is imminent (or even arrived when you read this) some arrangements for the NSBK Bees & Teas sessions need to be sorted out. There were about a dozen positive responses to the preliminary announcement last September, but if you want to add your name to the list of participants, please email me as soon as possible.
Once the scheme gets going all responsibility for group membership and the scheduling of group meetings will devolve to the individual groups. I am only trying to kickstart the programme, not control it! The original ground rules were agreed to be:
1. Establish local groups with 2 – 8 members,
2. With 8 members, hold fortnightly meetings,
3. Each member hosts in turn and provides tea & cake,
4. Colonies to be inspected only if weather permits,
5. Home or out apiaries can be visited.
I guess meetings will last about 90 mins. There is only so much cake
you can eat…
I think that geographical proximity might be useful, so we could start with four groups roughly centred on Nailsea (north), Clevedon (West), Blagdon (south) and Winford (east). But clearly friendships over-rule geography. How does that sound?

Looking forward to meeting up, in the sunshine, to discuss bees, and eat cake.


Monitored Asian Hornet Trap Sites in North Somerset

Monitoring again for 2019 – WE NEED MORE MONITORING SITES190711
8 current locations for 
daily monitored Asian Hornet Traps by North Somerset Beekeepers

Please forward an email with post code of the trap(s) to when you get your trap set up so your location can be added to the map.

It is vitally important that Beekeepers monitor for the presence of the Asian hornet in their area.

A link has been provided to assist with identification of an Asian Hornet: Identify the Asian Hornet Vespa_velutina_(Asian_Hornet)_4.0.

The following link provides details to make a simple and effective Asian Hornet trap: Asia Hornet Trap Mk2

Beekeeping Year – March 2016

For advice about what you should be doing with your bees in March, use this link: Advice for March 2016

Bees for Development Newsletter Feb 19



The Association runs a stall at this show each year to showcase bees and beekeeping. Members of the association are available to share their knowledge with the public. There is an observation hive, virtual hive, a beekeeping display, and candle and badge making for the children. We sell honey from members and this is a very popular part of the attraction.

In addition, we run a honey show on behalf of the NSAS which is judged by our very own David Capon. Here is a link to the rules and schedule of the honey show:

At the moment the dates on this site are still the 2018 dates but the schedule is not changing this year so you can still rely on it.

It would be great if as many of you as possible could enter something, even if it is just a honey cake or biscuits, as this is our showcase to the world. The person scoring the most points in the show will not only be presented with the Hans Wilson Perpetual Honey Cup but also a prize of £25 kindly donated again this year by Hans.

Our display is hugely popular and it is great fun to man the stalls and chat to the general public.


We are looking for helpers to man the stall during the day. You would only need to help out for a 2 hour slot and as a reward you receive a free ticket for the Agricultural show.

The slots which we have available run from 1pm to 3pm and 3pm to 5pm.

Some of you have already volunteered, for which I am grateful, but we still need more names. So if you have done it before, and know how much fun it is, or if you have never helped out before, we need you. Even if you have only just entered the world of beekeeping you still have a lot to offer. Come along and help. If you don’t think that you know a lot, you will soon find out how much more you know than the general public!

We also need some help on the previous day, Sunday, 6 May at 4.00pm to assist in setting up the exhibit and to help clear up after the show has finished on the Monday.

Selling honey

Finally if you have wish to sell honey at the show please let me know. The branch takes a commission on honey sold, which is smaller if you help out on the day, and sellers are required to provide a spare jar for the public to taste.

Any queries or offers to help, ring Sandra Slater: 07792 702513

Make an Asian Hornet Trap, 25 Feb, Churchill 7.30pm – 9pm

An Asian Hornet Trap Workshop will take place at Churchill War Memorial Hall on Monday 25 February 2019 between 7.30pm – 9pm.

As a Club, we cannot over emphasise the importance of using a daily monitoring trap (at your home/apiary) to trap Asian Hornets within our area. Unless we know that Asian Hornets are about, we cannot combat them. Fingers crossed, we might find nothing but…...

Details of the monitoring trap can be downloaded HERE.

Please come to the Workshop. We can supply all materials but would ask you bring what you can from the list at the top of monitoring trap document linked to above, particularly a 2 litre plastic bottle – look for pop or fizzy water bottles which have ridged sides with the bottom section marginally wider than the middle.

Any questions, call John Banks 07778 519983