Each year we try to have a light hearted celebration of the year and our mutual enjoyment of beekeeping.
Linda and I really enjoyed last night’s meeting “2021 Reminiscences, Reflections and Christmas Cheers”.
Deryck started us off with an amusing and thought provoking reflection on 2021 and cunningly wove in his response to David Evan’s talk on Varroa. He is treating his bees with oxalic acid a little earlier this year compared with previous years. In the summer there were very few of the mites but recently he had a fall of 700 per hive. He is using both liquid oxalic acid and also sublimating . he explained clearly that although liquid oxalic acid is very effective it can damage bee moth parts and so can only be used once. Sublimating can be repeated multiple times with no ill effect on the bees. The advantages and disadvantages of gas vaping and using a battery and electric wand were discussed and demonstrated.
Penny reflected on the fields of rape around her garden and the absence of nectar for bees. This led to a conversation about F1 hybrids and that hopefully farmers will find it to be more economic to go back to naturally pollinated varieties of crops. Most people present suffered from a June Gap and then little nectar/honey for the rest of the summer.
Jerry, as a relatively new beekeeper had other experiences, which he presented in a very amusing way. Who will forget his description of constructing a bee metropolis - latterly taking on the appear of a slum - and his attempt of catching a triple swarm. At least he has had some confirmation that swarming bees are docile when dropped on one’s head from a height. The good news is that he has bees and is enjoying learning from them and that he finds SWBK to be a good support in this learning experience.
Jane picked up that theme and thanked the Committee for their efforts in keeping the Division going during an ‘interesting’ year. I would also like to thank the Committee- all have contributed a lot - and I would add that without all our Members there would be nothing. If anyone has any ideas as to how we can do things better do pass them on to us. Change is essential and we need more of it.