KBKA Cake recipes, Swarm calls, Winter losses

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Winter losses – questionnaire
Have you heard the beekeeping conversations this year about the high number of winter losses ? We’re curious to know if the 2022/3 winter really was worse than normal but need your help !
Could you please take a few minutes to complete this short, anonymous questions, open until Sunday 18th June.


We look forward to sharing the results with you

Best Regards
Diane Drinkwater, Chair BBKA

Swarms – please note
Three swarm calls came in this year from distressed householders who had honeybees entering their properties through extractor fan outlets, a chimney or holes around outlet pipes. The only recourse is to smoke them out, but sometimes access is not possible or they are very reluctant to leave, meaning that expensive professionals have to be called in.

Another issue is swarms being attracted to existing hives. This has happened twice to us. We know they are not our bees, who are still cosily tucked up with their marked queens, but, of course, no-one is going to believe that. It is therefore beholden on us as beekeepers to remove the swarm and maintain good relations with neighbours and allotment holders. Winter losses were high last year and there is a list of members willing to take a swarm. Just place a note on the admin
In recent years attitudes have changed dramatically and the general public are supportive and interested in the ‘plight of the bees’. However, recent articles in the press state there are too many beekeepers and it is the bumble bees and insect pollinators generally which need care and attention. We do not want to lose the goodwill towards those keeping bees in an urban area.

In an urban area it is imperative that we as beekeepers maintain good relations with our local neighbourhood by being vigilant during the swarming season. It is in our own interest that we do not lose our bees so please be helpful to neighbours by removing swarms and passing them on to other beekeepers.
From Avis & David Marshall

Cake Competition & Recipes
Many thanks to all who came to the International Bee Bay celebration at the apiary. 54145881-fdb3-d204-0b2f-2bbfe752a282.jpegThere were many of us with so many cakes that when asked to vote people said ‘But I’ve only tried 3/4/5 cakes !’ . Some real fabulous cakes too ! The competition even went to tie break with the winner.
Claire’s fabulous Jamie Oliver Hummingbird cake came first, with K T O’Malleys’s bee cake as second.

For those who requested the recipe for Simnel Cake on an earlier Saturday, it is on the BBC website.

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