Christmas Party 2023

In what has become a long-running tradition, we are planning our December branch meeting to be a festive occasion, with the focus on food and good company.  Magdalene Mei Halkes will lead a crack team of chefs in producing meals for us all to share,  We are still finalising the menu, but it will be centered around a winter vegetable stew, served with rice.  Whilst a few people have already offered to help produce cakes and pies, any other offers to bake would be gladly received.  If your skills are better aligned to Christmas decorations, or quizzing, please let us know – all help is welcome.

Location: Littlebourne War Memorial Hall, 56 High St, Littlebourne, Canterbury CT3 1ST

Date/Time: Wednesday 6th December at 1930-2200

RSVP by email to “committee @”, by 30th November, so that we can cater appropriately.  Partners and significant others are very welcome to join us.  Numbers will be limited, due to the size of the hall, so please book soon!

As you know, the hall has a small kitchen, so to keep things simple, we ask that you bring your own plates and cutlery, together with your own choice of drinks.
We also ask that you pay in advance to keep administration of the monies simple.   Please deposit £12/person into the Canterbury branch, Kent BKA account.  Account number: 00371771 sortcode: 30-91-60, using your name(s) as reference.

If you want to pay with a cheque, please let us know.

November Branch Meeting/AGM – “NOT a Honey Show”

Our next indoor meetings will be held on Wednesday 1st November, at 7.30-9.30pm in the Lounge at  Littlebourne War Memorial Hall Complex (w3w link), High St, Littlebourne, Canterbury CT3 1ST

This will be our AGM meeting, but also a “not a Honey Show” meeting. 

We need to elect/confirm the committee for the next year – and we are always looking for people to join the committee.  One long-standing member is stepping back, and we have to develop a good plan for Asian Hornet activities for the Canterbury branch, so it would be great if one or more people could help out in this area.  Please contact any of the committee, in particular Adrian, if you are interested.

The “NOT a Honey Show” element of the meeting is unjudged, and intended to be a bit of fun to celebrate the highs and lows of beekeeping in 2023.  Please bring one or more items to discuss informally.  Here are some ideas:

  •  Honey – Ideally in 8oz or 12 oz jars with a label with your name and where your apiary is. (Honey will be tasted and comments shared on appearance, taste, texture etc but this will not be competitive)
  •  Products made with honey – drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, cakes, savouries, preserves, salad dressing – whatever else you do with honey to consume! Please mark all products with your name and recipe if appropriate.
  • Wax – Any products produced by wax – wax bars, wax blocks, polish, candles, cosmetics, wax cloths…..
  • Art work – anything arty inspired by your beekeeping, produced either by yourself or others
  • Bee gifts – we will have one collection of the most beautiful/ prized bee gifts you have been given and another for the least lovely – so please gather up all the bee gifts you have been given
  • Contraptions – What have you made, or accumulated which helps with your beekeeping? Tools, gadgets

it’s always nice to accompany a cup of tea/coffee with cakes/biscuits, if any of you have the time to make/bake – combine it with the “honey based products” above!

October Branch Meeting – Asian Hornets

Whilst the warm days might suggest otherwise, we are moving into the winter season for beekeeping, and the first of our indoor meetings will be held on Wednesday 4th October, at 7.30-9.30pm in the Lounge at  Littlebourne War Memorial Hall Complex (w3w link), High St, Littlebourne, Canterbury CT3 1ST

We are planning to do a Blue Peter type demonstration of wax recovery/purification/moulding, and also update everyone on the Asian Hornet situation.  No need to let us know if you are coming; however, it’s always nice to accompany a cup of tea/coffee with cakes/biscuits, if any of you have the time to make/bake.

Regarding asian hornets, I hope that many of you are running monitoring stations or hornet traps; if you need to procure some Trappit (a great bait liquid for asian hornet detection), then please let Lisa Jenkins know ahead of time, and we will make sure that there is some available to collect on the evening.  The branch is subsidising the cost of Trappit by 25%,  so that 1ltr =£13.50. Call Lisa on 07977 442282 to let her know that you’d like to pick some up.

Other Dates for your diary:

November branch meeting (Littlebourne Village Hall); Wed 1st November 7.30pm

December branch party (Littlebourne Village Hall); Wed 6th December 7.30pm

Dover Beekeepers Honey Show, Saturday 21st October, 2.30-4.30pm; Shepherdswell Village Hall, Cox Hill, Shepherdswell, Dover CT15 7NN

National Honey Show, 26th to 28th October 2023, Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9AJ

September branch meeting – Wildwood

Our last apiary meeting of the summer will be on 16th September in Janet MacDonald and Jenny Warbey’s apiary, which is on the grounds at Wildwood in Herne.  The focus will be looking at various hive patterns, and it will be an opportunity to discuss advantages and disadvantages of several of the common (and less common) hives.

Saturday 16th September – time 2-4pm

Please can you let Janet know by the morning of Saturday 16th September, if you will be coming so that she can let the park know numbers to expect.

Bee Zone
Wildwood Trust
Wealden Forest Park
Canterbury Road
Herne Common

Park in the Main car park and meet outside the Main entrance at 2 pm. We will then sign you all in to the park, free of charge, and then will take you to Bee zone.
Bring a bee suit if you have your own (usual apiary hygiene rules apply – clean suits and gloves) and we have plenty of suits to borrow if you do not have your own suit.
Refreshments provided – please stay for a chat and some tea and goodies.  If weather is bad then you are still welcome – we won’t be able to open hives but can sit in the shelter and talk bees.

August branch meeting – honey extraction

Our next apiary meeting will be at Debbie Burton’s home/apiary on Saturday August 5th between 2-4pm.  The address is Waverley, Stanford, Ashford, TN25 6DL.

This is the time of year for honey harvesting, and we will demonstrate the principles, and hopefully extract a few supers of honey from our branch apiary.

We’lll have various types of extractor on display, and will use at least one of them to spin out some honey.  We’ll also review the latest news about asian hornet, and discuss how asian hornets develop in the late summer and early autumn.  Depending on numbers of people attending the meeting, we may also take a look at Debbie’s bees.

Please let us know if you can join us on Saturday (the meeting is not weather dependent), just so we can get an idea of how many people, and how many activities we need to do.

If you want to help out with honey extraction, then we’ll ask you to wear gloves, so if you have any allergies, please let us know.  If you want to do some bee inspection, please come with clean suits and gloves.  Per Kent BKA requirements, we will ask folks to sign a disclaimer form, acknowledging the (small) risks inherent in beekeeping.

More importantly, if there are any keen bakers, our meetings aways go better with a cake or two!