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!

July meeting – peak bees!

Our next apiary meeting will be at our Palmsted Wood apiary on Saturday July 1st between 2-4pm.

Many colonies will reach their maximum size around the summer solstice, so we’ll be looking at uniting smaller colonies to make a big colony for honey production, doing a comb change procedure on weak and strong colonies (to reduce the burden of infective diseases and varroa), and possibly requeening. We’ll also discuss care of colonies started from swarms.

For any newbees, we will show you the principles of opening a beehive, and looking for signs of health, and any swarming preparations.  If you don’t have a suit, we have a small selection from which you can borrow for the afternoon.  We don’t like leather gloves, but kitchen marigolds are fine, as are hospital/surgeons’ gloves.  Wear wellie boots (to keep the bees from your ankles), and preferably avoid woollen/hairy clothing, as bees can get caught up in the fibres. 

As usual, 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. Any questions about visiting the apiary, just drop a line to Adrian at chairman@canterburybeekeepers.org.uk

Here are a few different ways to locate the apiary entrance – it’s a shared driveway, and you should enter the wood using the left-hand gate. People should already be present when you arrive – expect to drive down about 100 yards and we will indicate where to park.


If you find yourself at Highfield nursing home, you are close! The apiary entrance is the other side of the road, approximately 50m towards the woods