Category Archives: News

Essex Beekeepers’ Association Conference 2017

Photographs and report by Paul F Abbott
Chairman to Southend beekeepers.

On the bright autumnal day that was Saturday 21 October 2017, a retinue of 100 attentive apiarists gathered expectantly in the Holiday Inn near Colchester for the annual conference and prize-giving of the Essex Beekeepers’ Association.

They were given a royal welcome by Colchester’s Divisional President and veteran beekeeper Ian Milligan. By rotation it was Colchester’s turn to host the event this year, and the theme of the day was the “Future challenges and opportunities in beekeeping”.

Three speakers of international repute had been invited to address the eager delegates who represented beekeeping divisions throughout Essex. The lecturers were Martin Benczik, Margaret Ginman, and Norman Carreck.
Colchester’s Barbara Sharp introduced the speakers and controlled proceedings with her enthusiastic flare and panache.

Martin Benczic from Nottingham Trent University spoke eloquently about his research into automated beehive condition monitoring using audio and other sensors. He described how measurements of vibrations within the beehive indicate the activity of the colony. A lively question and answer session followed.

Margaret Ginman, General Secretary of the Bee Farmers Association gave a dynamic delivery concerning the apprentice scheme which encourages young beekeepers to make a living from the craft; and the need for proper business training. She also explained current European experiences and Brexit implications. Margaret stressed that we were a nation of honey lovers, but most of the honey consumed in this country is imported. The 465 bee farmers who derive their income partly or wholly from beekeeping hope to boost productivity on the home front. As a group they continue to make a significant contribution to crop pollination and honey production.
There followed a lunch break of trophallaxis, where delegates could mingle and cross pollinate with their ideas and beekeeping aspirations.

In the afternoon the final lecture was given by Norman Carreck who is the science director at the International Bee Research Association (IBRA). His talk was entitled “Science and the Thinking Beekeeper”. He gave a concise summary of the history of scientific beekeeping research. There was an account of the various Bee research journals and textbooks available, including projects which require international cooperation. Norman described a 2014/15 study undertaken by many European countries into pollen diversity. Continued trans-European scientific research and cooperation will be essential after Brexit. This Carreck tutorial certainly kept the Essex audience of apiarists thinking deeply after lunch, and no snoring was to be heard.

Next there followed the presentation of trophies from the Essex honey show held at Orsett in September 2017. Pat Allen President of the EBKA resplendent in her official chain of office performed this duty with style. The cups and trophies were shared out fairly evenly amongst members of the Divisions who had participated in the annual honey show.

Candidates who took recent BBKA examinations were then given their certificates by Pat Allen. Over 20 people had been successful in the basic assessment in 2017. Three of these were awarded the Miss Avey prize for the highest marks. Notably Marie McCulloch of Southend Division won both an Avey citation, plus the Devall award for the novice gaining the highest total number of points in the Essex honey show. A veritable double whammy. Richard Ridler was also delighted to gain his advanced husbandry certificate which together with having completed all the modular exams of the BBKA is now recognised as a Master Beekeeper; joining his wife Jane in possessing this sought-after qualification.

Finally, the fun continued with an extensive raffle of exotic prizes. A good time was had by all attendees, and Colchester are to be praised and thanked for arranging such a splendid conference. Colchester may indeed be the oldest recorded town, and the beekeepers from that area are abundant in their mellifluous hospitality.

May Day 2017: Epping Forest Beekeepers welcome Stuart Anderson, inventor of the Flow Hive to Essex

Article plus photographs by Paul F Abbott
Chairman to Southend on Sea Division of the Essex Beekeepers’ Association.

 

 

On Bank Holiday Monday 1st May a conglomeration of buzzing Beekeepers gathered at Epping Forest’s scenic Divisional out apiary for a dynamic talk and demonstration of the newly available UK National Super version of the Flow Hive. They travelled eagerly from London, Essex and beyond. This was part of a three-month promotional European Tour by inventor Stuart Anderson.
The Australian co-inventor of the Flow Hive Stuart, who collaborated with his son Cedar Anderson to produce the original concept gave the presentation. He spoke passionately about environmental issues, and with grateful thanks to the many people throughout the World who had crowd-funded this unique apiaristical development project.

Stuart said “A Flow Hive is our term for a standard beehive that has Flow frames in the honey storage part (super). A honeybee hive is usually made up of the brood box where the queen bee lays eggs, and the ‘supers’ with honeycomb for the storage of honey. A ‘Flow Super’ is a beehive box using Flow Frames that the bees store honey in. A Flow Hive allows you to harvest the honey by simply turning a handle which causes the plastic hexagons of the Frame to split, allowing the ripe liquid honey to flow down tubes through the collecting trough and into your jar. Flow frames are partially built honeycomb which the bees complete, fill with honey and cap with wax. They are made in Australia from high quality food grade plastic. With their clear end-frame view, beekeepers can easily see when the honey cells have been capped and when the honey is ready for harvest. A refractometer should be used to check the water content of the honey.”
Until recently the Flow Hive was only available as a complete beehive kit, based on the Langstroth pattern and dimensions. This hive is not popular in the UK, and hive parts are not interchangeable with British hives.

Stuart and Cedar Anderson are now producing a UK NATIONAL FLOW HIVE SUPER which is compatible with the UK National and Commercial sized hives. This innovation makes the cost much more attractive to British beekeepers, since the SUPER will fit above a standard brood box and queen excluder.

As with all beekeeping activity, success with the Flow Hive is dependent on sound husbandry, seasonal timing, disease control, and an awareness of what is going on in the brood chamber. It is not a recipe for leave alone beekeeping, but sound and skilful colony management.

Stuart Anderson spoke enthusiastically about the Flow Hive to the enchanted retinue of attentive Essex apiarists, and answered many searching questions in a frank and honest way. The demonstration enlightened this May Day Bank Holiday morning. It really was the Bees Knees.

As optimistic beekeepers, we live in expectant anticipation that this year’s bumper honey flow shall help to fill all recently purchased UK NATIONAL FLOW HIVE SUPERS! Bring it on! www.eu.honeyflow.com

National Honey show results 2016

Essex members had a good year at the Honey show again.

More details on classses and trophies can be found in the 2016 show schedule

Here are their results

PAUL ABBOTT -Southend

Paul Abbott Won the Dodd Cup from Essex
The Commemoration Cup, Barns Cup, Vincent Cup & the Frank Crow Trophy all Kent cups.

1ST in Classes

  • 54 Photomicrograph
  • 77 One Section
  • 130 one bottle Sweet Mead
  • 132 one jar Set
  • 181 one Comb for Extracting
  • 185 three jars Different Honeys
  • 194 Sweet Mead

2nd in Classes

  • 9 Nine jars & Frame for Extracting
  • 129 one bottle Dry Mead
  • 131 one jar Clear
  • 191 Three Moulded Candles
  • 192 Three Not Moulded Candles

3rd in Classes

  • 22 two Sections
  • 59 Coloured Print
  • 61 Black & White Print
  • 184 two jars Dark
  • 193 one bottle Dry Mead

4th in Class

  • 11 two jars Light Honey

VHC in Classes

  • 71 two jars Light
  • 128 Six wax Blocks
  • 186 two jars Set
  • 188 one Container Cut Comb

HC in Classes

  • 21 two Sections
  • 24 Frame for Extracting
  • 55 Set of Digital Images
  • 76 two jars Set
  • 182 two jars Light
  • 189 one jar Clear

C in Class

  • 60 Colour print Close Up or Macro

JOHN LACY – Chelmsford

John Lacy Won the Tremearn Cup from Essex

1ST in Classes

  • 186 two jars Set
  • 190 one piece Wax

3rd in Classes

  • 29 one piece Wax
  • 189 one jar Clear

VHC in Class

  • 30 one piece Wax 340g

HC in Class

  • 183 two jars Medium Honey

C in Class

  • 5 two jars Clear Honey

JANET FRENCH – Braintree

Janet French Won the Combings Cup & The Chairman’s Trophy

1st in Classes

  • 26 Container Cut Comb
  • 110 Two Containers Cut Comb

WALTER GEE – Chelmsford

1st in Class

  • 191 Three moulded candles

3rd in Class

  • 188 Container Cut Comb

C in Class

  • 189 one jar Clear

PAMELA HUGHS – Chelmsford

2nd in Class

  • 189 One Jar liquid honey Gift

3rd in Class

  • 183 two jars Medium Honey

ROMFORD DIVISION

3rd in Classes

  • 182 two jars Light
  • 186 two jars Set

IAN NICHOLS – Epping Forest

2nd in Classes

  • 183 two jars Medium Honey
  • 184 two jars Dark

3rd in Class

  • 241 two jars Light

MICHAEL BARK – Harlow

1st in Class

  • 182 two jars Light Honey

2nd in classes

  • 181 Frame for Extracting
  • 193 one Bottle Dry Mead

3rd in Classes

  • 190 one piece Wax
  • 194 one Bottle Sweet Mead

VHC in Class

  • 189 one jar Clear

TED GRADOSIELSKI – Epping Forest

1st in Classes

  • 103 two jars Dark
  • 184 two jars Dark
  • 189 one jar Clear

VHC in Class

  • 181 Frame for Extracting

TERRY WATSON – Romford

1st in Class

  • 183 two jars Medium Honey

JANET CHIPPERFIELD – Romford

2nd in Class

  • 47 Artistic Exhibit of Needlecraft

JAMES MCNEILL – Romford

1st in Classes

  • 192 Three not moulded Candles
  • 193 one bottle Dry Mead

2nd in classes

  • 186 two jars Set
  • 194 one bottle Sweet Mead

3rd in Class

  • 181 Frame for Extracting

VHC in Class

  • 76 two jars Set

HC in Class

  • 241 two jars Medium Honey

2015 National Honey Show Report

Well done to all the members who won prizes at the show this year, winning anything this year was even harder with very nearly 2000 exhibits a record amount this year, & a lot more from different countries this year than ever. we had 15 Essex members entering which is a lot more than in the past, so its nice to see a few very new members having a go so don’t be put off if you did not win this year, next year might be your year. Paul Abbott won both the Essex cups & 5 of the 7 Kent cups as he is a full member of Kent beekeepers as well so very well done Paul. Their was a lot of new Names & faces collecting cups this year. the show was in a new part of the college with exhibits in different rooms, the judges liked it as it gave them more room to work in.

Results