Welcome to the Stockport branch of the
Cheshire Beekeepers Association
The Stockport Branch (SBKA) of Cheshire Beekeepers has been supporting bees and beekeepers from Stockport and surrounding areas since 1969. With over 200 members from as far afield as Macclesfield, Buxton and Glossop, the branch provides an annual programme of meetings and events to promote beekeeping and help to educate the public about bee welfare.
SBKA seeks to promote beekeeping and bee welfare by participating in local shows and events and making presentations to schools and organisations. It also provides education, support and training opportunities to members. Recently, Stockport Council and Manchester Pest Control have been collaborating with SBKA to educate employees on the basics of beekeeping and providing support to establish apiaries on buildings and council property.
Stockport Beekeepers’ November Newsletter
Message from the Chairman.
I have missed not seeing you all at the branch meetings and apiary meetings this year because of Covid restrictions; here’s hoping things will change next year. During lockdown Jessie and myself decided to concentrate on breeding some queens from our own stock. We usually put our large colonies on double brood boxes and this year we put 4 colonies on double brood in mid April.
If you cast your mind back to late spring we had some nice , warm weather between 18 and 22 degrees C, this is the ideal temperature for virgin queens to mate. We had great success in rearing the new queens. The total of successfully mated queens was 6; these queens were mated in June.
During July the weather changed and we had very heavy rain and it went very cold, these conditions affected our queen rearing and we did not have much success. Later in the summer we only raised 3 new queens, so the weather did affect our queen rearing plans during the summer.
All in all we were very pleased with what we have achieved in raising our new queens. Breeding the queens did affect our honey crop yield this year.
I hope you have left your bees a full super to get them through the winter. Also, it’s time to check and treat for varroa.
We have enjoyed our beekeeping this year and we hope you have enjoyed yours.
Finally, I hope you are all keeping well and take care out there. Stay safe.
Beekeepers’ Question Time
There will be an on line branch meeting on Wednesday 11 November at 7.30pm. The topic will be Beekeepers’ Question Time. The expert panel will be Pam and Stuart Hatton, Graham Royle and Alan Towse. To take part members must register on the Cheshire Beekeepers’ website. When you have registered you can participate in this meeting by using this link. Beekeepers' Questiontime
There are instructions on the Online Events page and links for help if you need it. Selecting the meeting title will send you an immediate email with joining instructions.
2021 Beekeeping Course
Starting in January at Aquinas College, Stockport, this is now full and applications are closed. The college is accepting 12 students which short of the usual intake of 28.
Contact Alan Towse, Education Secretary
Branch honey extractor
Is available from Peter Carefoot on 01457 238664 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Honey for sale
As secretary I get many requests for local honey. I respond with a list of beekeepers who have asked for their details to be circulated. If you want to be added to the list of honey sellers please email your contact details to The Secretary.
The BBKA annual honey survey is open on the website. It really does only take a few minutes to complete and we would like to encourage as many members as possible to take part. Here is the link :
Let there be light
Work has started on fitting solar panels to the Woodbank Apiary container. These will power lights to make working safer during the winter.
The main bee work has ended at the apiary with some maintenance still to do. Treatments and excluders have been removed, stores checked and reduced entrances fitted. Going into winter are; 9 full colonies, one nuc with a late queen and the thriving top bar hive.
Ceramic honey pots
SBKA member Susan Waring makes ceramic honey pots. The glazes used are food safe. Each pot comes with a honey drizzler. Pots will hold approximately 8oz of honey though some of the larger pots will hold 10oz.
At £12 each they make ideal Christmas presents to go with the wonderful honey our bees produce. Contact Susan at: Email: email@example.com
Mobile: 07982 907526
Afghanistan to Glossop
Hello I’m Salman and I’m from Afghanistan and I am 17 years old. I’m a refugee and I live with Sue and Stuart.
When I came in March Sue asked me would you like to see bees and I said yes! When I watched I really liked them. And she give me a hive and a bee-suit. I forget my worries when I’m with bees. I made a little video.I love my bees. https://youtu.be/a8zEXX3eRDY
Salman lives with SBKA member Sue O’Connor in Glossop. We share a small apiary along with 4 chickens and a variety of wildlife. A link to Salman’s video is on the SBKA website.
From the apiary
Driving into the apiary this morning I was greeted as usual by S’s chickens demanding their daily treat - a handful of bird seed. Today, however, they were joined by some jackdaws, who have been watching events over recent days from the trees, everyday getting closer to the action.
They had a cunning plan. One made a distracting peck for some seed and as it was chased away by the chickens, the other jackdaw came in from behind and pecked furiously to grab as much as it could. The birds then swapped roles. The cleverness of the corvid family is well known so this ploy came as no surprise. This year’s jackdaw brood have finally figured out how to get out of the chicken run. Instead of battering themselves against the netting they have discovered they can just walk out the same way they came in. One of the chickens has been mysteriously disappearing recently, giving us all concerns for its whereabouts and health. Today the mystery is solved. She has been in a neighbouring unused chicken hut and sitting tight on 19 eggs.
She is proper broody and does not hang around trying to blag a second helping of seed when I have finished with the bees. I must remember to close the car doors even for a short walk away. The consequences are dirty and a bit smelly.
The balsam has all but finished and the bees are bringing in big bags of yellow ivy pollen. Wasps are more interested in the ivy nectar than the hives where entrances are reduced down to one bee space high and 3 cm wide. The ivy wall is covered in flying insects and a small group of noisy sparrows.
Items for the December newsletter should reach the secretary by
Wednesday 25th November.
Contact the Secretary if you do not want to receive emails from Stockport Beekeepers’ Association
the secretary firstname.lastname@example.org