What on earth can I do after the Fandango?

5th January – Properties of Honey and Propolis
An evening talk at Bradford University. See ABKA calendar for details.

7th January – Yorkshire Beekeeping Education Seminar
This series of seminars supports the study of BBKA modules which are detailed on their website here.  Sections of the syllabus covered are shown in brackets.
10.00 – 12.30 Module 1 – Honey Bee Management (1.1 to 1.12)
13.00 – 15.00  Module 2 Honey Bee Products and Forage (2.1 to 2.10)

Details can be found in emails sent to you by Suzanne Starling.

8th of January is Oxalic Acid Training Day
This is a practical demonstration at East Riddlesden Hall. Wrap up warm.  See email from Chris Hardy (6th Dec)

Body Shopping – Airedale Pop-up Park event

Not for the shy and retiring amongst us, the Pop Up Park in the old Body Shop unit of the Airedale Centre was a chance to inform the public about the work in progress to restore the parkland and out buildings of Cliffe Castle to the glory days of the late 19th century and, of course, get in a good word for our bees in the observation hive and publicise our website as a source of information about our local honey supplies.

With a successful Heritage Lottery bid of £3.5 million and additional funding from Bradford, the summer of 2017 is set to witness a surge of visitors to the former home and gardens of the Butterfield family. The new attractions will include a hot house, palm house and temperate house, along with a café, re-vamped aviary and small mammal accommodation. The two stone fountains in the grounds are being restored and the original ornamental pool, dating back to the 1870s, will be relined and filled. An ancient path way, Dark Lane, that ran behind the bandstand, has been located and is being made good. It is believed to have been the route of return to Skipton, taken by Royalist troops fleeing Cromwellian pursuers and may even date back to Roman times.

A team of ABKA volunteers did a great job, from 5th to 9th December, enticing passing members of the public into the leafy spaces of the indoor park to find out more. This was a successful collaboration between Bradford Parks Department, the Friends of the (Cliffe Castle) Park, RSPB and ourselves toward a shared goal.

Many thanks to all who took part, or came along to give moral support. Dan Palmer from the Parks Department was extremely grateful for all the help given

And the winner is….

Results from ABKA’s 2016 Winter Honey Show:  judge Alan Brown

Novice class:                   1st Jonathan Sanders, 2nd Chris Solloway, 3rd Jill Mastin
Light Honey Class:          no winners
Medium Honey:               1st Louise Mallinson, 2nd John Tatham
Heather Blend:                1st David Wadsworth, 2nd Helen Lever, 3rd ERH Girls
Granulated Honey:          1st Jill Mastin, 2nd John Tatham
Best tasting honey:          1st Jonathan Sanders, 2nd Louise Mallinson, 3rd David  Wadsworth
Best Frame of Honey:      1st ERH Girls, 2nd ERH Girls, 3rd Richard Law
Honey Jar Label:               no winners
8oz Wax Class:                 Keith Hebden’s was commended by the judge but disqualified as it was the only entry
6 x 1oz Blocks of Wax:    1st Keith Hebden, 2nd Richard Law
Pair of Candles:               1st Keith Hebden, 2nd Linda Schofield
Honey Fruit Cake:            1st John Peet, 2nd Jill Wadsworth, 3rd Jane Law
Honey Alcoholic Drink:     1st Chris Solloway, 2nd Richard Law, 3rd Richard Law
Honey Confectionery:      1st Chris Solloway, 2nd Suzanne Starling, 3rd Louise Mallinson
Photo:                               David Wadsworth’s photo was commended by the judge but disqualified as it was the only entry in the class
Cosmetic:                         1st Louise Mallinson, 2nd Jane Law, 3rd Gill Taylor
Judge Alan Brown presented:

The George Gill Cup to Richard Law who acquired the most points in the show (excluding novice class).
The Charles Mayoh Memorial Bowl was won by Jill Mastin for the best exhibit in honey section
The Haydn Molineux Cup to Keith Hebden  – awarded for most points in the wax class
The Julie Williams Memorial Cup was awarded to Jonathan Sanders – the winner of the novice entry
There were 62 entries submitted by 26 members.

In case of emergency   …. how to make honey vodka
With thanks to Chris Solloway for this delicious recipe. 

Renew your membership

Make sure your membership (and insurance) doesn’t expire.  Complete the attached form and send to Jane Denney (address on the form) as soon as possible, and definitely by the end of November.

Make a cup of hot chocolate and settle down for a good read

It may not have made the Booker shortlist, but the annual report by Ivor Flatman, our regional bee inspector, is a good read.  Set some time aside and enjoy.

Asian Hornet update

This week a Government press release confirmed the presence of the asian hornet in the UK (specifically in Gloucestershire);  Asian Hornet

Along with the rest of the media, the Guardian has also reported on the news:  Threat to Honeybees

A rather dry take, and a bit of a corrective for the hype surrounding Asian Hornets comes from UK safari man.  Yes, we know it’s serious, but it’s less of a threat to Western Civilisation than Donald Trump.  The Mail, as ever, never knowingly understated.

What is the plan for East Morton Apiary?

For some time now, we have been supporting two apiaries – one at East Morton and the other at East Riddlesden Hall.  This has stretched our resources very thinly, and at times this year we found it hard.  ABKA has broadened its activities over the last few years, with real success – our relationship with East Riddlesden Hall has developed, and the activitiies at Cliffe Castle have met with a very positive response – but as ever, too few members are sharing the work.  There is a real need to involve more of the membership in activities where possible.  We plan to canvas views among the wider membership regarding what they want from the Association, and what would help them become more involved.

We have had an apiary on the East Morton site for 50 years.  However, the situation there has changed over time and the site has become less suitable for us.  The situating of a stables very close by led to problems over the summer, particularly when the bees decided, despite our best endeavours, to swarm.  As a consequence of this, the ABKA Committee believe that the correct course of action is to run down the apiary at the East Morton site, and re-focus or resources on the East Riddlesden apiary.  Although we will retain a presence at the site, we won’t keep bees there.

It will be sad, given our long history at East Morton, to end beekeeping there.  However, we must be realistic as to how much we can do. As members, we would like to hear your thoughts on this, before a final decision is made.   Please send any comments to chairman@airedalebka.org.uk

ABKA minutes and agendas

Agendas and minutes of the ABKA committee meetings are now available on the website.  If you spot something you want to comment on, do contact the secretary so we can take your views into account at the following meeting.