Beekeeping Q and A August 3rd 2021

We were lucky to have Sam Davies of Wyefield apiaries joining us this evening to explain about the various bee feed products available to us locally.

Sam’s details below:

Tel: 07791 526 383



In this session we talked mainly about the various types of bee feed particularly for this time of year August 2021.

We also talked about taking supers off, treating for varroa and feeding.

Also, what to do if you get a queenless colony this time of year

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Request for assistance with distributing MSc research survey

This short survey aims to collect anonymous data from beekeepers and honey bee enthusiasts to investigate their awareness of ecological threats faced by wild pollinators and their attitude towards the conservation of these species. To ensure that no identifiable information is collected from participants, the survey is hosted on the third-party survey site Microsoft Forms, which can be accessed via the link below.

The survey itself should not take longer than 15 minutes to complete.

Link to research survey:

The front page of the survey includes an information sheet outlining the topic of research, namely beekeepers’ and honey bee enthusiasts’ awareness of and attitude towards wild pollinators and their conservation. It also provides the contact details for my course supervisor and includes a consent declaration that participants will need to select in order to proceed with the survey. However, please also find attached a copy for your review.

If the Brecknock and Radnor Beekeepers’ Association is able to provide assistance with my MSc research project survey, I would be very grateful if you could forward the survey link to the membership.

In order to be able to ensure the data collected is statistically valid, I will need sufficiently large sample sizes of beekeepers and honey bee enthusiasts from many different backgrounds. To achieve this, I have sent the link to my research survey to regional beekeepers’ associations and branches across the United Kingdom as well as posting the link on UK beekeeping themed Facebook groups. The link will remain active for the rest of July.

This may lead to potential participants receiving copies of the link to my survey via multiple channels so I would be grateful if participants could complete the survey only once.

It is fortunate that ethical clearance for distribution of my survey was delayed until July, between the swarm and honey harvesting seasons. However, being a beekeeper myself, I fully understand how hectic the whole summer can be for beekeepers so I would be very appreciative of any assistance the members can provide and hope as many as possible, whether novice or veteran, current or former, can participate.

Many thanks and I wish you, the association members and the bees, both wild and managed, a happy and productive summer.

Best wishes,

Thomas Binsted

Survey Information

Title: What are the motivations for people to become involved in beekeeping, how aware are British beekeepers and those interested in beekeeping of the ecological pressures on wild pollinators and to what extent are they willing to conserve these species?

Dr Simon Pooley, Lambert Lecturer in Environment (Applied Herpetology)
Supervisor’s university address:
Department of Geography 
Birkbeck, University of London
32 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9EZ
Supervisor’s email address:
Department of Geography telephone number: 0203 926 1000
Researcher: Thomas Binsted
Student No.: 12729316
The study is being done as part of my MSc in the Environment and Sustainability in the Department of Geography, Birkbeck, University of London. The study has received ethical approval.
This study investigates:
Prospective, current and former beekeepers’ beekeeping practice,
Their entomological knowledge,
Their involvement in conservation activities,
Awareness of potential adverse ecological impacts that may result from the keeping of managed colonies of the western honey bee (Apis mellifera), and
Whether this awareness has led or would lead them to change their beekeeping practice to mitigate these potential harms.
Participating in the study:
You will be asked to complete an anonymous survey which will be accessed via a link to the third-party online survey hosting site Microsoft Forms. No specific personal details will be collected although questions include generic queries about your background, level of education, membership of a beekeepers’ association and the county in which you live. This data is relevant as it will help to identify potential demographic trends that may relate to beekeepers’ awareness of the topic of investigation.
Your data will be kept anonymous through the use of the third-party data collection programme, Microsoft Forms, which will not store personal data.
Once collected, the anonymous data will be analysed using quantitative statistical analysis techniques to identify potential patterns.
The analysis will be written up in a thesis for my degree. You will not be identifiable in the write up or any publication which might ensue.
The study is supervised by Dr Simon Pooley who may be contacted at the above address and telephone number.
For information about Birkbeck’s data protection policies, please visit:
If you have concerns about this study, please contact the School’s Ethics Officer
You also have the right to submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office

Question 23 collage image licences:
Image 1 by Martin Cooper Ipswich is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Image 2 by Martin Cooper Ipswich is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Image 3 by gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Image 4 by Orangeaurochs is licensed with CC BY 2.0
Image 5 by David Blaikie is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Image 6 by acryptozoo is licensed with CC BY 2.0
Image 7 by gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Consent declaration:

If you have read the research information above and agree to participate in this study on the understanding that your responses to this questionnaire will be collected and stored anonymously, please click on the consent declaration below.

Consent declaration: I agree to participate in this study and consent to the anonymous collection and storage of my data.

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Welsh Beekeeper magazine articles and Photo competition

A reminder to all members that the closing dates for articles, items of news, poems, recipes  etc for the autumn edition of the Welsh Beekeeper magazine is Saturday 31st July.  We are particularly keen to receive articles relevant to beekeeping in the months of September, October and November but will also welcome those of general interest. We aim to get the magazine to our readers by early September.  Items for the magazine should be sent to Basil Wolf at

July 31st is also the closing date for beekeeping photos to be entered into the autumn competition.  The results will be published in the autumn edition of the Welsh Beekeeper.  Photos should also be sent to Basil Wolf at and it would help if the subject of the email was ‘photo competition entry’.

As ever the Editorial team would welcome your feedback on the magazine and any suggestions that you may have about how it can be improved.  As above please send to the editor, Basil Wolf.

Cofion cynnes / Kind regards,


Jenny Shaw
Ysgrifennydd / General Secretary
Cymdeithas Gwenynwyr Cymru / Welsh Beekeepers’ Association

ffôn / tele: 07791572843
e-bost / email:
gwefan / website:

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Your First Bees

From one of my favourite Bee Bloggers “The Apiarist” :-

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BRBKA Q and A online meeting

Got a beekeeping question?

June 15th 2021

I would really appreciate some advice about Laying Workers. The hive made a good start in April. We marked the Queen, the following week I spotted eggs in the super. Wondered then if there were two Queens because all was ok in the Brood and Brood1/2 boxes. It was all Drone cells in the super but the Queen was still laying workers in the Brood boxes until the end of May.

Now we can’t see a Queen and the majority of brood is Drones.

I think we need to shake them out but there is a lot of bees in the hive.

Should we uncap the Drone cells to reduce the numbers?

Do we need to replace all the wax in the frames or could it be sterilized?

Is it correct that the Laying Workers cannot fly so will stay in the grass when we shake them out?

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American Foulbrood Identification

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The Bee Inspectors at Black Mountain Honey

Well worth a watch:-

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Help needed at the Wern to support beginners

This is a call out to all members of BRBKA, we have completed the online theory part of the beginners course and now have the opportunity to hold practical sessions at the Wern.

With over 20 beginners, we really need 4 or 5 beekeepers who can help out with this, Saturday 22nd May from 2.00pm and then weekends depending on weather.

Please contact Chris Cardew and/or David Coles

Many thanks in advance

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All members peer to peer meeting

An all members meeting was held on 17th May 2021, it can be viewed below

The first half of this meeting was discuss three related topics about the current poor Spring that we’re having:

(1) With this current spell of terrible bee weather, it seems apparent that bees are more likely to create Queen cells and get ready to swarm. Why? It is so wet, they can’t go anywhere once ready. Are they just bored? Some of my bees seem totally uninterested in Supers or syrup, still have room in the Brood Box, yet have surprised by creating Queen cells. Should we modify our husbandry rules of thumb depending on the weather? If so how, and what can we do? 

(2) Another topic I have been contemplating is bee psychology whilst they wait for their new Queen to emerge, settle in and mate. What is their priority list during this time and what can we do to help them? Experience advises to leave them alone, but is this an opportunity to make any changes? Can we make them happily busy with household chores and tasks? 

(3) I would also expand Question (2) into a wider discussion. Title: “A busy bee is a happy bee. The more challenges we set our bees, the more aggressive we are with our husbandry, the busier they need to be and the happier they become. Discuss.”

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Starvation alert

Dear members,

April was colder and drier than average, and now the first 2 weeks of May have been colder and wetter than average (by 2 degrees C., according to the Met Office). As a consequence, colonies have been stressed, and supers are generally empty.

Confinement and Congestion has triggered the Swarming Impulse in stronger colonies, but poor weather has delayed swarms issuing. If you have been practicing pre-emptive or reactive swarm control by splitting colonies, any queen right split with brood and no flying bees could well be running out of food, depending to some extent on how much stores you were able to give them initially. The queen-less split, which eventually will have no hungry open brood to feed after 9-10 days, could still get short of food under the ongoing weather forecast. So, if in doubt, take off empty supers, HEFT the hives, and feed summer strength syrup (1:1), or factory ready made to tide them over on a weekly basis.

If you see a colony throwing out drone pupae, then you know that they are struggling. Other telltale signs are no liquid stores/pollen in the brood nest and a break in brood rearing.


David Coles, Chair and Tutor/Apiary Manager.

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