SDBKALogo75x72x32col   SDBKA Bulletin #22:  7th February 2016

Dr. David Aston, Monday 8th February

'What does the BBKA do for bees and beekeepers; and could it do more?'...

Don't miss this rare chance to find out from someone with a vast experience of beekeeping as well as of being BBKA president for a year. Also a chance to meet some of our fellow beekeepers from Malton, Ryedale and Whitby. Leave a bit of space for the special snacks too. 7pm at St Catherine's Hospice, Throxenby Lane Scarborough, YO12 5RE.

eLearning on BeeBase

There is a lot of really useful information for beekeepers on BeeBase the website run by the National Bee Unit. They have recently added a new home study section which allows you to work through self training modules. They are calling it eLearning and the first module dealing with threats to bee health is now online. It covers six main topics; Exotic Threats, Foulbrood, Varroa, Adult Bee Diseases and Viruses, Other Brood Disorders and Other Pests. It's really good and easy to use with lots of excellent photographs. It's all free. Just log into BeeBase, and click the eLearning link on the left of the Welcome Page. You won't see the link unless you are registered - another good reason to Register on BeeBase - read all about it here.

Foundation Order

If you need to stock up with foundation for the new season and you are not wanting over £100 worth it will save you money to get it through our Association. Just let our Storekeeper Stephen Muchow  know exactly what you want, specify the size, type and number of sheets. You pay when you receive your order which you will need to collect.

National Wired Brood - £9.40 per 10 sheet pack
National Wired Super - £5.94 per 10 sheet pack

These prices include delivery and a generous 25% discount but will be going up by 20% in the next few days so get your order in quickly.
It's best to send your order by email but if you don't have access to email then call Stephen on 01723 865184 or 07796 377053.

Swarm Collectors List

The BBKA is updating the list of swarm collectors who the public can contact if they have a swarm they would like removed. Being on the list is a bit of a mixed blessing but if you would like to be on it please do let me know by 19th February. If you would like to see who is currently on the list, click this and type in your postcode.

Adrian Wilford, Monday 22nd February

Adrian is our Seasonal Bee Inspector. He is a local beekeeper, based around Malton, but working on a summer contract to the NBU to deal with bee disease issues in our area. He is a good man to know. Very helpful and the person you must report to if you fear you have a notifiable disease in your bees. Should you need his advice you will be able to contact him from 1 April by email or by telephone on 07775 119444.
Adrian's talk is at 7pm, St Catherine's Hospice, Throxenby Lane, Scarborough, YO12 5RE. Refreshments and raffle. Guests welcome.


Best wishes,
Mick Johnston (01723 850041)
Secretary of Scarborough and District Beekeepers Association

SDBKALogo75x72x32col   SDBKA Bulletin #21:  21st January 2016

Pesticides Debate 25th January

Neonicotinoids are a particular concern for beekeepers, but all pesticides present bee health issues. It is a difficult area because expert opinion appears divided but we are fortunate to have Selwyn Wilkins, a scientist from the Food & Environment Research Agency at Sand Hutton, to help us get to grips with the facts. This is a rare opportunity to hear the latest assessment of the impact on bees of the range of pesticide regimes, to ask questions, and then to say what you think in the following discussion. All welcome. 7.00 pm at St Catherine's Hospice, Throxenby Lane Scarborough, YO12 5RE. Raffle and refreshments.

National Beehive Count

The National Bee Unit is launching a new annual survey of the honey bee population in the UK. This is partly to improve understanding of the issues affecting bee colonies and winter survival rates but also to contribute to Europe wide studies and ensure access to EU funding to support UK beekeeping. The NBU, supported by the BBKA, is asking all beekeepers to provide a record of their total number of overwintering hives as of 1st November 2015 by putting the figure into BeeBase, the National Bee Unit’s online database. Good information is essential to safeguarding the future of bees and all Scarborough and District bee keepers are urged to take part in the survey. You are asked to provide your record by 12th February 2016. More information on the survey is available here and on the NBU Website's Hive Count Page.
It really is important to provide this information and it may be easier to do than you think. If you would like help doing it please let me know. I will be discussing this separately with members who do not have computers as we will need a different approach for them.

Dr. David Aston talk 8th February

This is a special occasion not just because David Aston was President of the BBKA last year but because he is a vastly experienced and widely respected Yorkshire Master Beekeeper. He will be talking about his experiences as a beekeeper as well as those as president of beekeepers. Because it is a special occasion we will be joined by fellow beekeepers from Whitby, Malton and Ryedale and with some tasty snacks for the break this will be a night you will not want to miss. 7.00pm at St Catherine's Hospice, Throxenby Lane Scarborough, YO12 5RE.

Ryedale Beekeeping Course

Ryedale Beekeepers have a few places left on a course they are running over nine weeks on Thursday evenings from 25 Feb. It covers all aspects of beekeeping and at £40 is fantastic value. Takes place at Oswaldkirk.

Contact Keith Hall at

Annual Dinner, Saturday 13th February

At the Coachman, Snainton. Last chance to book your place, by email or telephone on 01723 850041


Best wishes,
Mick Johnston (01723 850041)
Secretary of Scarborough and District Beekeepers Association

SDBKALogo75x72x32col   SDBKA Bulletin #20:  7th January 2016

Spring to Winter in a Bee Colony, Monday 11th January

If you could do with a reminder of what Spring looks like you must come to see this brilliant video of a year in the hive. The stunning close up photography makes it fascinating for old hands and new beekeepers alike and what better way to start your beekeeping year. 7.00 at St Catherine's Hospice, Throxenby Lane Scarborough, YO12 5RE. Raffle and refreshments.

Thornes Sale

Started online on Saturday 2nd January 2016 see their Website . The price list is attached. It is enormous. If you are thinking about buying stuff from Thornes sale time is the time to do it as there are really substantial reductions and bargains. They have two or three sales a year and if you get on their email list you will get notice of them. I suppose I should say that Thornes is not the only supplier of beekeeping equipment and that local auctions are a good way of aquiring second hand kit.

Scarborough Beekeepers in the News

Well not yet and it is only the Yorkshire Beekeepers Newsletter but we were pleased to learn that the new Editor, Chris Hardy, would like to pay us a visit with a view to doing a feature on our Branch. That's all we know for now but watch this space for an update when we know more.

Annual Dinner - Saturday 13th February

At the Coachman, Snainton. Book your place for an enjoyable evening with excellent food and drink, including real ale, by email or ring me on 01723 850041.

Bee Books

There are loads of them, some very good, and more are coming out all the time. But, not much has really changed about basic bee keeping for the last 100 years, apart from parasite and disease management. Our Branch owns an extensive collection of books and pamphlets and these are available for any member to borrow. See the list on the Library page and if you would like to borrow one just let me know by email or telephone 01723 850041.


Best wishes,
Mick Johnston (01723 850041)
Secretary of Scarborough and District Beekeepers Association

SDBKALogo75x72x32col   SDBKA Bulletin #19:  30th December 2015

Winter Programme Dates

Dates and topics for our 2016 Programme of Winter talks and discussions have now been finalised and are attached. There are six sessions starting on Monday 11 January with a video on the year of a bee colony and finishing on 21 March with a session on swarming and swarm control. In between are sessions on disease identification and management, a talk by the current President of the BBKA and a presentation and discussion on the pros and cons of neonicotinoids. All sessions bar one are on Mondays starting at 7.00 at St Catherine's Hospice, Throxenby Lane Scarborough. The exception is a joint meeting with Ryedale and Malton branches which is on Wednesday 9th March at a venue to be announced.

Jack Wilford Flooded in York

Sorry to learn that Jack Wilford, son of our Bee Inspector Adrian, has had his home in York flooded out. I believe he has also lost his bees. He is OK but unable to start clearing up until the latest rain and expected rise in water levels has passed.

Our Annual Dinner 2016

Saturday 13th February at the Coachman, Snainton. Book your place by email or telephone me on 01723 850041

Training For New Beekeepers

We will be running a series of hands on training sessions for new and improving beekeepers in Spring 2016. Details will be announced shortly but please do let me know if you would be interested in attending. There is no charge.


Best wishes for the New Year,
Mick Johnston (01723 850041)
Secretary of Scarborough and District Beekeepers Association

SDBKALogo75x72x32col   SDBKA Bulletin #18:  30th November 2015

Bee Drive, Monday 7th December

7pm at St Catherine's Hospice, Don't miss the last chance before Christmas to get together with other beesotted folk at the Bee Drive hosted by your Chairman Alan Walker. If you haven't been before it is a very enjoyable social, based on the Beetle Drive and requiring no expert knowledge of bees, or anything else. There will be prizes, a raffle and the usual refreshments. Bring friends and family.

YBKA 2016 Spring Conference, Saturday 19th March

This annual event is a full day of talks with lunch, trade stands with good discounts and a Beekeepers Question Time. I've never been but I will be going this time because several reliable witnesses have told me it is a really good and worthwhile day out. Plus it is at York, so much handier and cheaper than any other event of this type. Talks include Dr. Mathew Helbert on Anaphylaxia, Jim Pearson on swarm control, Dr. Giles Budge on pesticides, pathogens, pests and pollinators, Dr Sophie Evison on chalkbrood, John Whittaker and Mary Fisher. Cost £25. Programme and  booking form attached.

YBKA November Newsletter

See here. Includes useful articles on management of drawn comb and processes to produce soft set honey. Incidentally, the YBKA AGM appointed a new Newsletter Editor, Chris Hardy, so there is likely to be a change of format soon.

SDBKA Annual Dinner 2016

Saturday 13 February at the Coachman, Snainton. Last year was fun and seats are going steadily this year. Book now by emailing or phoning me. If I know soon how many places we need I will be able to increase our allocation of places if necessary. If you leave it too late you may miss out.

Yorkshire Calendar of Bee Events 2016

The calendar gives a list of major beekeeping events in the region and nationally for the next year.


Best wishes,
Mick Johnston (01723 850041)
Secretary of Scarborough and District Beekeepers Association