Updated Spring and Summer Events

Monday 27th February at 7pm, Glenluce Bowling Club

  • Graeme Sharpe – Mating – how does it all work?

Saturday 18th March

  • SBA Module Exams

Monday 27th March at 7pm, Glenluce Bowling Club

  • Ian Craig – Swarm Control and Queen Rearing

Sunday 30th April – hosts Mary and George Pattison at Whithorn – starting at 10.30am – members can pop in and out during the day

A practical day – build something, repair something, for the newbies – knock up a few frames. Hopefully a demonstration

Bring a project and some lunch

Last Monday of May, June, July, and August at 7pm

  • Apiary visits – to be arranged. All members will be invited to an apiary in Western Galloway. Weather permitting, hives will be opened. In any case general discussion about what is happening in the apiary and what to expect/plan for in the coming month

 22nd – 25th June

  • Royal Highland Show, Ingliston.

Steward in the Honey tent or exhibit your honey/wax/baking/mead

Wednesday 2nd August – to be confirmed

  • Wigtown Show. Information stand – volunteer will be required

A Sunday in August – still to be arranged

  • The Wonder of Honeybees at Castle Kennedy Gardens – volunteers will be required

8th – 10th September

  • Beekeeping Convention, Ayr Racecourse

Latest News

At the January meeting Dru Hatcher, chair, welcomed some new members to the Association before introducing the speaker for the evening – Julian Stanley from Ayr Beekeepers. Julian’s talk about “Food, Trophallaxis & Communication” was a fascinating subject to start 2017.

Julian explained how honeybees collect nectar from flowers and convert it to honey, by introducing enzymes and reducing the water content to around 20%. Nectar and honey are the carbohydrate in the honeybee diet. Bees also collect pollen from plants and transport it back to the hives in the pollen baskets on their rear legs, which can be seen quite clearly when bees are flying – they can carry up to twice their body weight in pollen. Pollen provides the protein in their diet. Honeybees are particularly good at pollination as they are loyal to one type of plant – something farmers and growers use to their advantage by working with beekeepers when growing oil seed rape or field beans for example. News of where to collect the best nectar and pollen is communicated to the other bees in the colony by complex dances within the hive – but that’s another story!

Moving on to trophallaxis which is the transfer of food by mouth from one individual to another. The nectar is transferred between bees many times in the process of feeding larvae and the queen and before it is ready to store as honey, but it has another purpose and that is to spread word around the colony that the queen is well and that the worker bees can continue to concentrate on bringing in more nectar and pollen. Trophallixis however has a downside as any disease or poison (e.g. pesticides) introduced to the colony spreads very quickly and can be fatal to the colony.

Julian answered questions from the members and Dru thanked him for his well-presented and interesting talk. Julian reminded the members that Ayr Beekeepers will be hosting the Beekeeping Convention this year, 8th – 10th September – an opportunity not to be missed.

The WGBA programme of events for 2017 is busy with the two study groups well under way and exam dates looming, two more talks during the winter session, a day in the shed which is an opportunity to make and repair equipment, apiary visits and several events. To find out more, have a look at the website www.wgba.co.uk

The next meeting will be on Monday 27th February, when Graeme Sharpe from the Beekeeping Unit at Auchincruive will make his annual trip to Western Galloway to give an insight in to the Honeybee mating process – equally as fascinating a subject and important for beekeepers to understand for the management of their bees. Usual place, Glenluce Bowling Club, usual time 7pm. All welcome – beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike.

January WGBA News

Western Galloway Beekeepers’ Association

The December meeting was held before Christmas and started with a light hearted quiz about the day to day life of a bee. The members imagined they were a bee and what they would be kept busy with in different situation, at different times of the year, and if they were a worker, queen or drone. As beekeepers it’s always good to think like a bee when deciding what course of action should be taken in the apiary.

There followed a discussion, over some lovely food, about how the members would like to increase their beekeeping knowledge. The conclusion was that there was enough interest among the members and newcomers to run both a Basic BeeKeeping study group and a Honeybee Management (Module 1 of the SBA Intermediate syllabus) study group. The more experienced members volunteered to run the sessions.

The study groups started mid-January and will run until mid-March with 9 members in each group, including some new members to the Association. A different topic is covered at each session, so by the time the bees start to become active in the spring the members will be much better informed about how to look after them.

The speaker at the next meeting will be Julian Stanley from Ayr Beekeepers. Julian will talk about “Food, Trophollaxis & Communication” which is a fascinating subject. The meeting will be held on Monday 30th January at the usual place, Glenluce Bowling Club, starting at 7pm. All welcome.

Spring/ Summer 2017

Tuesday  10th January – 14th March

  • Basic Beekeeper Study Group.

Thursday 19th January – Thursday 16th March

  • Honeybee Management Study Group.

Monday 27th February at 7pm, Glenluce Bowling Club.

  • Graeme Sharpe – Mating – how does it all work?

Saturday 18th March

  • SBA Module Exams.

Monday 27th March at 7pm, Glenluce Bowling Club

  • Ian Craig – Swarm Control and Queen Rearing.

April – date to be arranged – probably a Sunday

A Day in the Shed at Whithorn. Make, repair, demonstrate and learn.

 

Last Monday of May, June, July, and August at 7pm

  • Apiary visits – to be arranged. All members will be invited to an apiary in Western Galloway. Weather permitting, hives will be opened. In any case general discussion about what is happening in the apiary and what to expect/plan for in the coming month.

22nd – 25th June

  • Royal Highland Show, Ingliston.

Steward in the Honey tent or exhibit your honey/wax/baking/mead.

A Sunday in August – still be be arranged

  • The Wonder of Honeybees at Castle Kennedy Gardens.

8th – 10th September

  • Beekeeping Convention, Ayr Racecourse.