Queen rearing for the hobby beekeeper

By Graham Torrie

Written an astonishing 414 years ago, Charles Butler’s book, The Feminine
Monarchie, tells us this about our honey bees: that they labour “under the
government of one monarch, of whom above all things they have a principal care
and respect, loving, reverencing, and obeying her in all things.” All the more
wonderful, then, that we hobby beekeepers are able to produce these amazing
creatures at a time of our choosing, for very little cost and with a modest degree of
expertise. In doing so, we can improve our stocks in qualities such as disease resistance, increase in honey yield, temperament, and reduced swarming.

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January Talk – The Truth about Honey

Tuesday 17 January, 7.30 pm, online via Zoom.

Honey fraud is the third biggest food fraud in the world. This fascinating talk lifts the lid on the how, why and wherefore of honey fraud and adulteration, and the way that it impacts on the livelihoods of beekeepers around the world. We will also take a look at what is happening in the UK.

About the Speaker: Lynne Ingram has kept bees for over 30 years, and runs 15-20 colonies in Somerset. She is a Master beekeeper, holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping, and is an examiner for the BBKA written and practical exams. Lynne is involved in educating beekeepers in Somerset, running study groups and curating the popular Somerset Lecture series.

This is a members-only event. See the January Newsletter for the Zoom link.

If you’re not a member, and wish to join the ADBKA, please see the Membership page – here.

ADBKA Annual Convention 2022

5 November 2022
09:30 – 16:30
TECA Hilton Hotel, East Burn Road, Stoneywood, Aberdeen AB21 9FX

Booking: Eventbrite

A fascinating day is in prospect at this year’s members’ convention. The UK’s largest bee farmer, Murray McGregor, will talk about his life in beekeeping, and will highlight some of the differences in approach between hobbyists and professionals. Many members have previously visited Murray at his base in Coupar Angus or at one of his out-apiaries, and others have improved their stocks by purchasing “Jolanta’s queens”. Our second speaker is well known local beekeeper, Stephen Palmer, who will talk about the challenges of beekeeping in Aberdeenshire’s ‘arable desert’, and also about some of the special equipment that he has found useful in his 40 years’ practice of the craft. The day will be rounded off with a panel discussion, a quiz and a prize draw – the full programme will be available shortly. This is an opportunity to get together and discuss beekeeping with like-minded friends and experts in comfortable surroundings – the event will take place from 09:30 till 16:30 at the TECA Hilton hotel which is located beside the new P&J Live Conference Centre in Dyce. The Convention will cost £30 to attend. This rate is being subsidised by the Association, and includes lunch, refreshments throughout the day, and parking. It would help the committee if those wishing to attend could book early, so that numbers can be managed. To book your place please use this link to the Eventbrite system.

Ian Forbes and John Beedie Memorial Library

We are very pleased to be able to offer our members the opportunity to borrow a wide range of books on bees and beekeeping free of charge. Our library collection is approaching 200 titles, dating back as far as 1912. We also hold many up-to-date publications. Whether you’re studying for your beekeeping examinations or just seeking more information on our shared passion, there’s sure to be something here to meet your needs. Members can view the catalogue by following the link from the Members’ Index Page.

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Visit to Murray McGregor’s queen-rearing apiary

By Olga Macaulay

Every year Murray McGregor invites members of ADBKA to visit his queen-rearing apiary in Blairgowrie. This year, due to some Covid restrictions, only thirty lucky visitors were allowed to come. Most of us know Murray and his colleague, Jolanta, who is the “Chief” of the “queen-rearing factory”. This year we were pleased to also meet Murray’s daughter Linnet.

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2020 Review

We will probably look back at 2020 as one of the strangest years anyone can remember. It affected all our lives – for some more profoundly than for others.

As the world started to wake up to the emerging Covid pandemic, Association activities in the first couple of months of 2020 proceeded as usual with a demonstration and a talk. We held a normal AGM, but national lockdown restrictions were imposed shortly thereafter and the annual beginners’ course was suspended half way through. Meetings for the foreseeable future were reluctantly cancelled. The Apiary and its bees were maintained, but member visits were not possible.

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Jamie Evans

Meet the ADBKA Committee Members

I have been keeping bees since 2017. A few years prior to that I picked up a book on them at a friend’s house and was so fascinated I had no choice but to attend the winter lecture series and then get a few bees for myself. Since then it has got completely out of control with more than ten hives, and I’m not sure what I did with my time before bees.

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