‘The first bit is the hard part’, instructor Bryce Reynard announced as six ADBKA members gathered for a workshop in the noble art of skep-making. The tables were covered in straw. Bales of string and alarmingly large needles were ready for use. Bryce had kindly brought along a collection of his work, and after he had introduced himself and his background in forestry and his own introduction to basket-making via a birthday present, the workshop started with a discussion of skep-making around the various part- and fully-finished examples. The wide variety of possible materials, from straw to brambles, nettles, various grasses and so on, was of interest to everyone. Continue reading “Skep-making workshop – November, 2017”→
This year’s honey show was very well attended and most categories were represented with an entry. The show was judged by Hugh Donohoe who has been a member of ADBKA for many years, a former committee member and, more recently, has been appointed an SBA examiner.
On 13th May, Steve Sunderland (head of the Scottish bee inspection team) and personnel from the Scottish Government, SASA, SRUC, and the SBA visited Aberdeen to present a bee health awareness day. The event was attended by 36 local beekeepers representing ADBKA, Kemnay, and Moray Associations.
On the evening of Saturday, 26 November, about forty members of the Aberdeen and District Beekeepers’ Association met for our annual social event to share some food and drink, have a chat and plan for even better beekeeping next year.
We had another great turnout from members at this year’s honey show, which was judged by beekeeping legend Willie Robson of Chain Bridge Honey Farm. Despite the obvious impact of a poor summer on the honey classes, this was more than made up for by the impressive array of entries in the wide range of competition categories, from photographs to baking. Our featured image for this post is of the beautiful ‘Shop Window Display’, entered by Olga MacAulay.
On Saturday, 25 June, the Association had another very special afternoon with Murray McGregor at his queen-rearing apiary, set among trees and near a loch where some of us had a lunch picnic.
ADBKA with Murray and Jolanta
Murray and queen-cell frame
Grafting bar with cell cups
We met Jolanta, who is in charge of Murray’s queen-rearing unit, and in groups of five visited her grafting hut where she showed us the incubators, grafting tools and more. In the meantime, the rest of us followed Murray among the brightly-coloured mini-nucs, asking questions and listening.
Our visit was between two heavy outbursts of rain, but we were fortunate that the dry spell lasted long enough for us to have a full and wonderful afternoon.