Oilseed rape and beekeeping

Gavin Ramsay

Talk: Saturday 18 February 2017 at 2.00-4.00pm
The Kinellar Community Hall, Fintray Road, Blackburn AB21 0JQ

Oilseed rape is perhaps the most obvious forage plant for honey bees and produces more honey  in the UK than any other. The crop has been at the centre of a number of controversies over the years. Is it safe, might it give me hay fever, will it contaminate my honey with GM pollen, do modern varieties still yield as well as the old ones, what is biodiesel rape all about, and, not least, are any pesticides used on it going to harm my bees? Most beekeepers in OSR areas end up relaxed about most of these issues and instead concentrate on how to manage their bees for a wonderful honey crop and how to handle that honey.  Those beekeepers with the most data on their beekeeping, the most to lose if things go wrong,  and the greatest experience tend to agree that oilseed rape is an excellent spring forage for their bees, sets them up well for the rest of the season, gives substantial honey crops in most years and poses no additional risk compared to any other spring forage.

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Malcolm Watson

Meet the ADBKA Committee members

I am a retired oil industry safety officer and have been keeping bees North of Ellon for six years. I currently have six stocks, split between two locations. I am working my way through the S.B.A. examination system and took Module 7 last November.

I have entered honey and wax into the Association Honey show each year, but have so far only achieved modest results – more practise required. I recently joined the committee and am in discussions with a view to taking a more active role within the committee in the near future.

Erling Watt

Meet the ADBKA Committee members

Erling Watt – Committee member since May 2015, now membership secretary.

This is my fifth year of keeping bees and being a member of the association. This is not however my first brush with beekeeping as my grandfather kept bees and I used to help him with them as a teenager back in the 70’s until I joined the army. Continue reading “Erling Watt”

David Morland

Meet the ADBKA Committee members

David Morland – Committee member since May 2014, Vice Chair and now Acting Chair.

After many years as Chair, Newsletter editor, Apiary manager and latterly Manager of
association beekeeping supplies Graham Torrie has decided to take a well-deserved rest and I now take over as acting chair until the annual general meeting in May.

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Varroa mites, honey bees and viruses – an intertwined relationship

Dr Ewan Campbell, University of Aberdeen

Talk: Saturday 21 January 2017 at 2.00pm
The Kinellar Community Hall, Fintray Road, Blackburn AB21 0SS

As beekeepers you will be aware that global apiculture is currently facing a deep crisis, characterized by increasing parasite and pathogen pressure, exposure to a cocktail of agrochemical products and a rapid loss of biodiversity. Not to say that the “beemageddon” as shouted about in the press is true, but our bees are under severe pressure from many different sources!

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Social Evening, November 2016

Lindsey Macaulay [Abridged – for the full article, see the December Newsletter.]

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.

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You’ve been framed!

We all know that Lorenzo Langstroth invented the first moveable frame hive in 1852, right? If he was alive, Francois Huber might beg to differ. In his 1806 book, New observations on the natural history of bees, Huber writes: “It is not more difficult to lodge a natural swarm in a leaf hive than in any other of a different shape. But there is one precaution essential to success, which I should not omit. Though the bees are indifferent as to the position of their combs and as to their greater or lesser size, they are obliged to construct them perpendicular to the horizon and parallel to each other. Therefore, if left entirely to themselves, when establishing a colony in one of those new hives, they would frequently construct several small combs parallel indeed, but perpendicular to the plane of the frames or leaves and by this disposition prevent the advantages which I think to derive from the figure of my hives, since they could not be opened without breaking the combs. Thus they must previously have a guide to follow; the cultivator himself lays the foundation of their edifices and that by a simple method. A portion of comb must be solidly fixed in some of the boxes composing the hive. The bees will extend it and, in prosecution of their work, will accurately follow the plan already given them. Therefore on opening the hive, no obstacle is to be removed, nor stings to be dreaded, for one of the most singular and valuable properties attending this construction, is its rendering the bees tractable.”