There’s no accounting for taste!

By Ian Mackley

About 25 members spent a congenial afternoon tasting honey on a cold afternoon in December 2023.  It was great fun. Thanks to the generosity (and possibly smuggling skills!) of Member donors, we were able to taste 28 different honeys, five of them blind, from North America, Europe, North Africa, SE Asia and Australasia.

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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.

2021 Honey Show

On the 9th of October, after a two-year hiatus, Aberdeen and District Beekeepers Association’s annual honey show came back with a bang. Having had to cancel last year’s show due to Covid restrictions, it was great to see our members gather again in a celebration of beekeeping and the products of the hive, after what has been for many of us a bumper season.

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Skep-making workshop – November, 2017

‘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”