Tunbridge Wells Apiary

Welcome to the Tunbridge Wells branch apiary.

Five members attended our first July meeting, including some new faces.
We added two supers.

At the following meeting there were only two members, who reported that the top bar hive had collapsed perhaps due to the heat and/or the loss of the queen. There were 18 top bars in place and a fair bit of honey. They found the deep brood national had stores but no queen.
I have noticed that the bee hut can get damp and I wonder what has happened to the bee suits we once had, they are nowhere to be seen.
I believe that bee numbers are down by about a quarter this year and in the dry weather honey is in short supply. My advice is: do not sell your honey too cheaply.
It is not widely known that Stephanie M gave the branch three books which I have yet to pass on to the library. They are – Keeping Bees: Looking After an Apiary by Vivian Head; Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper; The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver by James E Tew.

Robin Toop

Barry Chaseley and Peter HuttonI attended the penultimate meeting with four members attending Barry complained of the temper of colonies as being too bad for him to handle.
I attended the last advertised meeting, myself and Margaret from Forest Road TW. As there were no other attendees, we looked through my polystyrene hive and the top bar hive (donated to the branch by EM?)

A super was added to my hive. The top bar hive is a disaster, the queen has stopped laying, many of the combs have broken off or collapsed, it is an excellent example of why not to keep bees where the combs are not supported. Despite all this Robin reports three supers of honey to be in need of extraction.

I am not available to do this, nor am I available to assemble frames and insert foundation, in the past I have provided a generator, electric extractor (twenty frame), Walter or Robin have provided a second electric extractor.
In respect of accessing the Branch SS hand operated extractor, I am willing to store it at my farm for the short period that it might be needed, I should need a list of people requiring it and phone numbers in order to be available at the farm. In particular I would need to liaise with Liz over hire payment, receipt etc. From the past some members remitted direct to the treasurer others left money with who ever was in charge of the extractor, then there was the problem with a former member who failed to return the extractor, I had to travel 30 miles to recover it. The terms of hire need printing and giving to members, it is £10 for the day of use and an allowance of a day either side to collect and return it. On several occasions it was passed from one member to another by mutual arrangement.

Robin has offered to do the extracting at his home next week, with tea and cakes on the lawn: contact him by email: robin.toop@hotmail.co.uk, if you are coming to help so he can be sure there is enough cake to go round!!

Peter Hutton