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Thank you
5th May 2013


Swarming by Wally Shaw

All very welcome - Tea and Biscuits provided

The next West Glam Beekeepers Association meeting will be at 7pm on 14th May at the Cwmbwrla Day Centre. Wally Shaw – the Technical Officer for the Welsh Beekeepers Association, will be doing a presentation on swarming:

How do the bees know when to swarm
Pre-emptive swarm control.
Process from the start of queen cells up to the issue of the prime swarm.
Artificial swarming

Should be a very interesting and informative evening!

Ban the Pesticides that are killing our Bees Make the Government see sense - Please sign this petition to save our Bees; we just cannot suurvive without them!

Breaking news! 5th April - This morning, an important parliamentary committee said the pesticides that are being blamed for killing our bees should stop being used. They agree with scientists and other governments across Europe that these pesticides are a danger to bees.

With this new report, Owen’s refusal to act looks even more ridiculous. Even his fellow MPs are saying these pesticides should stop being used. He talks a lot about protecting our bees, but his actions seem to do nothing but protect the pesticide industry’s profits.
5th April
Disease recognition

Sat 1st June at 2pm
Dear All,

As you have already seen from part of the e-mail I sent, which I received from Frank Gellatley, we are going to run a disease recognition workshop on Saturday 1st June at 2pm This is an opportunity for all beekeepers of all abilities to become familiar with the recognition and treatment of the diseases that affect the honey bee. To this end all beekeepers are welcome even if they are not members of an Association

Because of the number of expected beekeepers we have had to hire larger premises. Therefore the workshop will take place at the Morriston Memorial Hall, Heol Gwernen, Morriston. SA6 6JR

Directions: The Memorial Hall is situated on Heol Gwernen which is off Chemical Road and directly opposite Morriston Rugby Club which is signposted on Chemical Road.

I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity. Please let me know as soon as possible if you intend to come so that we have an idea of numbers and can organise the refreshments etc.


Your Bees could be starving!


National Bee Unit


Emergency Feeding Guide (PDF)

Read it here...


April 2013 Starvation Risk. Important Information about Colony Food Levels.

With the continued poor weather looking to persist through into April, colonies may be starting to run out of food (if they haven’t already). It would be advisable to check the food levels by opening the hive and making a very quick observation on their store levels. Key points to remember are:

• The colony may still have stores available which are at the other end of the brood chamber to the cluster of bees. If there are ‘empty’ frames between the two then the bees could still starve, despite food being in the chamber. Move the frames of food directly next to the outer frame where the cluster resides, ensuring that you score each frame of food (not excessively, but enough to stimulate feeding). Be sure not to knock or roll the bees when doing this and to be as quick as possible.

• If the colony has little or no frames of food then give them a block of candy or fondant. You want to aim for about 2.5 kg per hive and although this may seem to be a great expense, it is far less than the money you will have wasted should the bees die.

• Mini plastic bags that are used to store loose fruit in from the supermarket are perfectly acceptable for holding the fondant and cost nothing. Pack the candy in the bag and then pierce holes in the appropriate place once you get to the hive. If the bag seems fragile then you can double bag it (just be sure to pierce both bags).

• At this time of the year we would usually start feeding sugar syrup but with these temperatures it is still too cold. Place the fondant directly above the bees, turning the crownboard if necessary so that one of the porter bee escape holes is above the cluster.

Please be aware that this should be done as quickly and carefully as possible and although it may seem too cold to open the hive now, it is far better to do so knowing the bees are ok than not to and find later that they have died.

For more information please refer to Best Practice Guideline Number 7 – ‘Emergency Feeding’.

Members Evening
Tuesday 12th March
at 7pm
'Flower Secrets' by Carrie Thomas Plantswoman, founder of Touchwood Plants and Seeds and a regular contributor of articles for the Royal Horticulture Society and Gardeners’ World.

Venue - Cwmbwrla Day Centre
Come along and enjoy the show and catch up with other members whilst mulling over a free cup of tea/coffee and bicuits!
Britain set for 10-day freeze as temperatures plunge A bitter cold blast from Scandinavia will see the mercury plummet to -15C (5F) over the next few days with more snow on the way. Have you checked that your precious Bees have sufficient food stores?
Natures Little Helpers Thanks very much once again to Tim Wright for a very interesting, informative, entertaining and enjoyable talk on Bee Apitherapy, last night at the Cwmbwrla Day Centre. (12th Feb)
Apple Pollination & the Honeybee Waggle Dance This video, showing clips made in spring 2012, gives information on an ongoing project using the honey bee waggle dance to investigate honey bee foraging during apple pollination. The project is being carried out by PhD student Nick Balfour and his supervisor Professor Francis Ratnieks of the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) at the University of Sussex.
New Members

First Beginners Class of 2013
A warm welcome is extended to all new members who have joined our association and who attended our very first beginners Class at the WEA Building on Tuesday 22nd January. A total of 10 new beginners and 2 existing new members from last year were in attendance. Thanks to Jeff Pritchard and especially to John Beynon for organising everything. The beginners were treated to a short Video screening on 'Life of the Honey Bee', followed by discussion and of course, the availabilty of tea and coffee.

Membership Renewal

(Due 1st January 2013)

Note: You are allowed to insure up to a total of 39 colonies. The full costing can be obtained here...





* Did you pay before the deadline of 31st January and save £5?

* Get the Membership Form here

Your membership fees are now due for renewal. The renewal membership includes insurance against AFB and EFB until 31st Dec 2013, together with association of the Welsh Beekeepers Association and the all important public liability insurance! The renewal form can be downloaded and printed out from here.

Our AGM this year took place at the Day Centre, Cwmbwrla, Swansea. SA5 8LD on Tuesday 15th January. For those of you who were unable to attend this social evening, a timely reminder...there will be an additional £5 late payment fee for membership renewals received after the 31st January 2013.


Your Bees may be starving!

22nd January 2013

Feed me pleaseWinter is here - Have you left sufficient Stores for your bees to survive? Bees need stores to survive so unless they have sufficient food, there is a real risk of bee colonies starving to death. You are advised to check often. As as a guide, maybe at least once every week for small colonies.

Please check for stores in the colony and if in any doubt feed your bees. You should feed with either SOFT Bakers Fondant or a thin syrup, preferably using a Contact feeder so that the Colony does not have to break up to get at the food. Fondant can be rolled out and placed 'like pastry' directly on top of the Brood Frames.

Further information on feeding bees can be found in Best Practice Guideline No. 7, on the Advisory Leaflets page of BeeBase


Beekeeping Classes - 2013swarms

The West Glamorgan Beekeepers Association has a responsibility to promote Bee Keeping in the local community

To achieve this we intend to hold year long classes in Beekeeping

The Course will include:

  1. 10 Theory Classes from January – April 2013 at the:

      WEA Building, Orchard St, Swansea. SA1 5UH

  1. Weekly Practical Classes from April – December 2013 *

* With Association Bee Keepers in attendance at our training apiary in Penllergaer Swansea - Weather conditions permitting!

For more information, please view our Course Poster right here...

Youtube Videos
and downloading Flash Videos
John has come across some Home made Videos on Youtube, made by a guy called, 'The Fat Beeman'. They have been checked out and these videos are worthy of watching. If you also want to download them, maybe for your Library collection, you can do this for free by using a small free add on for Mozilla Firefox called Net Video Hunter. Once installed, this wondeful tool will allow you to download any Flash Video you come across on the Internet, including Youtube. 16th Oct
Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees! Are Government and Industry Responsible? 19th Sept
Could Neonicotinoids (nerve poisons) be responsible. Watch this new Video and decide for yourself - Click here to view


Home Apiary visit by kind invitation of
Jeff Pritchard

2pm - Sat 25th Aug










Beekeeping with Jeff Pritchard - Another chance to visit someone else’s hives. And a second chance for all those who missed Matt Carroll’s open day to sample Jeff’s home made Welsh cakes and Lynwen’s home made cream scones. We can’t promise the fantastic weather we had in Matt’s but as long as it’s dry and not too windy and no thunder in the forecast Jeff will be up early to individually wash and dry each and every bee in readiness and polishing his hives to a high state of shine ready to throw open his gates from 2pm.

If you want to visit a contribution towards food would be appreciated – a plate of cakes, sandwiches, sausage rolls … up to you what you make well or what’s in the local bakers …. we want it to be as much of a social occasion as possible. All welcome including non beekeeping family members who can sit in the sun and watch from a distance. Please bring your own suits and gloves and wellies.


From the M4 at Pont Abraham towards Carmarthen. Just after Crosshands look out for the Botanic Gardens exit off the dual carriageway. Take this exit. The road sort of takes you back in a loop towards the dual carriageway. At the T junction turn left. This will take you back under the dual carriageway and as you come out from under the bridge turn right and head up the hill. Jeff lives in a cream farmhouse on the left. The one with the hives in the garden… View Satellite Image here

How to get there: The address is: Maeslan, Porthyrhyd, Carmarthenshire, SA32 8PP. Beware of using the postcode in your Satnav –it will get you most of the way and then get you lost!

Contact Tel: 01267 275371 or 07789 714149

Colony Re-Queening? How to deal with a Colony that is re-Queening itself
An excellent article written by Wally Shaw. Download it here...
Bees can help you stay young! It's official - The secret to staying young. How thinking like a bee can reverse brain aging! Read all about it here... 9th July
Colony Collapse Disorder Link International Scrutiny of Pesticide Link to Honey Bee Deaths Intensifies
Our bees are being poisoned by chemicals 25th June
Don't let your Bees die...They could be Starving! Urgent Warning - Your Bees could be starving. 14th June
Here is a message from the National Bee Unit, issuing a warning and advice on how to prevent your bees dying! Click here to view the PDF file Hefting a Hive PLUS Best practice guideline on feeding your bees
Talk by Jeff Bee On Tuesday 12th June – our monthly meeting consisted of a talk by Jeff Bee from the Bees Abroad charity. The meeting was held at the Cwmbwrla Day Centre and we had also extended an open invitation to members of the Swansea and District Association to join us. All who attended agreed that the evening was a great success and enjoyed the fascinating talk by Jeff who does valuable work in supporting beekeeping projects in developing countries world wide.
Queen rearing programme Our Queen rearing programme started a few days ago on the 28th May.

You can read all about it here on this newly created page.
Beekeeping Equipment
for Sale
One of our members, Louise Ryan has quality Bee Keeping equipment for sale. Full information can be found on this new page right here...
Asian Hornet As well as the current pests and disease problems beekeepers have to contend with, there are still further potential threats on the horizon to be aware of, for example species of Asian Hornet. Read all about it here...
More bad news -
19th April
Blamed for Bee Collapse, Monsanto buys leading Bee Research Firm - This is scary
news and affects us all as well as the environment!
Sunday morning Weekly inspections have now started every Sunday - 10am - 12 mid-day but the weather has not been favourable of late. If raining or too cold, the bees will not be examined but you of course are still welcome to call and have a chat!
Thanks to Sian Day Thanks very much to Sian Day for taking the time to come along to our meeting last Tuesday and give us a talk and practical demonstration on the uses of Beeswax.
It was a quite well attended and interesting evening!

Pesticides harming bee populations.

A common type of crop pesticide could be responsible for wiping out bee colonies by killing their homing instinct and limiting their ability to gather food, scientists claim.
30th March 2012
First Bees and now Animals AND us Humans! Antimicrobial resistance is a major human health issue.
Blood poisoning, more correctly known as sepsis, claims approximately 37,000
lives every year in the UK. In the USA, sepsis now accounts for more hospital admissions than heart attacks.
BBKA statement
29th Jan 2012
Pesticide exposure in Honey bee results in increased level of the gut pathogen - Nosema More here
Monsanto targetted
by Beekeepers
Dozens of protesters shut down Monsanto offices in Davis, CA for one day over genetically modified foods & seeds. More here 19th March
Insects have personalities Bees have different "personalities", with some showing a stronger willingness or desire to seek adventure than others, according to a study by entomologists at the University of Illinois. "Could insects also have personalities?"
Ban Neonicotinoids In the UK, a further Early Day Motion has been tabled by Martin Caton MP, requesting a ban on neonicotinoids, following the recent publication of yet more scientific evidence (this time by Dr Jeff Pettis et al), that neonicotinoids are dangerous for bees. More here
New secrets of the Hive - Soldier Bees How will the decline in bee numbers affect the human race?
As experts identify soldier bees for the first time, Metro investigates what secrets are hidden in the hive and what dwindling worldwide bee numbers mean for the human race...
Our bees are being poisoned!
Environmental organisations are calling for a UK neonicotinoid pesticide suspension. A comprehensive report released today by Buglife reveals that the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid damages the health and life cycle of bees.
Starvation Ade Bowen (the Bee Inspector) advises us to check your bees for stores.
With this warm weather the bees are more active and are consuming more stores than usual. If you are not sure then check that you have fondant in place for supplementary feeding (not sugar solution) Remember that March is the dangerous month when bees can starve to death 29th Feb
Bayer responds Bayer Responds to Declining Bee Population Concerns 28th Feb 2012
Bee Decline Bee decline could be down to a Chemical cocktail interfering with their brains

Stop the use Pesticides.

"The BBKA has been receiving annual payments from Pesticide Manufacturer Bayer
to promote chemicals as friendly".

Read about it here
A MUST read

Pesticides are killing our bees and harming the human race!

Vanishing of the Bees - Beekeeper leaks EPA Document 27th Feb
Pesticides are killing our bees and harming us all
Please write and protest to your local Member of Parliament.
This affects everyone of us and our children!

Who is your MP - Find out here

There are presently 2 early day motions in being:

Motion 1267: Impact of Neonicotinoid Pesticide on Bees and other Invertibrates.

Motion 2664: Pesticide use and Honeybees.

"The powerful pesticide lobby does not want to face up to it either because the adoption of new risk assessment procedures would almost certainly lead to a ban on the money-spinning neonicotinoids, which are registered in more than 100 countries worldwide for use on more than 140 crops". Read about it here

Theft of Bees BEE on GUARD - Just to inform you that the thieves are once again targetting bee hives. 2 hives were discovered stolen from an apiary at the side of the main Tonyrefail to Penrhiwfer Road yesterday (15th Feb). Both hives were home made Nationals with full compliment of bees, solid floor, brood box, crown board and roof - treated with creosote. It is believed the hives were taken either overnight or in the absence of the owner during the day. A large field gate was forced open to gain access to the apiary. It is suggested that anyone with an out apiary should check security of colonies.

Beekeeping Classes - 2012 - Old News

swarmsThe West Glamorgan Beekeepers Association has a responsibility to promote Beekeeping in the local community. To achieve this, we once again intend to hold year long classes in Beekeeping. The course will include: 10 Theory classes from January - April at the WEA Building, Orchard Street, Swansea. This will be followed by weekly practical classes from April - December with experienced beekeepers in attendance at our training Apiary in Penllergaer, Swansea. 10am until 12 mid-day - Weather conditions permitting!


Queen rearing + Quiz with Prizes
This year heralds the start of an exciting new venture as we intend breeding our own Queens. It has now been proven that Queens reared here in the UK are much more likely to succeed than those bought from abroad. A reminder that the members monthly meeting is next Tuesday 14th February. Matt Carroll will talk about the queen rearing project we are starting this year and there is a quiz (with prizes ) to round off the evening

2012 AGM

Our 2012 AGM was held on Tuesday 17th January at the WEA Building, Orchard St, Swansea. It was a reasonably well attended evening with an opportunity to mingle with like minded people, over free cups of tea/coffee and biscuits. Most took advantage to pay the annual subscription, currently just £20 per year (includes £3m Public Liability Insurance)ull details have now been posted/emailed to all members. The form can also be viewed and downloaded from here.

Nb: The AGM is always a very important time of the year for the association. We now have a total of 7 committee members, sharing the responsibilities. We also have many new and very enthusiastic members, with a wealth of experience and new ideas; we can all work together for the benefit of the association. A case of 'many hands make light work'.
Events Calendar The Events Calendar for 2012 has now been completed and can be downloaded here. (PDF File)
  The Beginners Practical lessons will also include Honey extraction - Varroa control and Preparation for Winter. The cost of the course is £40 which includes membership to the association for your 1st season.

To register, contact Mr John Beynon on Tel: Swansea 01792 232810 for further details.

Forum We now have a brand new Members 'Live On-line' Forum for both beginners and experienced beekeepers alike. Please feel free to take advantage of this new addition to our web site, to post messages as well as passing on your experience to others! 16th August 2011
sister web siteBeekeeping the Natural Way - Our 'Sister' beekeeping website can be viewed here where there are many tips on Beekeeping, pages for complete beginners and the use of natural products, including Herbs and Apple Cider Vinegar. The West Glamorgan web site currently takes precedence for updates!

The amazingly docile Welsh Honeybee - A good example can be viewed right here!


Copyright © West Glam Beekeeping
Association - 2006