I am pleased to be able to firm up the dates now for the summer meeting schedule, Covid issues allowing.  This year we have deliberately ensured that all three meetings are particularly relevant to those from this year’s and last year’s beginners courses.  I would stress that everyone is of course welcome and it would be great for the beginners to  meet some more of the division members.  Please put the dates in your diary and I hope as many of you as possible will attend.  The more bees you see the better you are able to understand what is normal behaviour as bees are often challenging in that they do not read the text books!
June 19th, 2.30pm
Preparing for the Flow. 
Geoff and Marion have kindly offered to host this meeting at their Painshill Apiary.
July 31st, 2.30pm
‘An Inspector Calls’. Our seasonal Bee Inspector, Stewart Westsmith, will inspect several hives, taking us through what they look for and how they look.  A masterclass in Bee Disease inspection but rather than ‘in theory’, this is the real practice.  Essential for all beginners and more experienced beekeepers alike.
We are very fortunate that Aslam has again offered to open his amazing garden(s) to us. For those who have been before you will remember what a wonderful location it is. Please contact us for his address or see the emailed newsletter.
August 21st, probably 4pm but time tbc 
Summer Social. Given the lockdown we have all endured for the last year or so we thought it would be a good idea for us all to meet up and catch up.  Hoping that the weather is good, Paul and Helen Bunclark have very kindly agreed to let us use their facility; most beginners will already be aware of it from the summer practicals they will have attended there this year.  The idea is to have a bring along BBQ. Closer to the time we will ask people to give us an indication if they are attending and the division will supply rolls, sausages, burgers with everyone invited to bring any special foods they want as well as salads and desserts.  
September 18th, 2.30pm
Preparing for Winter.
This meeting will be hosted at David Parker’s Fairoaks Airport apiary.  There is more than one way to prepare for winter so in addition to breaking into groups and going through some hives looking at stores, etc. David will take us through how he takes his bees through winter, his method of two national 8- frame boxes.  It is also hoped that one or two other beekeepers will talk about how they take bees through winter.  When to feed syrup, when to use fondant, what ratios of sugar to water for syrup, how much syrup to feed, can you over feed your bees?  All these and other questions will be addressed along with talking about winter chemical treatments and options for controlling Varroa.
David Parker  davidparker@polymathconsulting.com

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