Asian Hornet watch APP launched!

Hello Beekeepers!

A new informational mobile application has been produced By FERA and the BRC to record possible Asian Hornet sightings has been developed, more details HERE

It is both compatible with Android and Apple devices, and it is strongly suggested you download and have this available to help provide information to members of the public or beekeepers alike.

Search your app store for “Asian Hornet Watch” Apple, Android .

We owe the developers a vote of thanks for making such a simple App for the beekeeping fraternity! – WebBee


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Asian Hornet trap comparison

Hello Beekeepers!

If you are interested about developing your own Asian Hornet traps you might find this interesting?

Here is a comparison of differing Asian hornet trap designs carried out by the French Agricultural Research Group (INRA), the conclusion seems to be a wide deep funnel with the addition of talc gives the best capture ratio.

The full article can be seen HERE

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Tavistock Beekeepers newsletters


Hello Beekeepers!

Here is a new way to get all the electronic copies of our published newsletters click the link HERE or go to the Tavistock website newsletter page HERE – WebBee




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The Beekeeping year 2017

Hello Beekeepers!

Well another year starts and the bees are hopefully slumbering (mostly?) and its time for the beekeeper to start making preparations for the rest of the year.

This year in the UK could be a challenging one for several reasons, the weather hasn’t yet produced the really cold weather needed to “reset the clock” within our colonies, so some queens may have continued to lay throughout the last winter months; this means the queens are using up their valuable ability to fertilize eggs.

The possibility of drone laying queens early in the season starts to become more possible, as does the chances of “Queen failure”, compounded with the wet weather and lack of stores these “natural” issues can produce a pressure for a colony to fail or perform weakly at the start of the year.

Nosema and Varroa Mites are also an issue that the colony has to contend with, and when the weather gets warmer other pests such as wasps, and now the slight possibility of Asian Hornets preying on them or just competing for spring nectar, can be just too much for weaker colonies.

What can the beekeeper do?

The best way to help you colonies is to prepare them well for winter, and to monitor their progress through the winter months, checking their food levels and providing fondant when required; my colonies late in the year found an abundance of Ivy and I have several very large sugar cubes in the garden when the colonies should be!

This may actually not be enough for an overwintered colony that is still active, and the cold solidified Ivy honey may not be accessible for the colony, so fondant may still be needed as the weather warms up.

Check you winter food levels especially as the weather changes and the colony starts to activate, they will devour the winter stores banking on the spring flowers, that may yet not arrive if the winter does give us a late burst of frost and snow. Check a source of water is also available.

Colony health could also be an issue that could be affected by Nosema, so check you colonies strength and watch out for Nosema signs on the front of the hive and poor behaviour within. Varroa mite levels can be suppressed with the administering of Oxyalic Acid treatments; but only if the colony is strong enough to withstand the treatment.


Lots of animals love Honey, so check for mouse intrusions and check the sheds and other suitable spots nearby for over wintering Queen wasps. Recently a neighbor invited me into his shed where I killed 9 large over wintering Wasp Queens he was watching to see what happened! I also was foolishly buzzed by an over wintering Queen wasp in the house loft yesterday, needless to say she won’t be attending the spring dance in her honour!

The Asian Hornet was confirmed as having arrived in the UK last summer, several Hornets were killed and monitoring is now taking place around the sites; it is imperative we also help with this task and I will be publishing some more Monitoring trap designs shortly that are a lot simpler than existing designs.

Please check out the resources page on Asian Hornets HERE; I strongly suggest you also print out the Asian Hornet advice poster HERE and put it on your local noticeboard where it can be seen; also have a word with your local farmers market or garden center to make them aware of the possibility that the Asian Hornet has arrived in the UK.

There is still the possibility our climate is not right for long term survival of this invasive species, only time will tell.

What to look forward to?

The spring conferences get underway, the Bee colonies start to awake from their slumber and beekeeping becomes enjoyable and practical again; as well as the prospects for a successful honey harvest. This harvest following of course, the activities to manage your colonies during the swarm season!

Lots of possibilities to expand your understanding of beekeeping and meet up with other beekeepers.

Lets hope its a good one! – WebBee

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Asian Hornet page added

Hello Beekeepers!

I have added a new page to the website linking information and resources about the Asian hornet, you might find some of the information useful if you are to prepare for the arrival of the Asian Hornet in the UK.

Lets hope the winter weather kills off any overwintering Queens and that the weather is un-favorable for the Asian Hornet to gain a foothold in the UK.

Please get in touch if you would like to see something added to the page – WebBee

Asian Hornet



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Tavistock November Newsletter 2016

Hello Beekeepers!

we have re-started a contact newsletter for Tavistock Beekeepers members, other Beekeepers may be interested in the contents so it will also be posted on the website HERE

Any comments or items for inclusion can be e-mailed to Chris Binns the editor


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Tavistock Beekeepers – 2017 Renewal

Hello Beekeepers!

Its the time when you want to huddle by the fire and read a good bee book, and also catch up with those important things that matter, like your Tavistock Beekeepers renewal!

The new renewal form is in the membership section of the website HERE

There have been some slight changes from last year.

Firstly the form is now before the guidance notes so you can just print out the first page if you know what  and send it back with your payment (or bring it to the AGM), secondly there have been slight changes to the membership categories. All is explained in the guidance notes.

Could you PLEASE note the section on the form about Gift Aid, this makes a terrific difference to the club funds and is well worth getting the Taxman to give a refund on your charitable subscription to Tavistock Beekeepers; after all we are a charity and this may help subsidize your tea and cake at the AGM!

Could you please make the time to attend our AGM at 7.30 pm  (prompt) on Tuesday 15th November 2016 At the Parish Rooms, Tavistock.

Our Treasurer will be waiting for your 2017 subscription forms and to process your BDI insurance for the next beekeeping season.

See you there – WebBee



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Tavistock Beekeepers AGM

Tavistock branch of DBKA – Notice of Annual General Meeting

7.30 pm  (prompt) Tuesday 15th November 2016

At the Parish Rooms, Tavistock.

Hello Beekeepers!

Its that time of year when Beekeepers Huddle together for warmth, tea and cake, and have the Annual General Meeting! It is important that members attend to ensure a healthy group represents its members.

If you have any items for the agenda could you please contact -WebBee


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Slovenia research survey

Hello Beekeepers!

We have received a request for information from Beekeepers, and if you have time your opinions may be of interest!

“As a team of students from Slovenia we are working on a project based on bees and beekeeping.

To start our project we are conducting research into the problems apiculturists are facing and how they deal with such problems. Our aim is to interview as many beekeepers as possible because we believe that a professional opinion is the most valuable. Therefore we have also made a short survey with the purpose of leading us through the interviews.

Our goal is not to waste hours of your free time, but to collect expert knowledge, such as yours, which are worth their weight in gold. The collected data will be completely anonymous and collected ad hoc. We would appreciate if you could sacrifice a small amount of your free time to simply answer a few questions via skype, and it would be of great assistance if you would be so kind as to send the survey to as many members of your federation as possible to help increase the accuracy of data collected.

The survey can be accessed and completed using the link given below.

Link to the survey:

You can contact us using:


Skype: x_matic_x

We eagerly anticipate your response and thank you in advance.

Yours sincerely,

on behalf of a team of young researchers:

Gregor Deleja, Prof.

headmaster of grammar school Gimnazije Celje – Center
Kosovelova ulica 1, SI – 3000 Celje, Slovenia
T: 00386 41 708 945
W:” – WebBee

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Beekeeper Training course 2017


Hello Beekeepers, and other people interested in Beekeeping!

If you would like to learn about beekeeping then the Tavistock Beekeepers training course is for you.
This is an interesting and introductory course aimed at beginners who would like to take up Beekeeping; it covers all the basic aspects of Bees and Beekeeping, with practical assistance provided by Tavistock Beekeepers to help you through your first years of this fascinating pass-time.
We now have our training dates for the Beekeeper training course 2017.
The course will run for 6 weekday evenings starting Tuesday 21st February 2017 at Tavistock College, Devon.
Time:- 7 till 9 pm
The dates are 21st, 28th Feb. 7th,14th, 21st and 28th March.
A reserve date of the 4th April.
The trainers will be Mark Gibbons and Bill Pyle, both very experienced beekeepers with a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm about bees and beekeeping. (with helpers)
The training will follow the British Beekeeping Association Syllabus, and learning materials will be provided.
Wk 1 Beekeeper          – What a beekeeper “Does”
Wk 2 Bees                    – Bee Life-cycle
Wk 3 Beekeeping year – Beekeeping during the year.
Wk 4 Equipment           – Types of Bee equipment and use.
Wk 5 What to buy         – Suppliers and types of gear.
Wk 6 Diseases             – Problems with Bees.
Additional “Out Apiary” visits will be part of the training, dates to be arranged.
The Cost will be £85 payable to Tavistock Beekeepers during the course, refreshments will be provided.
You can either e-mail us at with your contact details or fill out our contact box on our website HERE
We look foreward to introducing you to some bees, cake and Tea; after all beekeeping is a social thing!
David Painter
Tavistock Beekeepers

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