Airedale Beekeepers Association

Airedale Beekeepers Association


ABKA Committee Meeting

Date: 29 November 2017

Time: 7pm

Venue: Sutton Cricket Club

Present: Sue Chatfield; Gill Taylor; Jane Denney; Jane Law; Steve Hill; John Peet; Linda Schofield

1Apologies: Chris Hardy; Suzanne Starling; Mike Barlow; Jonathan Sanders; Chris Solloway

2Minutes of the meeting held on: 2 November 2017: Accepted

3Matters Arising:

  • Working party for CC glasshouse space – Chris H still to recruit volunteers
  • Red Cross training event – Lots of positive feedback. Agreed a donation of £25 (Linda)
  • ABKA reps attended Gerald Partridge’s funeral and a donation was made. Our deepest sympathies go to Bryony and the family
  • Honey Show and Kerfuffle – A very pleasant evening for all attenders. Standard of entries was good as were the buffet supper and background music. The raffle raised £45 for association funds. Jane has prepared information about the winning entries for the website.

Congratulations to John Pickles for gaining most points in Show

Suggestion made that a pre-Show instruction session on what is being looked for in each category to encourage more entrants next year.

  • Purchase of speakers for the projector/laptop to assist with training events – many thanks to Suzanne, who has researched and purchased a 120-watt system with subwoofer, for £52.99, which will fully meet our requirements
  • Feedback on the honey extraction session – no one present who was there, but the deed was done in the upper room at the Parks Department Building at Cliffe Castle
  • ABKA presence at the 10 December Grand Opening at Cliffe Castle – we will have a stall for sales of honey, wax products and various kits and a table for candle rolling, both in the Natural History Room of the museum. We will offer face painting and the raffle for a Products of the Hive hamper, in the newly refurbished glasshouse section
  • Peter Hewitt has agreed to join the Constitution Revision Working Party – to reconvene in 2018


  • Jane D provided a copy of a letter of resignation, received from a long-standing member.

Discussed and agreed Linda to draft a letter for Committee approval before sending

  • Jane D advised that a donation of £100 has been received from an ABKA member, who wishes to remain anonymous. Members expressed their gratitude, hoping the donor will see the record in the Minutes, when posted on line
  • The latest Good News bulletin from BBKA has been circulated to members. Jane L noted that from this and items in the recent BBKA News some positive changes seem to be coming into effect
  • Information has been received from Bee Disease Insurance, advising local associations that the General Data Protection Regulation, coming into effect on 25 May 2018 will impact on BDI systems and processes. They will keep local associations posted about changes needing to be implemented to comply.

5Treasurers Report:

Steve advised that he is dealing with income generated from membership renewals and the Kerfuffle and outgoings in respect of the new association equipment, rolling wax order and expenses linked with the Kerfuffle.

£3225 presently in the current account/ £145 cash/ deposit account total as before

6Association Apiaries

ERH: Jill Mastin recently put fondant into the Cliffe Castle colony

Cliffe Castle: Richard Law has oiled the observation hive and repaired the tunnel. Info and photos in situ during the colony’s absence

7Agenda Items:

  • Progress with receipt of membership renewals – Jane D advised that 70:87 full members have paid up. No information available on Chris H’s random ring around to check reasons for delay. Linda and Jane D to make further contacts about outstanding payments.
  • E-mail issues – Gill explained that our website and mail service is offered free by a host that gives 24/7 support to users. It is a shared facility, so that spamming affecting any part of the user group profile has knock-on implications for all others. Remedies take time to take effect. In the meantime, bounce back e-mails from main group correspondence can usually be dealt with by sending repeats to the addresses affected en bloc, rather than by individual repeats.
  • Possible alternative site for an association apiary – We have a tenancy agreement with ERH for our apiary that runs for a further 5 years, but are mindful that the agreement will not necessarily be renewed. Suzanne has identified a potential alternative and is in the process of identifying our absolute ideal and most basic requirements with the other site tenants. Suzanne provided a copy of her letter outlining ABKA requirements.
  • Tasks for Cliffe Castle Grand Opening 10 December: Jane L to mail membership to identify help needed to set up, run the stall; the candle rolling; the face painting; raffle and the packing up. Linda to keep volunteers posted with the arrangements for the day as the planning unfolds and has completed a form for stall holders forwarded by Bradford Council.
  • Winter talks programme and room bookings: Ivor Flatman (Regional Bee Inspector)is available to give a talk on: Notifiable Pests and Diseases in Honeybees and the Advantages of BeeBase Registration on Saturday 14 February at 2pm Cliffe Castle Education Room. Jane to liaise with Keith Hebden about a talk on preparing wax to show and arrange room bookings. Peter Hewitt is also available to give a talk on the use of the Horsley Board for swarm prevention and queen rearing, requiring a fixed date and venue booking.
  • Feedback from the YBKA AGM (25 November) attended by Peter Hewitt and Linda

Linda’s notes, highlights given below, full record to follow

-Phil Gee’s feedback on results of the questionnaire on local groups’ views about YBKA will be circulated soon (only 6:22 groups responded, Airedale was one of the 6)

-The YBKA website is to be re-vamped

-As YBKA Chair, Phil wants to encourage a focus on recruiting young beekeepers throughout Yorkshire. The GPC has agreed grant funding of £2,500 to be available to local groups with plans to work with youngsters

-Training Officer Yvonne Kilvington intends to resign, when a replacement is available. She has been recruited to work with BBKA on making their apiary site suitable for young visitors/trainees. Yvonne advised that Bee Basic applicants were down to 24 this year across the region. Modules study sessions will be offered again from December, Airedale attendance at these given special mention. More successful Modules exam entrants this year. The Mead Making workshop was well attended and appreciated, despite a last-minute re-location, with hopes to repeat in September 2018. The General Husbandry training in 2017 had to be disbanded, due to low take up but is hoped to be offered again.

-Samantha Lovell (Huddersfield) will be the new editor of the YBKA newsletter from the second quarter of 2018

-YBKA Spring Conference is scheduled for March 24 at Manor Academy, York. The day will consist of guest speakers and workshops. Tickets cost £10, with an additional £10 charge for cold or hot food ordered in advance (by February 24th), no extra charge for attenders bringing a packed lunch.

-Feedback on the Great Yorkshire Show 2017 included special mention of inputs from Richard Law and Linda Schofield from Airedale.

-Tony Jefferson (Whitby) is needing to resign as YBKA representative at BBKA delegates meetings, due to pressures of his day job.

-A volunteer to act as YBKA Membership Secretary has stepped forward from Rotherham, this will relieve Treasurer Norbert Cooper from covering both roles

-Certificates of Merit were awarded to:

The Maslins (Beverley); Tony Jefferson (Whitby); Dr Henry Kaye (Scarborough); Peter Schollick (Richmond); Alan and Kath Brown (Wakefield/Pontefract)

-Ivor Flatman (NBU) advised that he would be retiring in April 2018. Will be circulating his annual report for 2017 in due course. This year has seen 10 incidents of AFB and 41 of EFB, a slight increase but wider spread of affected sites. NBU has been 2 staff down this year. One of the new workers recruited will cover West Yorkshire, due to the incidence of notifiable diseases being discovered there.

-It was clarified that YBKA is not able to offer a bulk purchasing for members, as the various suppliers will not give a discount rate below that offered to individual buyers.

-The revised YBKA Constitution was accepted.

-Local groups were reminded that funding is available from YBKA to cover the cost of providing meetings open to members of other associations.

-Handouts of “Guide to Bees of Britain” wallcharts given x2 per Association. Roger Chappel (Secretary of YBKA) can provide extra at a reduced price.

It was agreed that ABKA give one of the wall charts to ERH and one to Cliffe Castle.

Any Other Business:

  • New Beginners Training update – Gill and John Peet will be presenting the initial session of “Meet the Bees” at Cliffe Castle on Sunday 4 March, beginning at 10.30am. This will be a broad overview of honeybee society,including time and cost implications for prospective beekeepers. The session will also include videos, quizzes and handouts, even for those who will not progress to actively keep bees, but can help by awareness of bee friendly planting etc. The session is envisaged to run for 3-4 hours and will be written up to enable others to teach it in due course. Jonathan is facilitating the session, making sure that all the necessary equipment and resources are available. Sue Chatfield offered to assist with this. 6 people signed up so far.

Linda to continue liaising with Cliffe Castle staff about PAT testing requirements in the light of information provided by Ivor Flatman.

Suzanne provided a report to inform that progress with the Work Books for those progressing to work alongside a Bee Buddy and begin to keep bees in their second year, is well underway. Jane L, Chris H, Louise Mallinson and Linda are all involved in writing various competency specifications. The additional 3 training sessions for new beekeepers still need to be staffed and the number of volunteers to act as Bee Buddies has been rather disappointing.

It was agreed that the ABKA Social Membership subscription recommended for new trainees should be continued from point of payment to October of the following year, when those progressing to keep bees will need to have the appropriate insurance cover.

Steve clarified that his firm can offer PAT testing of equipment needed for the training programme over the weekend of 9-10 December, for a nominal fee.

  • Suzanne Starling’s resignation: Suzanne has written to the Committee to tender her resignation. She has kindly offered to complete her work on the new Beginners Training programme and monitoring systems and effectively see the first year through, but the post of Education Co-Ordinator will need to be filled by the end of next season. Suzanne has offered to continue attendance at committee meetings, until then, to provide progress updates if required.

Committee members agreed that Suzanne’s attendance would be most helpful. Linda to draft a letter for Suzanne, to express our sadness to hear her decision and our thanks for all she has contributed to ABKA over the years.

Date of next meeting:January 18th 2018, 7pm. Venue: Apartment 7, Sutton Court, Corn Mill Walk, BD20 7EF