Workshops

Workshops at the 2017 Conference:

 

Workshops

       
Date Workshop title Workshop leader Time Speaker profile Workshop brief
16th Sept Introduction to the new BBKA exams Marin Anastassov NDB 15:45 Marin has BSc in Animal Science, MSc in Organic Farming and gained recently the National Diploma in Beekeeping. He has kept bees for over 20 years and currently manages 25 colonies in Gloucestershire. Marin is a Master Beekeeper, chairman of Gloucestershire Beekeepers Association and serves on the BBKA Examinations Board. He is an assessor for the Basic, General Husbandry and Advanced Husbandry certificates and is part of the team responsible for the development and implementation of the new BBKA Certificate in honey bee breeding. Based on popular demand, over the last year, the BBKA Examinations board has worked in developing and piloting the two new certificates (Certificate in honey bee breeding and Certificate in honey bee health), that will be added to the portfolio of beekeeping assessments in 2018. In this session we will discover the purpose and rationale behind these modules, as well as what the potential future candidates need to do, in order to prepare and be successful in taking on these assessments. 
Disease management Colin Pavey 14:30 Colin graduated University of Portsmouth with degree in Business studies. Having worked as a commercial manager, with wide experience of sales and marketing in a range of markets, he is now the Regional Bee Inspector for the Western England Region, managing the team of Seasonal Bee Inspectors. Colin is the President of Herefordshire Beekeepers Association and is involved in teaching beekeepers at all levels.  An overview of the ways you can proactively manage your colonies to keep them healthy and thriving. In this workshop, we will look at the common pests and disease of the honey bees and the recommended techniques available to beekeepers for their management. 
How clean is your kit? Liz Gardener 15:45 Liz started beekeeping in 2009 and she currently runs 15 colonies in Gloucestershire. She is an avid supporter of the near native bees and for the duration of her beekeeping, she has never bought and introduced a queen, other than those she has bred herself. Liz is a Seasonal Bee Inspector and is actively involved in promoting the craft of beekeeping at both regional and National level. A practical session on the different methods for cleaning and disinfection of bee equipment and tools, such as smokers, hive tools and clothing, that form an integral part in the management of honey bee pest and disease. The workshop will cover all aspects of wooden, plastic and poly hives maintenance and cleaning, as well as methods for comb fumigation and comb storage to minimise the damage caused by wax moth and mice. 
DIY hive monitoring Nick Lambert 14:30 Nick joined the Cheltenham & Gloucester branch of the GBKA and started keeping bees in 2002. After a few years he became more and more fascinated by the bees and decided to learn a lot more about them. Nick placed the “I don’t want to do exams at my age” feeling behind him and took the BBKA basic, then, he commenced study on the BBKA modules and also did the microscopy exam. Nick is a tutor at the branch apiary, a presenter on the winter training programme and runs a microscopy for beekeepers class. In this session we will learn how to use cheap, readily available electronic sensors and an Arduino microcontroller to build a hive monitor. With it, you can perform real time monitoring of temperatures at various points in the hive, humidity, monitor hive weight etc. We’ll look at some simple devices and how to use them by programing the controller.  Once you get the basics you’re only limited by your own ingenuity, it’s just like building with Lego!
Snelgrove method of swarm control Jenny Shaw 15:45 Jenny and Wally have been beekeeping together since 1987 (30 years). This started with one hive to help pollinate a newly planted orchard. But what was intended to be a sideling to gardening gradually became an obsession. They currently manage 40 of their own hives, the Anglesey Beekeepers association apiary (12 hives) and have this year made 30 nucs of locally adapted bees. Jenny and Wally are equal partners in their beekeeping and share the lead role by taking responsibility for alternate hives. Jenny is ex-Chair of the Welsh Beekeepers Association (WBKA) and ABKA training officer and Wally is WBKA Technical Officer. He has written several WBKA booklets on beekeeping matters and is currently responsible for the Q&A section of BBKA News. In this practical session we will demonstrate the Snelgrove method of swarm control and the logistics involved using colour coded hive boxes. We also hope to be able to show a short video of the method being done live on hives that have set up to swarm.
Making pollen reference slides Bob Smith NDB 14:30 Bob has kept bees for 40 years but still experiments with their management, this year running all colonies on double (14×12) brood; strong colonies make lots of honey!  6 years as a Seasonal Bee Inspector in Kent provided insights into bee health and the proactive management of these fascinating insect colonies; that led to continuous investigation of the how and why of beekeeping. 
With interests in botany and pollen, Bob has run microscopy courses aiming to identify our bees’ foraging behaviour.  Pollen is wonderful stuff ……
This workshop will concentrate on preparing good slides for further examination; we will explore two or three ways of sampling pollen from flowers and look at ways to tackle the pollen pellets obtained from pollen traps.  The transfer of pollen in honey to a microscope slide will be discussed but not practiced.  Similarly, the use of microscopes and the various pollen keys, such as Sawyer, can be discussed but are not the primary focus of the workshop.
Preparing for the winter Margaret Murdin NDB 14:30 Margaret has kept bees for over 10 years and now has over 20 colonies across three apiaries. She is a Master Beekeeper, holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping and won the Wax Chandlers’ Award. Margaret is Chair of the trustees of the British Beekeepers Association, a member of the Education and Husbandry Committee and sits on the Examination Board. She is a Correspondence Course tutor and an assessor for module examinations and husbandry assessments. Previously Margaret was the Principal of a large further and higher education college, a Chief Examiner for teacher education and a tutor and examiner for the Open University. Winter can be challenging time for honey bees and in the late summer and autumn we need to ensure we manage our colonies in a way so they have the best chance of survival. In this workshop we will look at the critical tasks that we need to complete to help our bees make healthy and strong colonies on the following year.

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MSWCC LogoOur workshops aim to give Conference visitors some practical experience in a wide variety of beekeeping-associated subjects where they can broaden their interests, ask those ‘how to’ questions and get some hands-on experience.