It is the prime swarming season, with this lovely warm weather being the time to move house. If you see a swarm in need of collection please ring us on 07531 901767 and we will send some one round to have a look.

COLOSS Winter Hive Loss Survey 2018

COLOSS would like to invite all English bee keepers to complete the hive loss survey for 2018.    Beekeepers in each region are invited to fill in the questionnaire for 2018 (link below).  This will enable COLOSS to compare answers with other beekeepers and estimate the relative risk of colony losses for beekeeper decisions such as Varroa treatment, migration of colonies and comb replacement. They also aim to identify differences in relative mortality risk between regions. This will enable follow up research projects in specific regions.

The survey link :

Instructions for completing the survey   —  You may wish to print out  a copy of these instructions for reference  —

  1. Please read the questions carefully and answer as many as possible. Your cooperation is much appreciated.
  2. Only complete the electronic “Official COLOSS” questionnaire once.
  3. There are separate paper questionnaires from the National Bee Unit (NBU) in circulation and also pending a Winter loss survey from the British Bee Keepers Association (BBKA). Though there is some overlap between the three surveys please treats each survey separately. Each organisation’s questionnaire has been designed to meet different organisational purposes. At present efforts between the three organisations are uncoordinated it is hoped that in the future we will be able to coordinate our efforts.
  4. Please note that questions marked with * have to be completed.
  5. Excluding the informed consent question,  final comments box there are 31 questions.
  6. The survey asks questions about your bee keeping practice over the last 12 months, in particular the number of colonies you have in production and have lost over the winter period. You may wish to consult your records before starting the survey.
  7. The questionnaire should be done in one sitting and should take about 15 minutes to complete.
  8. However if you wish to complete the survey in more than one sitting to check your answers for example, you can do so by providing a User ID and password. You will be emailed a link to complete the survey. Click on the greyed out words “Resume later” on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
  9. This questionnaire will be close on 5th June 2018.
  10. The second page of the survey is an informed consent form, please select the checkboxes/statements that apply to you, finally on this page place your initials in the “Other” box at the bottom of the page to indicate your consent.
  11. Finally on completing the survey you will have the option of printing out your survey responses for your records.
  12. The survey is electronic form and there is no provision for a paper copy, however if you do not have online access or you are below the age of 18 you may find someone to complete the survey on your behalf.
  13. If you have any questions about the survey then please contact Anthony Williams at the email address:

Winchester BKA Skep-Making Day

Chris Park ( will be running a skep-making day for Winchester and District BKA at Beauworth village hall (6 miles east of Winchester) on Saturday 2 June (10am-4pm).  Places are currently available for members of other local associations.

People will be able to make about 1/3 of a skep on the day, and take away enough material to finish it off at home.  The cost is £35.00 (payable to WDBKA in advance), to include light refreshments; plus the cost of materials (about £15) and tools (£5-£7) to pay Chris Park on the day (ie the total cost will be around £55).    Tools can be borrowed for the day from Chris Park at no charge (eg for those who want to share the tools for finishing their skeps at home). You will need to bring a waterproof apron and a pair of scissors.

To reserve a place on the course please contact Richard Ray for details.

Apiary Cleaning & SCM

At 2pm the data protection amendment to the Constitution was passed unanimously, proposed by Peter Reader, seconded by Richard Williams and then the real work of the afternoon began.

The rain held off and eighteen members, new and old, made short work of the stacks of equipment laid out by the (I thought optimistic) Custodians.  Now the Apiary is set for the new season.  A big thank you to all who participated.


Unsung Hero award 2017

We took great pleasure in awarding our new Unsung Hero award to Greg for his sterling work as our Swarm Collection co-ordinator, among other important things. So next time you get a call to collect a swarm of bees, remember to thank Greg (oh, and get your name down ready for the season to come).