Positive Thinking
December, 2018
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Mission Statement: 
  • To further and promote the craft of beekeeping
  • To advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment. 
The unified voice of British Beekeeping
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If we could ask one thing of you this weekend it would be to buy an Adopt a Beehive and see collectively how many we can sell as one big final push this weekend. The 'official' deadline to receive packs in time for Christmas is the 17th. Please show us your support!
As this is our final Newsletter of 2018, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
-Margaret Wilson, Chair of the BBKA
The Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM) 
The Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM) papers have been sent out to your delegates and are available in the members’ area of the website under ‘compliance’.  This meeting is the policy making forum for the BBKA and I encourage you to have a look at what is proposed. 
In particular the Trustees are proposing a new grievance procedure which would, if needs be, progress through on appeal to the use of binding arbitration using a professional arbitrator. This, the trustees feel would be a better final route than such matters being considered by upwards of 80 delegates at an ADM.  
At last year's ADM the trustees were given the go ahead to proceed with conversion of the BBKA to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).  This is a much more suitable vehicle for an organisation of the BBKA's size where we own property and employ staff.  The final version of this CIO document will be put the delegates for approval at the meeting. 
I would encourage you to feed your views through to your association delegate in good time for the meeting in January.
Special Editions
The BBKA has created special A4 laminated sheets showing how to take three actions in our apiary, the Bailey Comb Change, a Shook Swarm and a Pagden swarm control.  These were the product of Wendy Maslin who again gave her expertise without charge to the BBKA.
The cost is £1.00 each and they are two sided, a visual instruction then overleaf the written instructions.  This allows you to take the sheets to the Apiary without fear of the sheet blowing away, any propolis or bee poo that gets on the sheets can be easily wiped off when the task is done. They are also a very good educational tool at the local branches, for  beginners or even in some cases for experienced beekeepers.
Forthcoming major change to our exams. In the interests of becoming more inclusive and removing barriers for some people, the Exam Board has decided to remove the requirement that you must have a pass in the Basic Assessment in order to take the written modules.
The change will probably be introduced from late next year.... We still fully support the Basic Assessment and want to encourage as many members as possible to take it. It is the start of the path to becoming a fully qualified beekeeper.
However, we recognise that there are some members who will always find it difficult or even impossible to take their Basic because eg. they may be severely allergic to bee venom. So, it is really for exceptional circumstances.
Candidates for all BBKA exams still need to be members of the BBKA.  If you wish to take any of the practical exams you will still need the Basic. 
General Husbandry Training 
We are very pleased to announce that the BBKA Education and Husbandry Committee will again provide support to those who plan to take the General Husbandry (GH) Assessment in near future.
The training is running between January and June 2019, and will be facilitated by a team of six Master Beekeepers who are also GH assessors, in the following locations:
Stoneleigh, Warwickshire
23rd and 24th March 2019 - Theory
8th June 2019 - Apiary
Epsom, London
2nd and 3rd March 2019 - Theory
11th May – Apiary
Sheffield, Yorkshire
27th and 28th April 2019 - Theory
9th June – Apiary
The programme of 20 hours will cover both practical and theoretical aspects of the General Husbandry assessment, aiming to give the participants an understanding of what the assessment entails and what they need to do in order to be successful.
The candidates are required to hold the BBKA Basic Certificate, and to be eligible to take the GH assessment in 2019 or 2020.  Course fee £90.
For more information or to subscribe, please contact Marin Anastasov, NDB manastassov@aol.com
Asian Hornet and your Insurance cover 
With the prediction that next year we will have more sightings of the Asian Hornet we have consulted with our insurers to confirm what cover we have if we are Asian Hornet Hunting.  Although this is not really a beekeeping activity although it is important to all beekeepers and other conservationists.  Below is an extract of that response.
  • It is high risk
  • It appears that it might be starting to grow into much more regular national activity
  • This would depart from main Beekeeping activity
  • Such activity might not be exclusively undertaken by beekeepers which could get very complicated
  • Many are at a height which is effectively excluded from the insurance cover.
  • Dangers have already been highlighted with the incident of a Jersey Beekeeper where a member of the public was attacked when a nest was disturbed and suffered an anaphylactic shock and almost lost his life.
  • Premiums over the past three years have been reduced by over 50% aided by low claims, one claim for a serious incident could reverse this. Two or three incidents could cause irreparable damage to the BBKA insurance record and premiums/subscriptions.
  • By restricting the activities to those approved and mandated by the BBKA Board of Trustees (which as we understand, are incidents occurring in an apiary) would ensure that there is cover when it is needed.
May we suggest that if you intend to take an active part in Asian Hornet Hunting that you ensure that your own household insurance gives you the insurance cover you need.
New Category of Membership - School & Educational Establishments (SEEs) 
One of the propositions that will be voted on by your delegate at the ADM is whether or not to allow a new category of BBKA membership.  At present branches have 5 categories of BBKA membership they can use - Registered, Partner, Country, Junior or Honorary. 
A lot of branches have contacted us about a school, after-school club, brownie pack or youth group that they are working with, who want to become branch members, but the branch doesn’t know what category to join them as.  Hence the BBKA is proposing a School & Educational Establishment category.  One person from eg a school would be the contact point receiving BBKA News Magazine and have access the new website for ‘Bees in the Curriculum’ which has lesson plans and general information about the wonderful world of bees. The cost for this membership would be the same as for a registered member.
Most schools who contact us for help do not want to keep bees themselves but would love to have a closer relationship with their local beekeeping group who might go into school to talk about their bees, show the children their suit and equipment or perhaps an observation hive.  Branches who are working with schools in this way have reported to us how rewarding it is. 
Table of Contents
Bulk orders
Order NOW for collection at the ADM
Thinking ahead to the New Year and the ‘Introduction to Beekeeping’ courses you will be running – you may want to purchase a bulk order of some of the BBKA Special Edition Series Booklets or the BBKA Guide to Beekeeping 2nd Edition book. 
If so please give us call on 02476 698620 – we can take your order and bring it with us to the ADM for collection – this cuts out the postage costs.  All items must be paid for by either credit/debit card when placing the order. 
These prices are for 10 copies of each book/booklet and over:

BBKA Guide to Beekeeping 2nd Edition £12.00 each
BBKA News – In the Apiary £3.00 each

BBKA News - Honey Bee Anatomy £3.00 each

BBKA News – Feeding Honey Bees £3.00 each

BBKA News – Flower Families for Forage £3.00 each
BBKA News - Swarming £3.00 each

BBKA News – General Husbandry £8.00 each
BBKA News - Advanced Husbandry £8.00 each
**Order NOW for collection at the ADM**
Thanks to Ken (a trustee for 7 years and he has really made a difference to our Education programme) his dedication and service to the BBKA will be sorely missed, also to Simon Cavill who is  now standing down after three years although he has agreed to  organise the  English team for IMYB again for us  in 2019 after his recent success in France last year.
The BBKA forum is a welcoming friendly place to come and discuss bees and beekeeping. With new conversations being added all the time with topics such as 'Advice on finding a site, mouse guards and chicken wire!  
Spring Convention - Microscopy 2020
From 2020 the Exam Board and the Spring Convention Committee hope to work together to hold the BBKA Microscopy Assessment at the Spring Convention. It will depend on availability of Assessors and facilities but we think it is feasible. 
It cannot take place at the 2019 Spring Convention because there is insufficient time to allow candidates to prepare their pollen slides because these have to reflect bee plants across the year.
So, we hope to hold it at the 2020 Spring Convention if all goes well and the assessors agree. 
Recyclable Wrapping for the BBKA News
The Editor of the BBKA, Sharon Blake has researched different wrappings and has experimented with some methods of delivery.  The best option is to use a potato starch wrapper when the current stocks of wrapping have been exhausted.  
The potato starch wrapping is more expensive than the one currently used so the cost will increase but we feel that we should proceed with the changeover to remove plastic wrapping from our magazine.  Another alternative is to use a paper envelope but in order to keep the weight below 100g for postage costs, the dimensions of the magazine would need to be trimmed.  We are asking the delegates at the ADM to vote on what to do. 

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The British Beekeepers Association
National Agricultural Centre
Stoneleigh Park

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