East Midlands AGM Minutes 2017

East Midlands AGM Minutes 2017

East Midlands AGM Minutes

Thrumpton Village Hall, 26th February 2017 @ 7.30pm


The meeting started prompt at 7.30 pm and ended at 10pm. It was a well-attended and had a very full agenda.


Thirteen members present – Adrian (Adee) Brazener, Geoff Lovegrove, Frank Chambers, Dave Connolly, Tony Maggs, Nigel Collier, Janet Bates, Roger (Jack) Frost, John Stephens, Roger Mould, Keith Cosgrove, Adam O’Brien, Alan Wilkins

Apologies – Ed Pearson, John Cocker, Albert Knight, Martin Brown

Minutes of Last AGM

Passed as a true record and no matters arising


Chairperson – Adam O’Brien

Opened the meeting with a warm welcome for all – last year had been another step in developing the group and the bee breeding programme that now enables all to move on with the learning for the new season.

Secretaries – Alan Wilkins and Roger Mould

Key tasks included:

  • checking membership details, compilation of definitive membership list
  • contacting national BIBBA, attending national conference and changing website information on the group
  • contacting two other groups, Steve Rose in North Wales and Mike Saunders in Ludlow – potential meet ups during new season
  • Endeavouring to find a way of contacting all members to make all we do more inclusive

Apiary Manager – Keith Cosgrave

Queen rearing and mating – We had our best results ever with the early batches of queens raised in May and June. Mating success at the dams using the mini-nucs was excellent. Feeding before and after inserting the grafts helped in producing large queens. The storage of nucs for 5 days after making up was perfect using Roger Mould’s warehouse, which had a cool and even temperature. Nucs were in great condition when they reached the mating site. Marking the virgins before introduction to the nucs had no effect on mating success. July queen rearing was less successful with few cells finished and a poor mating rate at the mating site.

Drone supply at the mating apiary – We used Conner’s method and timetable for ensuring a good supply of drones and it worked perfectly. It consists of introducing drone comb into drone breeder colonies and subsequently making up a colony consisting of all the resulting ripe drone brood plus frames of worker brood and adhering bees. This colony is given a caged virgin so that it will look after the super abundant population of drones. The method gives a large population of sexually mature drones from many donor queens in one box. Good timing is crucial and the queen rearing starts 21 days after the drone eggs are laid.

Queen introduction – This was poor with many queens being rejected or being quickly superseded. There are many reasons for queens being rejected and it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason. I think it is a universal problem. Copies of Conner’s ideas on this subject were circulated. We are losing approximately 75% of mated queens on introduction or shortly afterwards due to supersedure.   All other aspects of our queen rearing programme good indeed so we need to get this last bit right in future.

Colonies going into spring – We have 14 colonies of which 6/9 are headed by queens bred from Irish or Scottish A. mellifera mellifera. The exact numbers will be confirmed after first spring full inspection.

Record keeping – The A5 printed inspection notes has worked reasonably well. I think they need revising though to make it clearer as to what needs recording and to give info on the queen’s mother and where the queen was mated. We should produce family trees for our queens so we can trace queens backwards and forwards. Family trees are easier to follow and interpret than stud books where you must cross reference and trace backwards and forwards through notes.

Treasurer – Keith Cosgrave

Full accounts for year presented – main details are:

Income – Honey sales – £930.00; Subs – £130.00. Total income £1060.00

Expenditure – meeting room, apiguard, creosote, candipoline, sugar, fondant, keys, gas and gas regulator, queen rearing equipment, drone foundation, brood frames, foundation, wood for crown boards, paint, solar extractor glass, replacement mower. Thornes sales purchases plus wood for double brood box conversions – 200 brood frames, 3 roofs, 20 brood bodies, 25 wire excluders, 20 sheets varroa mesh. Total expenditure       £1744.76

Expenditure over income £684.76. Brought forward from last AGM £775.55

Total assets       £90.99

Discussion focussed on the very low asset figure and the interim quorate meeting at apiary that authorised the spend for brood box conversions – this refurbishment of equipment has enabled the group to seamlessly move into the breeding programme with everything ready; projected honey sales and membership dues will create a new reserve as year progresses

Equipment Officer – Geoff Lovegrove

All equipment checked and an audit will be taken when shed is cleared as equipment is taken out and used. Main tasks have been:

  • Shed painted and solar extractor refurbished with frame and glass
  • New crown boards purchased/made
  • All frames cleaned and ready for foundation
  • All 20 mesh floors for the twin brood boxes are ready, complete with 2 entrance blocks each, 1 central divider and 2 crown boards. Not yet finished dummy boards. There will also be roofs available for all.
  • 10 brood boxes have been adapted so far, we need to adapt 10 more. We will assemble the new ones to exchange for the older ones in the apiary.  Jack has started to assemble the new ones and paint them, he’s also painted all the new mesh floors.
  • 25 new wire queen excluders made for the apiary. They should be painted for protection.
  • Have been trying to brand everything as we go along
  • Wax traded at Thornes for foundation

Action: hive stands need replacing – several methods were discussed. Geoff to consider and advise

Head Grounds Person – Ed Pearson

I am prepared to cut the grass at beginning and end of season when it needs a more powerful and rugged motor than the one we have in the shed. I do not have the time I used to have to come down on a Sunday and so I would appreciate a few volunteers and suggest that from May to end September I share the job with others. It’s a 1.5 hour job.

proposal – A ‘grass cutting rota’ would be useful. I will cut up to May and after September with my home-machine. If you wish to take names (emails) of volunteers I’ll arrange a rota to fit everyone’s availability with me as stand in for any ‘no-shows’. I hope that sounds a fair.

Election of Officers

Honorary president             – Albert Knight

Chairperson              – Adam O’Brien

Joint Secretaries      – Alan Wilkins (lead) and Roger Mould (support)

Apiary Manager        – Keith Cosgrave

Treasurer                   – Keith Cosgrave

Equipment Officer   – Geoff Lovegrove

Head Grounds Person – Ed Pearson

Proposal that all current officers be re-elected to same positions for 2017 by Roger Mould and seconded by Adam O’Brien was carried unanimously.

Part Two- Strategy 2017 – see separate post


Any Other Business

  • Update on lecture given by Roger Patterson on queen rearing. Agreed to consider asking Roger to run sessions with our group
  • Curry meet ups – Jack will continue to organize these successful social events
  • Defunct Bee Hause – Given to Keith, but unused, suggestion that this be placed on EBay

Action: Keith to liaise with Nigel

BIBBA EM Subscriptions for 2017

To be held at current rate of £10 per member

Meeting Dates

Next AGM – last Sunday of February – 27th February 2018

The group will now continue to meet every Sunday at 12.00 at the Thrumpton apiary until the clocks go forward on 26th March when they will revert to usual 2 o’clock summertime start 2pm onwards.