We currently have a committee of six and 8 other members in total (who I’m contacting to see if the new location is still convenient for them) and 4 others whose expressed an interest in joining the group. So we are in flux but very stable given the significance of moving our apiary after 50 years at the other site.
On Sunday we felt at last we were settled in. It was the end of a complex and time-consuming task, especially given the pandemic restrictions and personal health and safety issues. All six committee members were involved. We transferred 27 colonies, all the stands and flagstones, dismantled and rebuilt two large sheds, and moved all contents the 12 miles across Nottinghamshire. Finding a new site, establishing a new relationship with the landowner and designing the new apiary layout were interesting challenges.
Whilst we will no longer have the genetic drone flooding of Thrumpton environs, at the new site we have permission to place independent groups of drone colonies in several locations of our choice over a considerable acreage of land. There is also a more diverse range of forage available at the new apiary site
Given these new circumstances this move presented us with an opportunity to reflect on our learning and ambitions for the Group. The core aspects of our purpose and main objectives remain unchanged. Our bees are dark, have good temper and when checked for weight all seem in good condition to get through the winter. Some samples were sent to Plymouth University during the summer for DNA check and we are awaiting results. Next February we will start building up the drone colonies placed already in two sets of 3 across the estate. We are currently starting to locate and contact beekeepers who have colonies near by to chat to them about our plans and objectives for the new season with the intention to build up the genetic proportion of Amm around the new location. Whilst this sounds ambitious, we have set our sights on moving further out from our Group Apiary as the centre to include other beekeepers with the intention to establish a local near native Amm strain ‘queen mating zone’ as described in the BIBBA proposal.
The winter months will be spent now sorting and repairing stored gear, and getting equipment ready for the new season. We do wish to continue to be associated with National BIBBA and the NatBIP programme.