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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy new year to all my readers!

I'm now the editor (and printer, enveloper, stamper and poster) of Beelines, the Monthly Newsletter of the Melksham and District Beekeepers Association.

In line with the infamous Peter Principle, the club has chosen the person with least beekeeping nous to take up the position.

I would like to publish it on the blog, but it contains member's names, so I can't. But I can show you the rather subtle Photoshopped photo that I put on the front page.

You might recognise the photo from the blog. It was taken by son Tom with a Canon DSLR. If you want to take bee photos, a DSLR with 12M pixels is essential. Getting bees in focus still requires the skill and eyesight of an 18 year-old.

My last contact with the bees was trying to fit a mouseguard to one. Although I used the utmost stealth, I was attacked by a host of angry bees and stung on legs and ankles (head and arms were luckily protected). They really don't like being approached when it's cold and windy and there is no honey flow. Good luck to any mouse that tries to make that hive a home.

I have decided against giving any hive a Oxalic Acid varroa treatment. Not because I don't think it will work, but because I am so incompetent (cack-handed, does that translate?) that I am likely to harm them inadvertently.

I will be reporting on the health of my four hives in the new year.

Happy new year!