CYMDEITHAS GWENYNWYR CYMRU
THE WELSH BEEKEEPERS’ ASSOCIATION
Sefydlwyd/Established 1943 Registered Charity – No 509929
1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017
Chair David John Bowles
Vice Chair Lesley Williams (coopted August 2017)
Treasurer Graham Wheeler (elected SGM 7.11.15) – Trustee since AGM March 2014
General Secretary Vacant
David John Bowles (elected AGM 2014)
Christopher Clarke (elected AGM 2016))
Lesley Williams (elected AGM 2016))
Peter Elvis (elected AGM 2017)
Gordon Lumby (elected AGM 2017)
Keith Davies (co-opted April 2017, confirmed at SGM June 24th 2017)
President Tony Shaw (elected AGM 2016)
Vice-presidents Fred Eckton
Membership Secretary David Kennedy
Minutes Secretary Currently vacant
Events Secretary Jill Wheeler (appointed 11.09.15)
Exam Secretaries Caroline Mullinex and Rachel Kellaway
Website Manager Nigel Dailey (appointed June 2017)
Editor Nigel Dailey
Sub-editor Elin Meek (appointed 7.12.15)
Technical Officer Wally Shaw
Insurance Officer John Bowles
Health & Safety Officer John Pilgrim (appointed 2016)
Publicity & Press Officer Angharad Westmore (appointed 2016)
WBKA Archive David Kennedy
WBKA COLOSS officer Garth Evans (appointed AGM 2017)
All trustees and WBKA officers give their time voluntarily and receive no remuneration or other benefits. The WBKA is indebted to these volunteers for their continued goodwill and efforts on behalf of the Association.
The Trustees have had regard to the guidance issued by the Charity Commission on public benefit.
Our Aims & Objectives:
The encouragement, improvement and advancement of beekeeping throughout Wales by:
Developing co-operation amongst all beekeepers throughout Wales and interchanging ideas and experiences,
Improving the standard of beekeeping by:
- publication of literature,
- providing and supporting the provision of apicultural educational aids and materials
- encouraging the training and qualification of beekeepers,
Arranging for national examinations at various levels,
Encouraging community participation in observing and learning about bees in safety, and developing an appreciation of the value of bees in the environment.
A list of meetings during the year can be found at the end of this report.
The Trustees met with the WBKA Council three times (March, June and November) to report on the actions of the Management Team and to seek guidance from the membership. At each of these meetings a minimum of 60% (11) of the WBKA Member Associations were represented and overall 84% (16) Associations attended at least one meeting. Minutes of all Management Team meetings have been circulated via Association Secretaries. Council meetings are scheduled for March 10th, June 23rd and November 3rd in 2018. The Management Team will meet at least four times in 2018 the first meeting being on February 3rd. The venue and date for Management Team meetings reflects the availability and home addresses of the Trustees to ensure maximum attendance and minimum travelling expenses are incurred.
Non Trustee officers of the WBKA will be invited to attend Management Team meetings during 2018 to assess the work of the trustees and the tone and content of meetings.
Although we have increased the overall numbers of Trustees, the Management Team struggled to make quorate meetings leading to the cancellation of Management Team Meetings in both October and December. This was mainly due to illness of Trustees or serious illness of a member of their family and thus unavoidable.
Concern is often expressed that we are failing to attract those who are beekeepers but who apparently do not wish to join an Association. Similarly concern was expressed about losses of members in some Associations (the overall membership has however remained fairly stable subject to normal ebb and flow which affects all similar organisations). It was pointed out that local recruitment is a matter for Member Associations. However, to assist and to address these concerns and in an effort to build the WBKA as an organisation which might be more attractive, the Management Team in 2016 canvassed Member Associations. From this work the
November Council meeting drew up a list of the requirement which was circulated as a Consultation Paper in early 2017. An offer was made at the June Council Meeting for Trustees to visit Associations around Wales to explain the role of the WBKA. To date three associations have taken this up.
The opportunity to develop the WBKA is limited by the number of people able to do it and as such this year has been taken up mainly in maintaining the status quo other than, of course, the early preparations for the 2018 75th Anniversary Event including work to identify a venue, arrange accommodation and invite speakers both on beekeeping and for entertainment at the Gala Dinner (among a myriad of other functions which such events entail). Work has proceeded.
Insurance: The WBKA Insurance cover is based on a number of conditions including the need for capitation to be paid on time. Payment of capitation is due from Associations on the 1st of January each year but an allowance is made providing that all monies due are received by the 31st March in that year. Member Associations are reminded of the need to make payment punctually. A separate
report on Insurance matters can be found later in this document.
Financial Reserves: The Reserve policy states that the Charity (WBKA) shall maintain a reserve of £10,000-£13,000. This reserve is required by Charity Law to cover operational and contractual expenses should the need arise. This policy is monitored and updated annually.
Monies held on the HSBC current account are used to not only cover the running costs of the Association but to fund various projects such as the running of courses and the dissemination of information, by various means, such as the website, publications and booklets.
A detailed financial report accompanies this document.
Governance: During 2017, as in the previous year, several factors hindered the Management Team in their running of the day to day business of the WBKA and ultimately curtailed their activities. The failure to appoint a Chairperson, a General Secretary or Vice Chairperson and the failure to recruit a full compliment of Trustees has increased the workload of several Officers in ensuring that essential tasks are covered. At the 2017 AGM two Trustees, Jenny Shaw and Andy Ryan retired. Three new Trustees have been elected – Peter Elvis and Gordon Lumby at the AGM, Keith Davies at the SGM in June. Peter has taken the lead role on Learning and
Development. Lynfa retired as Exam Secretary, the role now being taken by Rachel Hills and Caroline Mullinex. David Kennedy has fulfilled the role of Membership Secretary following the retirement of Ian Hubbuck. Ian deserves a specific vote of thanks for holding the fort until such time as a volunteer came forward. John Bowles took the role of temporary Chairperson on a meeting by meeting basis but was elected to the role of Chair at a Special General Meeting in June.
Membership: The WBKA has nineteen Member Associations who represent 1,728 Indirect Members. As part of the annual capitation fee levied on each Member Associationthe Indirect members benefit by receiving four editions of the 'Welsh Beekeeper’ and third party Public and Product Liability Insurance. There are currently twenty five Individual and eight Honorary Members of the Welsh Beekeepers’ Association. A detailed breakdown of membership accompanies this report.
Website: Some changes have been made to the website which is now managed by our EditorNigel Dailey.
Welsh Beekeeper Magazine: The editorial committee was re-structured in 2016 but following the resignation of the then Editor, Grant Williams, this has largely been managed by Nigel Dailey with some input by the Chair and the Events Secretary We have a lot to thank Nigel for as he initially volunteered as Assistant Editor but within weeks was left as lead Editorand Webmaster. A contract with the printer S&G was negotiated to include date protection procedures to ensure that beekeepers contact details were handled securely and only used for distribution of the magazine.
Publications: We are again grateful to Wally Shaw for writing the booklet on Honey Harvesting which was sent to all members last summer. Further copies are made available at Council Meetings for new members/beginners. The Council will be asked again this year as to whether there is any specific subject on which the membership would like to see other publications. The same applies to additions to the set of leaflets aimed at the general public of which we make templates available on the WBKA website for printing and distribution by member associations.
Logo: Three options for logos were offered at the AGM and the option B (mainly red) was chosen by a large majority.
75th Anniversary: The WBKA was formed in 1943 and 2018 will be the 75th anniversary of that founding. The Council agreed that an event in the form of a Summer school to replicate that which marked its launch in ’43 would be held. More detailed work has been done to identify venue, speakers and costs and a precis of this was given at the Council Meeting on the 4th November 2017.
Winter Losses: Response to the 2017 COLOSS Survey in Wales was reportedly very poor. A report on this will be appended to this report.
Archive: Work continues in gathering together historical WBKA documents to construct an archive after all the WBKA material stored at the Wales National Library was destroyed by fire. We are indebted to Ian Hubbuck for his endeavours to source and store these historical documents. We hope that anyone with relevant documents dating from before 2005 that Ian has not already sourced, will consider making them available to be copied.
The Trustees have worked with several external agencies during 2017 to ensure that Welsh beekeepers are kept fully informed and supported at a Wales, UK and European level. A list of the external meetings attended by the WBKA is given below.
Bee Health Advisory Forum (UK): Details are included in Technical Officer's report below.
Wales Pollinators Taskforce: In September 2016 the Welsh Government launched a scheme aimed to promote Wales as the first 'Bee Friendly' country. The WBKA Continues to be represented on this group by Peter Elvis.
CONBA: The Beekeeping Associations of Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland as well as the Bee Farmers Association jointly form CONBA which supports the interests of all beekeepers and beekeeping in the UK.
NDB: The National Diploma in Beekeeping is the highest formal academic beekeeping qualification available in the UK. As well as awarding the Diploma the NDB also run short courses on specific subjects that are of interest to some of our members. The WBKA is working to encourage the NDB to run short courses in Wales. Lynfa Davies attended the NDB Annual Meeting on behalf of the WBKA.
Internal WBKA Meetings 2017:
28th January – Management Team – Trustees and other Officers (Dolgellau)
1st March – Management Team (Dolgellau)
4th March – AGM, Council meeting and Event Committee meeting – (Rhayader)
17th April – Management Team – Trustees
1st June – Management Team Meeting – Trustees ( Dolgellau)
24th June – Council and Events Committee meetings– (Llanbister)
24th August – Management Team – Trustees and other Officers (Dolgellau)
22nd October – Management Team – Cancelled due to non quoracy
4th November – Council and Events Committee meetings (Rhayader)
A number of other informal meetings involving individual Trustees and Officers were held during the latter half of the year – 2 Editorial, 4 regarding Events and 75th Anniversary arrangements.
The Chair also attended and spoke at an Association meeting at Swansea and District and attended the Gower Show in their Centenary year to present Prizes to Swansea and District Association Members.
WBKA representation at External Meetings 2016:
Jenny Shaw (J.S.), John Bowles (J.B.), Leslie Williams (L.W.), Wally Shaw (W.S.),
Peter Elvis (P.E.), Lynfa Davies (L.D)
23rd March –Bee Health Advisory Forum: London (W.S. and J.B.) – Cancelled
7th April – CONBA: Harper Adams (JS and JB)
17th June – Wales Pollinator Taskforce: Newtown (PE.)
21st September – Bee Health Advisory Forum (W.S.)
25th October – CONBA: Esher, Surrey (J.B)
26th October – NDB: Esher, Surrey (L.D.)
12th December – Bee Health Advisory Forum: London (W.S.)
Learning and Development Committee:
Committee Meeting: Elan Valley Hotel, Rhayader, 4.11.2017 at 10.30
The L and D Committee has had a bit of a break in its schedule of meetings. Fortunately, the business of the committee has continued thanks to the efforts of existing members continuing to contribute and new members picking up their respective duties. We appointed/ confirmed the following posts
Wally Shaw: Technical
Frank Gellatly: Bee Health
Lynfa Davies: NBD rep and advisory
Jenny Shaw: Assessment, I.V. and advisory
Caroline Mullineaux: Exams Officer Modules and Higher Practical
Rachel Kellaway (formerly Hills): Exams Officer Basic Assessment
Pete Elvis: Trustee/ Chair
Steve Davies and Trisha Marlow are to be contacted and asked if they want to be involved.
We decided to hold L and D meetings on the same dates and in the same venues as the WBKA Committee meetings to save travel time for members.
Frank: Submitted report about Asian Hornet in WBKA magazine.
Wally: Had published three leaflets in the previous year. Would like approval to produce two further booklets this year: “Feeding Bees” and “Comb management”
Caroline: See attached report.
Rachel: See attached report.
It was agreed that we would annotate Basic Assessment Certificates with the following:
N.B. Late entries for Basic Assessment will no longer be accepted.
We will be attempting to standardise:
Colonies used for assessment
Levels of marking (via moderation exercises)
H and S across apiaries used for assessment purposes
2017 Examination Secretary Annual Report:
WBKA have continued to promote and offer Basic Assessments to Welsh candidates during 2017 with a total of 38 applications received. Of these, 22 went ahead during the year with the remainder deferred until 2018. The numbers of basic candidates, by association was: –
Flint & District: 4
Brecon & Radnor:3
Independent candidates: 2
In 2016, it was agreed that the BBKA Basic Assessment would be used and this arrangement continues ensuring a consistent approach for BBKA & WBKA members.
There were 21 passes in 2017. Congratulations to those candidates and thanks to all the assessors, association apiary managers, training officers and everyone else involved for their help in arranging the assessments at what is a busy time for everyone at the height of the active beekeeping season.
A number of applications were received quite late in the season – some too late for candidates to be able to take the Basic last year. To smooth the process going forward, basic applications should be submitted by 1 May each year with the aim of having all of these conducted by the end of July.
An article which gave details of the application process, deadlines etc was published in the winter edition of the Welsh Beekeeper.
WBKA continue to utilise the services of BBKA for the provision of modules and higher practical assessments and this arrangement is working well. WBKA have previously paid the exam membership fee for those Welsh candidates who are not BBKA members in their own right. It was agreed at the November 2017 Council meeting that WBKA would again pay the BBKA exam membership fees on behalf of Welsh candidates in 2018.
There were 9 candidates requiring this membership in 2017 at a total cost to WBKA of £81.
A breakdown of the modules taken by Welsh candidates in 2017 follows: –
6 candidates applied to take a total of 8 modules on 18 March though some deferral requests were subsequently received. On the day 4 candidates sat a total of 4 modules in 3 venues – in South Wales, North East Wales and Anglesey.
There were 2 passes. Congratulations to Carol Demmer (Module 1) and to Margaret Gill (Module 7).
5 candidates were due to sit 6 modules on 11 November but, on the day, 4 candidates sat one module each in 2 venues – one in South Wales and one in Conwy.
There were 3 passes. Congratulations to Kevin Jones, Jane Webber and Damien Love who all passed Module 1.
No higher practical assessments were taken by WBKA members in 2017.
BBKA have introduced 2 new practical assessments from 2018: –
• Honey Bee Health Certificate
• Certificate in Honey Bee Breeding
These will be available to candidates in Wales on the same basis as the modules and the higher practical assessments. The new assessments may well appeal to beekeepers who do not wish to undertake written modules but it would be good to see more Welsh beekeepers furthering their beekeeping education whether via the practical assessments or modules.
Locally organised study groups can be a great, and enjoyable, way of preparing for these. We will be happy to make suggestions about how local associations might organise these – contact email@example.com
Having only stepped into the exam secretary role last March, 2017 was a learning curve for us but we are grateful to our predecessor Lynfa for her support, to BBKA for helping to steer us through the module arrangement process, and to the wider WBKA Learning & Development Committee.
We are committed to communicating with members regularly through the Welsh Beekeeper and are always happy to hear from local associations to discuss how we might support them to encourage more members to give the education system a go!
Caroline Mullinex & Rachel Hills
Joint Exam Secretaries
The Spring Convention was attended by 410 delegates from across Wales and the borders. This year 44 Stewards helped to ensure that the convention was a success. The steward’s prize was donated by BB Wear and won by Jeff Davies. There were 5 new traders with 20 in total and displays from APHA, Bee Farmers and Bees Abroad. The convention made a surplus of £XXXX..XX. We used a third hall to
allow more traders to attend.
The Spring Festival was supported by 15 members stewarding the stand alongside the Bee Inspectors. I would like to thank Graham Wheeler, John Bowles and Keith Hall who set up the stand on my behalf. The stand was again very popular with both the general public and beekeepers from Wales and beyond.
The RWAS 24th to 27th July saw us move to a small stand in the Horticultural tent. This was to stay with the Welsh National Honey Show. A big Thank You! to Keith Hall, Peter Elvis and John Bowles for setting up the stand. 20 members stewarded the stand.
The planning for the 2018 Spring Convention is well underway. The Opening and main speakers have been booked:
Susie Hill- Past chairman of the Ulster Beekeepers Association (opening). Feeding-What, Why and When
Dr Paul Cross – Bangor University on Development of a miniature vibration energy harvester for battery-less tracking of honey bees
Kirsty Stainton – NBU on Research into Antivirals against Bee diseases, BDI sponsored lecture.
The planning for the 75th Anniversary Conference is well underway. We have 10 speakers giving 15 lectures, and 10 workshops covering 5 different topics. A thankyou to Lesley Williams and Jenny Shaw who started the planning in 2016 by finding a suitable venue, Aberystwyth University.
Once again the committee did not have a chair for most of the year as the WBKA did not have a Vice-chair.
www.wbka.com See Report of Webmaster appended
Editor: See Report of Editor appended
Publicity Officer: No report
Bee Inspection Service:
WBKA has continued to work closely with the Bee Inspection Service. There have been a few changes in staff this year and Frank Gellatly has published a brief report on this and the disease statistics for Wales in the winter edition of Welsh Beekeeper (WB). A more comprehensive report on beekeeping activities in Wales compiled by Frank can be found on BeeBase, and is well worth reading.
I am not sure these have gone away but there has not been much talk about them this year. If beekeepers have followed the advice to get queens mated as early in the year as possible, which decreases the probability of them mating with DWV infected drones, then this may have reduced the problem – it certainly works for us. Late season supersedures, which the beekeeper can’t usually prevent, seem to be particularly vulnerable. Whilst making nucs, we have seen what we think is evidence of vertical transmission of DWV, ie. the queen lays eggs or uses sperm carrying the virus which is transmitted to her offspring. If this is correct, it is more difficult to deal with.
Small Hive Beetle (SHB):
SHB has again made further territorial advances in Southern Italy during 2017 but has not yet been detected further afield. The Italian authorities seem still to be on an eradication programme but this is becoming increasingly unrealistic. The nonmovement zone for hives has recently been reduced from 100km to 50km, a development over which we registered our disapproval. However, this is an EU matter and I doubt our views will make any difference. Apparently the relationship between beekeepers and the Italian Government is not good and this does not make for good co-operation!
Asian Hornet (AH):
There has been a second incursion by the Asian hornet this year; at Woolacombe in Devon. The nest was quickly found and destroyed. DNA profiling showed that it was not related to the Tetbury nest found in 2016 and there is no evidence that AH has established elsewhere. As with last year’s nest, it was first detected by a beekeeper who followed all the correct procedures in reporting it. To give you some idea of the magnitude of the problem, there were 2,500 reports of AH last year and they all had to be triaged and suspicious ones checked out – no mean task. Based on experience so far it appears that beekeepers are likely to be the first line of defence.
We need to take this role seriously because it seems that AH could turn up almost anywhere. All Associations should encourage their members to set up monitoring traps – not indiscriminate killing traps.
Bee Health Advisory Forum (BHAF) Meetings:
A lot of the discussion at BHAF this year has been about BREXIT. I can’t say we are all that much wiser about how it will affect beekeeping. One thing that has been decided is that all the EU laws and regulations pertaining to beekeeping and honey will be adopted as a package by the UK Government who will make any necessary changes at some time in the future. This means that we will not experience any immediate changes. The reassurance has also been given by the Minister (fairly convincingly) that the Government will make good the shortfall in funding that currently comes from the EU Apicultural Fund (about £700k per annum). So again we should not experience any change to the current level of support.
The import of queens and bee packages to the UK has been steadily increasing over recent years; from 4,000 queens in 2011 to 15,000 in 2017. It seems to be widely accepted that this is an undesirable and potentially dangerous trend. BBKA already have a mandate from its membership to press for a ban on imports. More proactively, they have a plan to stimulate the home production of queens by running
courses in queen rearing. People who have taken this course (and passed an exam?) will be permitted to sell ‘quality assured’ queens. For various reasons I have grave doubts about the success of this idea. I think WBKA’s plan to teach all beekeepers (or at least a large proportion of our members) how to rear queens and make increase for themselves (hence the booklet ‘Simple Methods of Making
increase’) using locally adapted bees wherever possible is a much better approach. The aim to make Wales self-sufficient and thus reduce the demand for imports seems to be a much better idea. Ideally this would greatly reduce or eliminate demand rather than rely on the Government to enforce a ban. In the near future Defra will be sending out a questionnaire (yes another one) to beekeepers (all or just a sample I am not sure) in order to discover how beekeepers meet their needs for colonies and queens. I think it is worthwhile finding out about the current practice so I would urge beekeepers to co-operate and answer as best they can.
I don’t yet have any information on the result of the Annual Hive Count 2017 but it may be possible to provide an update by the time of the next Council Meeting. There has been no more talk about compulsory registration of beekeepers but I don’t think this is because it has gone away.
A new Bee Health Plan is due to be introduced in 2019 but so far no discussion has taken place at BHAF level, except that we have been asked to consider our existing terms of reference.
An article on oxalic vaporisation appeared in the summer edition of WB and I hope to do an update for this summer’s edition. If aporisation is to become a standard method of Varroa control (and I have not made up my mind about that yet) beekeepers need to know more about the practical use of the currently available equipment – it is not just a matter of shoving the heating cup into a hive and
switching it on!
After a long wait (not their fault) Vita (Europe) have recently assured us that ‘Hopguard II’ will be an addition to the approved Varroa treatments in 2018.
WBKA Technical Publication:
A new booklet in the WBKA series entitled ‘Harvesting Honey’ was completed and delivered to all WBKA Members with summer edition of WB 2017, in time for this year harvest – such as it was. A revised version of the WBKA Booklet (2010) ‘Comb Management’ is currently under preparation and will be issued with the summer edition of Welsh Beekeeper. Finally, the ‘Honey Bee Disease Identification Cards’, which were supposed to have been available for the 2017 season are still in the pipeline. I am not aware of a delivery date.
Wally Shaw (WBKA Technical Officer)
2nd February 2018
Insurance Officer’s Report 2017
The Welsh Bee Keepers Association Insurance Policies were renewed through the same Brokers – Coversure Insurance as from the 1st October 2017. The premiums for the year had risen by a little under 5%. That the increase was relatively small was surprising given the significant claim settled during the year.
Details of the Combined Liabilities Policy which provides protection for members against risk arising from their hobby and any posed by their products are available on the WBKA Website.
A number of queries that had been raised during 2016 had been addressed in last year’s report and while I do not intend to reprint these I feel that the greater use of Sublimated Oxalic Acid in Association Apiaries has increased the risk of a serious consequence to health. It is therefore worth repeating the response about the status of our members as volunteers. Health and Safety Regulations may not apply directly but our insurers stipulation that we treat our volunteers as employees is significant and should be read carefully by all Committee members.
Status of volunteers
As members of an Association most of us volunteer for a number of functions – officers of the association, trainers, members who help to care for the bees and maintain the apiary. The insurer considers all these volunteers to be “employees”. In terms of criminal legislation e.g. the Health and Safety at Work Act, we would normally have to have a minimum of one employee before our volunteers would become subject to the regulations. In our case our insurers require us to provide a similar duty of care for our volunteers as if we were an employer. This is not unfair when you consider that some of the processes that we undertake can be quite dangerous. Not only do we need to ensure that volunteers are protected far as reasonably practicable, against being stung (suits, gloves), we have the same duty
of care when they undertake other functions such as the use of motorised equipment, pesticides e.g. weed-killers, oxalic acid and manual handling.
We therefore need to ensure reasonable efforts are made to carry out and record effective risk assessments and provide our volunteers with protective equipment and trying to safeguard against the more serious risks. See the brief report on Health and Safety included as part of the Annual Report.
No cover is provided for penalties or compensation payable in the event of abuse of a child or vulnerable adult. Each Association should have a policy which deals with the special risks associated with training or mentoring children or vulnerable adults.
Where this is extensive the use of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) should be considered. Where training is requested by a school or other such organisation it will be up to them to apply for a DBS reference.
Health and Safety Trustee’s Report 2017
During 2016 John Pilgrim very kindly volunteered to undertake the role of Health and Safety Officer for the WBKA.
During the following year John wrote out to all associations requesting copies of Health and Safety Documentation.
This met with a very poor response. John also made a very full presentation to Council on what was required to comply with current Health and Safety Guidance. A number of delegates made the argument that as Associations we were not employers and thus health and Safety legislation would not apply; they also felt that the requirements were too complex.
This misses the point made at the time and set out in last year’s insurance report (and repeated above) that our volunteers when operating on behalf of their Association must be treated as employees. This means that their expectations are that we will comply with guidance which is appended to legislation where it applies. Failure to do this would potentially give them grounds to reject a claim.
John has drafted various risk assessment templates which he wished to publish on the WBKA website but has been frustrated by my wish that we incorporate these assessments into a document which will cover all aspects of the safe use of Association apiaries as it is there that the risk to individuals and the Association will be highest. I hope that John will continue to work with me during the coming months to develop this theme for your consideration.
Please see the appended document for details of the 2017 WBKA membership.
Declaration: The Trustees declare that they have approved the trustees’ report
Signed on behalf of the Charity’s trustees
Date: 28th January 2018
Date: 28th January 2018