Spring 2011 - (last updated 11/03/2011)

Including Cricket Club, Church & Parish Council News March 2011

Sat 19th March – RED NOSE Family Quiz Night
Time to get those little grey cells working! Phil Cooper and Sharon Ward will be asking the questions. £2.50 including cold buffet . RED NOSES TO BE WORN, All proceeds to Comic Relief . . . . . . . . . . .

Fri 25th March Supper Club 7pm
Once again you can have a cooking free start to the weekend. Menu: TBA

Weds 30 March Buckworth *Sowers & Growers 7.30pm

Weds 30th March -Cricket Club Annual General Meeting 9.00pm
Follows Sowers & Growers

This is your opportunity to come along & discuss what we all want for the club next year

Mothering Sunday 3 April 11am
Family service in Church

Tuesday 5 April 7.30pm
Ladies Group

Friday 8 April Supper Club 7pm
Once again you can have a cooking free start to the weekend. Menu: TBA

Monday 11 April Parish Council Meeting at 8pm public & press cordially invited to attend.

**Weds 13 April Browsers Book Club 7.30pm

Friday 22 April Supper Club 7pm
Once again you can have a cooking free start to the weekend. Menu: TBA

Sunday 24 April 11am Easter Day Service in Church

*Weds 27 April Sowers & Growers Garden Club 7.30pm

Fri 29th April – Royal Wedding
Special Event in conjunction with the Parish Council. Watch the day on the Big Screen; ‘Wedding Cake’ Competition
Street Party High Tea. Watch out for further news of this event!!

Mon 2nd May 10am – May Day Walk
Meet at the bus shelter

---------------------------------------------------- Cricket Club Opening Hours
The club bar is run by volunteers and the Committee is only too pleased to open the bar for members, but regular opening has been reduced to Friday and Saturday evenings due to lack of support. If you wish to use the club for a special event or a meeting please contact one of the committee. Please support the Supper Club & make all the extra work worthwhile
Over the winter heating and double glazing have been installed. The exterior has now been rendered and awaits a fresh coat of paint. Of course there is still the interior decoration to tackle and the committee will be organising this work over the coming months – volunteers please!

All Saints Church....for the time being work in the tower and spire has finished. One bell can now be used and the others are safely stored. Quotes for further works to the fabric of the tower and spire are awaited.

Bees in Buckworth
I have been involved in beekeeping for the last 35 years, ever since my Father started to keep bees when I was a school boy; we used to keep them at the side of the house in a suburban garden in the outskirts of Stockton-on Tees in the north east of England.
I helped with the routine husbandry of the hives, marking queens, collecting swarms from our own hives and others around the area and learning from other beekeepers the art of colony management and honey production. Eventually I went away to University and then on to work in the Midlands where my only exposure to beekeeping was limited to the occasions when I visited the family home and helped with moving hives on to the heather moors to make the most of the late season honey flow which, if the weather is favourable, can flow from the high hills of the Pennines and the north Yorkshire moors.
Three years ago, my Father lost all of his bees during a bad winter partly due to the conditions but mostly due to the onset of a virulent infestation of bee colonies by the Varroa mite which has spread across the country in the last 10 years. Needless to say he was devastated by the loss, but decided to give up beekeeping as he was getting no younger and at the time my parents were looking at downsizing their house and moving to something more manageable for their remaining years.
He offered me the first option on the hives, and with the aid of a large van I transported several tonnes of hives and associated beekeeping equipment down to Buckworth. Unfortunately, my father did not live to see the hives in use as he died before the first swarm arrived in the hives the following May. The swarm was small but it managed to survive the winter and the following year we had a reasonable run of honey production from the first hive and from a second swarm which took up residence in a second hive.
Unfortunately, last autumn both colonies were raided by wasps, one colony succumbed to the weight of numbers from the attacking wasps and was wiped out, the other although damaged appeared to be coping as it went into the winter. However, the severe and prolonged cold on top of the robbing damage by the wasps was too much for the colony to withstand and by early January they had perished.
Wasps form colonies which are built up in the spring by a queen wasp; she will have overwintered in a suitable dry space such as the roof of a house, a corner of a shed or in a cavity in a tree. In the spring the queen forages for food, usually aphids and caterpillars, which are taken back to the nest for food for the developing wasp larvae. These queens can frequently be seen in late March and early April before the first worker wasps emerge to take over the foraging, after which it is only the smaller workers that are seen around the garden. Queens and workers take little interest in Human activity at this time of the year, it is not until later in the season that colonies get big enough and hungry enough that the workers start to take an interest in food we take outside, as anyone who has had a scone with Jam and cream in late august will probably testify.
The sad part of this whole situation was that the bee colonies need not have suffered the damage if we had found and eliminated the wasps earlier in the season; unfortunately, this is hard to do without the help of others in the community who can spot colonies and request assistance in getting rid of them. Wasps do perform a useful function within an ecosystem, however, they are a pest and a nuisance in the autumn and eliminating a few colonies close to our homes will do little to denude the overall population across the country, whilst making our life a bit easier. Queen wasps have been known to travel several miles in order to establish a new home so new colonies are very likely to appear in subsequent years.
On the positive side, I have already spotted a wild colony of bees who have survived the winter, with any luck they will swarm this year and I will be able to encourage them into one of my vacant hives. If this happens then by the late autumn the colony will again be at the mercy of the wasps again, unless fellow Buckworth residents can help, by informing me of wasp colonies which they would like me to eliminate from their property, this can normally be done very easily with little disturbance.
Neil Hateley