The year got off to a unpleasant start with an AGM of noted animosity centered around a certain degree of bitterness aimed at the Chair, Sec and Central Council rep over allegations made through a formal complaint placed against all three, that complaint and its allegations were at the time under investigation and has since been concluded by a Central Council Sub Committee with none of the allegations being substantiated, I thank the large majority of the membership for showing their confidence in our Committee throughout this very unsettling time for SBKA and those concerned. It is not uncommon in any group to have disagreements and there is always a suitable dialogue to try and resolve such disagreements, when the first suggestion of a complaint was made, it was dealt with by SBKA officers immediately and passed on to County for further, independent, action.

The AGM passed with a huge turnout of members and the year proceeded into one of the busiest and most enjoyable in recent years. Membership during the year remained as high as it has been for years and with a growing number of members attending all meetings it promises very good things for SBKA as a group as we move forward.

The County AGM took place 10th March and new officers were appointed, it was disappointing to see only a small number, approx 20, of our County membership of approx 450 attended the meeting at a time when the County faces various problems.

Open apiaries are always susceptible to the weather and this year was no exception but with an improvement from the ‘Beast from the East” we had an early crop of honey and a very busy swarm season. Members were called out on many occasions to answer the call to swarms and to also provide guidance of other insect problems, namely bumble bee nests and wasps. We were reminded of the imminent threat posed by the Asian hornet as a confirmed sighting of AH was linked too close for comfort and instigated the formation of the SBKA AHAT who subsequently started to generate awareness to the general public and other beekeepers through various social media and wider media, the work goes on.

Indoor meetings on a Tuesday evening resumed at the Waggon and Horses at Caythorpe and numbers have averaged about 20 throughout the year, with a few turning up from other LBKA districts from time to time, Sean Sparling entertained us with a talk on his job as an Agronomist as one of the highlights of our indoor evening meetings.

Honey crops were better than average with consistently good weather through the productive months, this was reflected in an outstanding result for SBKA members at the annual Lincoln Show where the group accumulated the most number of points winning the Chairman’s Trophy for the first time in years along with 6 other Cups and Winning the Best in Show Blue ribbon from the County Collection, well done everyone who supported the show.

Members turned out for the annual Summer Social held by Courtesy of Simon and Ellie Castleman, enjoying culinary delights and bee talk in a quintessential Cottage Garden setting, many thanks once again.

Heckington show provided more achievements as SBKA members put on a wonderful educational exhibit along with supporting the Honey Show where SBKA success was once again in full focus.

BBKA educational success for SBKA members was also apparent with a number of modules and a Basic Certificate award, well done all.

November saw our honey show staged and once again a great turnout resulted in the event being granted Blue Ribbon status, a honey show with over 100 exhibits and judged by a BBKA recognized judge. Competition was high and most classes were well contested with prize cards evenly distributed and for the first time in years the Honey Crunch biscuits actually “Crunched”. Well done to everyone concerned in making our Honey Show consistently Excellent.

The year ended with a Christmas meal social at our monthly meeting place where almost 30 members sat down for what was a really enjoyable night capped off with an exhilarating prize raffle.

SBKA members worked hard as both a group and individuals throughout the year promoting bees and beekeeping and the volunteer hours generated towards our charitable aims cannot go unnoticed, as a group we accumulated many thousands of hours engaging with the general public either directly at events or indirectly through various media of TV, Radio and various social media platforms.

Our group has retained a healthy membership with some leaving and some joining and overall the year has been very productive and positive, many thanks to the Officers who have continued to bee productive and supportive through a difficult period and to those members who have risen to the request for help when needed and made the group what it is today, buoyant, forward thinking and cohesive.