BBKA News Feed

The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) works to promote honey bees and beekeeping and to provide a range of services to its members.
  1. [News] Winners of Bees in Art Competition announced

    The prints will be displayed at this year’s Honey Show at Sandown Park Racecourse from 26-28 October - if you are at the Honey Show come to the BBKA stand and have a look.


    A huge thank you to all the people who submitted their artworks; the calibre of the work was fantastic and we were delighted to see the variety of approaches to the brief.


    Stand by for next year’s competition!


    -ends-

  2. [Event] Social Evening - Central Association of Bee-Keepers

    The CABK Social Evening takes place at Esher Place, a stone's-throw from the National Honey Show at Sandown Park.

    This popular event is an opportunity to hear the results of current research into bee issues, followed by a finger buffet with wine and a great chance to network in relaxed surroundings.

    Our speaker this year is Dr Nick Balfour of Sussex University, he will talk on "Bee Colonies and Neonicotinoid Seed-treated Crops"

    Cost: £20.00

    For more information/booking contact: www.cabk.org.uk

  3. [Event] M.A.D. About Bees - Theory Course - 6 Weeks - 5 March 2018 - Maldon and Dengie Beekeepers

    Dates are: 5 Mar, 12 Mar, 19 Mar, 26 Mar, 2 Apr and 9 Apr

    Practical date is: 29 April

    Venue: Theory - OAKHouse, High Street, Maldon CM9 5PR
    Venue: Practical - Ulting CM9 6QX

    This is a 6 week beekeeping theory course covering:

    keeping bees; the colony; origins of bees; history of bees; beekeeping year; swarms; queen rearing; health and hygiene; pest control; diseases; pollination; products of the hive; selling honey and getting started.

    A full days practical will put all your theory into practice and will include practical identification of workers, drones and the queen (if you're lucky) as well as learning to identify drone and worker brood, along with eggs and larvae. You will also be taught how to mark a queen, how to handle frames and practice on a number of different types of hives.

    Cost: 85.00

    For more information contact - Email: training@maldonbeekeepers.org.uk

  4. [Event] M.A.D. About Bees - Theory course - 6 Weeks - 8 January 2018 - Maldon and Dengie Beekeepers

    Dates are: 8 Jan, 15 Jan, 22 Jan, 29 Jan, 5 Feb, 12 Feb

    Practical date is: 29 April

    Venue: Theory - OAKHouse, High Street, Maldon CM9 5PR
    Venue: Practical - Ulting CM9 6QX

    This is a 6 week beekeeping theory course covering:

    keeping bees; the colony; origins of bees; history of bees; beekeeping year; swarms; queen rearing; health and hygiene; pest control; diseases; pollination; products of the hive; selling honey and getting started. 

    A full days practical will put all your theory into practice and will include practical identification of workers, drones and the queen (if you're lucky) as well as learning to identify drone and worker brood, along with eggs and larvae. You will also be taught how to mark a queen, how to handle frames and practice on a number of different types of hives.

    Cost: 85.00
    Please email for more information if required - Email: training@maldonbeekeepers.org.uk

  5. [News] BBKA Honey Survey 2017

    Please could you spare ten minutes to tell us how your crop has been this year? For continuity we take a recording from 30 September each year, and you can take part in one of two ways: by completing and returning this questionnaire to BBKA HQ at the address given below or by going to the BBKA website, where it will
    be highlighted on the front page, and completing the online version. Whichever way you choose please reply by Monday 9 October 2017 at the latest. Results will be published in BBKA News, but you can also request a copy by email from admin@bbka.co.uk
    All participants can be entered into a prize draw to win one of either: three pairs of tickets for the BBKA Spring Convention 2018; five Sophie Allport bees mugs, or three Burts Bees gift sets worth £15.99. This survey is being paid for from funding provided by Burts Bees, who are sponsors of Adopt a Beehive.
    This survey is conducted according to the Market Research Society Code of Conduct. All results will be treated in confidence.
    Thank you for taking part.
    John Hendrie, BBKA President

    BBKA Honey Survey 2017

    To take part online

  6. [News] BBKA members get ten percent off theatre tickets at half term for 'Me & My Bee'

    Lyn Gardner for the Guardian described the show as “a rarity… deliciously eccentric”.

    Greta Mitchell from ThisEgg said “We are passionate about bees and the important role they play on our planet, and have been touring this show in order to raise more awareness about bees for both children and adults alike! We would love to see as many of your team and followers there as possible to help spread the word.”

    Tickets and more information can be found here: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/me-my-bee#overview

    Use special promo code BUZZ which will get you 10% off ticket price.

  7. [News] Newsletter for BBKA members

    September 2017 

    Dear Members, 

    In the last month, we have discussed several items at the Trustees meeting and we would like to bring you up to date with these suggestions or progress on existing projects. 
    Last year there were 590 Beekeepers who applied to take the basic assessment training and of those 518 actually to the assessment and the pass rate was 97%, of those 502 beekeepers there were 348 who passed with credits. General Husbandry was another one, 43 applied to take the assessment 10 withdrew so 33 took the test, 21 of those passed which is 64% and is an improvement on the past few years. 
    Advanced Husbandry had 36 candidates applied with 32 taking the test, 18 passed which is 56% and is also better than previously. Defra have sponsored the Husbandry again this year, so watch for the sessions in your area and take advantage of the sponsorship, it is well worth while. 
    The Trustees have also reinstated the Technical and Environment committee, it will be joined with Research and will be called Research Technical and Environmental Committee. It will be headed by Pam Hunter and already three scientists have been recruited to advise where we would be best placed to make a real impact on Bee Research. More information in the months to come. 
    We are installing two new exams and they are being trailed now, one is on Bee Health and sits between the Basic and the General Husbandry, the other is on Bee Breeding, not to be confused with Queen rearing. This is to improve the quality of Bees in our own apiaries. We would like to eventually have Bee Breeders situated around the country to help maintain good bees, if you are interested in the trials please contact Val Francis or Pam Hunter. 
    Now to the Spring Convention, this will be different as the Committee headed by Joyce Nesbit is looking to get behind what you want and to provide that in 2018. We are going to try to colour code the events, new beekeepers, those with a few years’ experience and those who are very experienced. We want to encourage new beekeepers to attend lectures and workshops aimed at their level of beekeeping, to help them to improve their skills, they can of course attend any workshop and lecture but we are trying to encourage new beekeepers to come along and enjoy the experience of the Spring Convention. We also want to stretch those who have experience so we are looking to get the mix just right, if you have any suggestions please contact Joyce Nesbit yourself, she will be pleased to hear from you. 
    After another successful show (Countryfile Live) the Shows Committee met to discuss the possibilities for helping the Area Associations to promote beekeeping at Major regional shows. Suggestions are invited as to how the Shows Committee could help you. It was agreed that the Shows Committee work again with the local associations to promote beekeeping and pollinators in general at RHS Chatsworth and Countryfile in 2018 
    The IMYB project was a huge success and those volunteers who were there over the weekend gave the contestants something to remember, it was voted one of the best of its kind so many thanks to Ruth and Ian Homer for organising this great event. 
    Countryfile on the TV also included interviews with the English contingent and an overview of the whole event, let’s hope that this brings some interest from youngsters who up to now have never considered bees or beekeeping. 
    You may know that National Bee Supplies stopped trading earlier this year, the company has been taken over and the new owners ‘Suttons Seeds’ are keen to work with us to promote beekeeping, we are in the initial stages but George Brown thinks it looks promising. 
    There is another book now in print, it is about feeding and is available from the BBKA Shop, or if you have invited a Trustee to give you a talk, they will probably be able to bring you some without the postage charges. It will be also be available at the National Honey Show, there will also be one written by Celia Davis on Plants, we are hoping that will be ready at the same time. These have proved very popular, the General Husbandry certainly helped me to get through my assessment successfully. 
    We have obtained quotations for next year’s insurance and have managed to get a further reduction of £2,500.00 not a lot, but after last year I did not think I would get any reduction at all. The All Risks Insurance, is work in progress, we had an original quotation for £75K which would have meant £3.00 each if everyone took the insurance out. This was not practical or affordable to those members who may have wanted to take this insurance up, So we had to search elsewhere. We have managed to get a proposal to supply this insurance, but it is in its infancy and the finer details are being worked out. The Insurers seem willing to allow three years for take up, this is what controls the price I have to thank those negotiating this as that is such a good concession. As soon as we have more information we will let you know. 
    By the time you receive this letter you will probably have received the budgets for next year and we seem to be on track to have a small surplus this year, (fingers crossed) The Swarm Video. All the shooting necessary to provide the video material is now "in the can" as they say. Launch date ADM this was one of the 3 videos originally sponsored by Rowse. 
    Bees in the Curriculum 
    Almost complete, style and content agreed and a launch date set for the National Honey Show. This is the teachers' pack to enable them to incorporate honey bee and other pollinator education in primary schools across the country.
    School Visitors Pack. 
    This has been developed by Sue Webster and is currently being trialled. Launch date Spring Convention. This package is for the lay school visitor, a beekeeper, to deliver talks and activities in primary schools. Hopefully, this introduction will also inspire the teachers to take up and use the Bees in the Curriculum pack. Training will be available for beekeepers who want to participate. Training will be made available from May onwards. 
    Healthy Hive Guide. 
    The update of this booklet is still on schedule for delivery at the spring convention. General & Advanced Husbandry. Subsidy money has been provided by Defra and training will proceed again this coming year under the watchful eye of Marin Anastasov. 
    More candidates are sought for trustees with an interest in education & training to serve on the E&H committee. Get your nominations in to the BBKA office please. Our finances are looking good again, we have watched everything to get best value for money and we will end the year with a surplus again, some of this is due to the fact that Research has not used their budget this year, Pam Hunter who is the lead has had surgery which has immobilised her for a while, but she is back in harness now and is pursuing new ventures in research. 
    The Web page design is now approved, we just have to get the script correct, it looks very good, but we want it to do so much more than previously, it also has to be user friendly, so there is a way to go yet. 
    The new Data Base system is looking to be on target for January next year that will be such an improvement for the associations and for the office staff as well. The Kitchen at Stoneleigh has been fitted, some tweaks are needed but the basics are there. We can also open windows in the conference room without fear of them dropping out on the head of a pedestrian walking by. 
    Work on the main offices starts at the end of this month and will be very disruptive for the staff, walls have to be built and some dismantled, the noise and the dust will not be pleasant however it will be worth it all when it is finished. We are hoping it will take eight weeks so should be finished by the end of November, but we are talking about builders so we will have to wait and see. Because all the office and the stock has to be moved and then the stock all moved back again, we are looking at the opportunity of installing a stock control system, we hold stock for Adopt a beehive as with doing this in house it saves a considerable amount of money and the previous ‘packers’ made quite a lot of mistakes, Clare says she would rather do it herself and get it right. 
    We also have all the new booklets, they are sold through the shop and also taken to shows by Trustees and the Shows committee, we want to be in a situation where we have a base stock level for reordering so that if anything needs updating we have the time to do this. We also need to know that the stock issued is accounted for, this year it has made a difference to the costing for the BBKA News as it comes under that umbrella. Sharon Blake who is the editor of the BBKA News has worked wonders this year, producing four books up to now with more in the making, she has also managed to reduce the print costs by £5,000.00 for the BBKA News. Sally Carter gets in the advertising for the magazine and despite the books being ‘extras’ she has managed to get our regular advertisers to dip their hands in their pockets and support each book, a fantastic job by anyone’s standards, this keeps the price down for our members. We have recruited a new member of staff to Help George with his fundraising, Clare Hartry has joined the team and has fitted in quite nicely. She is a young Mum and has a Master’s Degree in Journalism and has worked with the Association of Applied Biologists on their Journal Food and Energy Security, Clare has all the right attributes to help George in his quest for funds. We will have six vacancies for Trustees in January, If you want to see how the BBKA is managed and would want to help influence its future, please apply to be a Trustee by asking your branch to sponsor you with another branch to second you. You need a passion for bees and to be a team player. It can be a challenging role but it has a lot of job satisfaction which goes with it. We work with likeminded people, after all we all look after bees. The skills are used within sub branches , Education, HR, IT, Finance, Shows, Fund Raising, Research and Governance, then we combine all those at the EC meeting discussing the best way forward for each section and ultimately for our members. If you have experience in any of these area’s please consider joining us to make things better. 
    Margaret Wilson, BBKA Vice Chairman
  8. [News] Back to School Bees

    The aim is to develop a network of schools that can support each other and exchange ideas. This would have wide-reaching benefits and encourage more young people to either take up the skill or to gain an understanding of the importance of bees in the environment and to the diversity of food that we all enjoy.


    George Brown, BBKA’s Fundraising Manager said: “Our membership scheme also offers copies of all materials we offer to schools. Some schools may find the £25 or £50 fees difficult to find and here at the BBKA we want to offer the benefits of our amazing craft to everyone.”


    You can find the JustGiving campaign here: Back to School Bees

    Thank you for any donation you are able to give.


    We are running this campaign throughout September when you may have children or grandchildren going back to school or starting for the first time and education may be at the forefront of your mind.


    Here’s to the new generation of beekeepers!


    -ends-

  9. [Event] Bee Show - Weald Beekeepers

    Weald Beekeepers Bee Show

    Time: 10.00am to 3.30pm

    Come and see live honey bees and learn more about them.

    Sample lots of lovely local honey

    Crafts, Refreshments and Demonstrations

    Admission Free

  10. [Event] Taster Course - Cleveland Beekeepers Association

    The taster course is designed for those people who are considering taking up beekeeping but want more information. It gives a chance to handle bees and information on the costs, both financial and in time, and benefits of beekeeping.

    Cost: £20.00

    For more information contact: E: training@teesbees.co.uk or T: 01642 786243

  11. [Event] Beginners Course - Cleveland Beekeepers

    The beginners course is aimed at people with little or no experience of beekeeping who wish to take it up. It will give them the basic theoretical knowedge and some practical training.

    Cost: £60.00

    For more information contact: E: training@teesbees.co.uk or T: 01642 786243

  12. [Event] Taster Session for Beginner Beekeepers - Saffron Walden Division of Essex Beekeepers Association

    We will begin with a short talk about the various hives and the life of the honey bee before we proceed to the apiary to have a look inside a colony.
    Please contact tonyyeats.ay@gmail.com in advance for details of venue and timing.

  13. [Event] Beekeeping for Beginners - Duchy College & Rural Business School

    Three day course (half theory, half handling bees in the apiary).

    A course for the beginner wishing to start beekeeping, aimed at giving them the confidence to inspect and keep a colony.

    This course includes equipment description, hive types, disease recognition and best practise.

    Suits will be provided.

    9.30am – 4pm Saturday 5th-12th-19th May 2018

    For more information contact: E:rbs@duchy.ac.uk or T: 0845 458 7485

  14. [Event] Introduction to Beekeeping - Duchy College & Rural Business School

    Half a day of theory and half a day in the apiary.

    An ideal day for those thinking of keeping bees or those who wish to have a better understanding of apiculture and bees.

    This day gives you an opportunity to see if it’s the hobby for you or if not you can guarantee you will find it fascinating.

    Suits will be provided.

    9.30am – 4pm Sunday 22nd April 2018

    For more information contact: E: rbs@duchy.ac.uk or T: 0845 458 7485

  15. [Event] Beekeeping Theory for Beginners - Duchy College & Rural Business School

    Ten week winter theory course (ten two-hour consecutive weeks).

    This course offers in depth theory on equipment, hives, strains of bees, setting up an apiary, apiary husbandry, health and disease, etc.

    A day’s practical experience is offered during the season.

    7pm – 9pm Starting Tuesday 23rd January 2018 for ten weeks.

    For More information contact: E: rbs@duchy.ac.uk or T: 0845 458 7485

  16. [Event] Hampshire Beekeepers Convention 2017

    Hampshire Beekeepers welcome you to our annual convention

    All delegates will be able to attend lectures from Tony Harris on Botany for Beekeepers and Dinah Sweet 'Help!, I have got queen cells'

    There are two choices for the second and third lectures. In the morning it is a choice between Andrew Beer 'Beekeeping and the Law' or Ian and Ruth Homer ' Varroa without chemicals'.

    In the afternoon it is a choice between Celia Rudland 'Winter into Spring' or David Rudland 'Uses of the nuc hive'

    Cost: £15.00
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/nikki-moxey-11050801888

  17. [Event] Honey Show - Twickenham and Thames Valley

    Honey Show

    Honey, wax and mead open classes also domestic and horticultural classes.

    Staging Friday 6th October 4:00 pm-8:30 pm

    Open to public Sunday 8th October 1:00 pm

    Presentation of cups at 3:45 pm followed by auction of gift class products.

    Learn about bees and beekeeping

    Enjoy teas and cakes in the apiary garden

    Activities for all the family

    For more information contact: E: honeyshow@twickerbees.co.uk

  18. [Event] Beekeeping Taster Day - Countryside Education Trust and New Forest and District Beekeepers Association

    An introduction to the life of the honey bee and how beekeepers manage an apiary.
    The morning's topics will include the honey bee life-cycle, how colonies are managed to keep bees happy and healthy, how the art of beekeeping has developed over millennia, and the range of equipment needed in an active apiary.
    There will be time for informal discussion whilst enjoying a Ploughman's Lunch.
    In the afternoon you will visit a nearby apiary to see some working hives.
    Full-length protective clothing will be provided for the apiary visit, but you should wear trousers or jeans and a long sleeved tee-shirt or jumper. You need to bring your own wellies.
    Under-18s should to be accompanied by a fee-paying adult.
    Date: Saturday 16th September 2017
    Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm
    Suitable for: For ages 12 and over
    Event Capacity: 16
    Tickets: Friends of CET - £40; Standard - £50

    For more information contact: E: mail@cet.org.uk or T: 01590 612 401

  19. [Event] Taster Afternoon - Taunton & District Division of Somerset Beekeepers' Association

    Come & find out if beekeeping is for you!

    You will hear more about bees from an experienced beekeeper while sitting in our comfortable teaching centre and afterwards we will take you out into the apiary, weather permitting.

    We will provide protective bee suits but you must bring your own wellington boots.

    Cost: £35.00

    For more information contact: Mike Dillon E: mikedillonbees@gmail.com or T: 01823 669619/ 07585537030

  20. [News] Greggs the Bakers backs British beekeepers

    Greggs Manager, Tony Kelly, says: “I have assessed our site and identified a strip of disused land in a secluded area.  The land is appox 4m x 50m with some overgrown vegetation.”


    Any beekeeper wishing to site a colony at Greggs in Enfield should contact Tony to make a site visit.


    Please contact: tony.kelly@greggs.co.uk

    Telephone: 07802 398 543

  21. [News] General Husbandry Assessment and Training

    We are very pleased to announce that a successful bid to DEFRA under the Healthy Bees Plan will provide part of the funds for the local support to those who plan to take the General Husbandry assessment in the near future. For more details of the programme see here.

  22. [Event] General Husbandry Assessment and Training

    We are very pleased to announce that a successful bid to DEFRA under the Healthy Bees Plan will provide part of the funds for the local support to those who plan to take the General Husbandry assessment in the near future.

    For more details of the programme see here.

  23. [Event] Beginning Your Beekeeping - Weekend Beginners Course - Mantel Farm Training Course

    A more intensive course than our evening course to get you started, explaining more about the honey bee, helping you choose your hive and equipment, how and where to set up your apiary, the bees management and pests and diseases. Not forgetting when and how to extract that lovely honey.

    Cost: £198.00

    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Beginning-your-Beekeeping-Weekend-with-Amanda-Miller-14th-15th-October-2017
    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Training-Courses-and-Events/Beekeeping-Courses
    Learning the art of beekeeping is a fascinating past-time, but beware it can become addictive from the very first time you open a hive and peer inside! It is an interest that can just keep growing, as you begin to understand more and more about how these little insects work as an incredible and complex colony there is endless knowledge to gain. Bees are under threat and need our help to survive, by understanding the behaviour and instincts of the honey bee along with their needs and the problems they are encountering you can help a vital part of our environment.

  24. [Event] The Basics of Beekeeping - Beginners Evening Course - Mantel Farm Training Courses

    An evening talk discussing beekeeping today, what you need to know if you are just thinking about keeping bees; the apiary set up, equipment needed, hive management and honey.

    Cost: £68.00

    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Basics-of-Beekeeping-Course-6th-October-2017
    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Training-Courses-and-Events/Beekeeping-Courses
    Learning the art of beekeeping is a fascinating past-time, but beware it can become addictive from the very first time you open a hive and peer inside! It is an interest that can just keep growing, as you begin to understand more and more about how these little insects work as an incredible and complex colony there is endless knowledge to gain. Bees are under threat and need our help to survive, by understanding the behaviour and instincts of the honey bee along with their needs and the problems they are encountering you can help a vital part of our environment.

  25. [Event] Beginning Your Beekeeping - Beginners Weekend Course - Mantel Farm Training Courses

    A more intensive course than our evening course to get you started, explaining more about the honey bee, helping you choose your hive and equipment, how and where to set up your apiary, the bees management and pests and diseases. Not forgetting when and how to extract that lovely honey.

    Cost: £198.00

    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Beginning-your-Beekeeping-Weekend-with-Amanda-Miller-23rd-24th-September-2017
    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Training-Courses-and-Events/Beekeeping-Courses
    Learning the art of beekeeping is a fascinating past-time, but beware it can become addictive from the very first time you open a hive and peer inside! It is an interest that can just keep growing, as you begin to understand more and more about how these little insects work as an incredible and complex colony there is endless knowledge to gain. Bees are under threat and need our help to survive, by understanding the behaviour and instincts of the honey bee along with their needs and the problems they are encountering you can help a vital part of our environment.

  26. [Event] The Basics of Beekeeping - Evening Course for Beginners - Mantel Farm Training Courses

    An evening talk discussing beekeeping today, what you need to know if you are just thinking about keeping bees; the apiary set up, equipment needed, hive management and honey.

    Cost: £68.00

    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/The-Basics-of-Beekeeping-Evening-with-Amanda-Miller-8th-September-2017
    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Training-Courses-and-Events/Beekeeping-Courses
    Learning the art of beekeeping is a fascinating past-time, but beware it can become addictive from the very first time you open a hive and peer inside! It is an interest that can just keep growing, as you begin to understand more and more about how these little insects work as an incredible and complex colony there is endless knowledge to gain. Bees are under threat and need our help to survive, by understanding the behaviour and instincts of the honey bee along with their needs and the problems they are encountering you can help a vital part of our environment.

  27. [Event] Beginners Beekeeping Theory Course - Barkston Ash Beekeepers Association

    Our theory courses are designed to introduce potential members to the craft of beekeeping and management of the honeybee colony. The course is over 5 or 6 consecutive weeks and are held on Wednesday evenings at the Village Hall in Church Fenton.
    The course is free to members of BABKA and course delegates will be advised to join the association prior to enrolling on the course. A fee of £25 will apply to course delegates who simply wish to learn more about this incredible insect and do not wish to become beekeepers or members of BABKA.

    Following on from the course, members will be encouraged to attend the free practical sessions at our association apiary where hands on experience will be gained under the guidance of our experienced tutors.
    Full details of the course can be found here at https://webcollect.org.uk/babka/event/beginners-theory-course-2018

  28. [Event] General Husbandry

    While this training is aimed at those intending shortly to take their General Husbandry Assessment, all do not need to be of that standard to join the course. You will learn from the day and from the others attending. The more you know, the better your beekeeping will be. If in any doubt at all, do come.
    In this training there will be no attempt made to cover all you need to know to be successful in the BBKA’s General Husbandry Assessment but we will be focussing on those subjects that usually give the most difficulty.
    The first leg of the course is in Suffolk, the second on Saturday 12th May near Norwich.

    Cost: £20.00

    For more information contact: Jeremy Quinlan - Email: jeremyq@tiscali.co.uk or Tel No: 01473737700

  29. [Event] Beekeeping Taster Sessions - North London Beekeepers

    BEEKEEPING TASTER SESSIONS

    Saturday 16th September North London

    VENUE: NORTH LONDON BEEKEEPERS TRAINING APIARY

    Session 1 - 10.30am -12.30pm
    Session 2 - 2.30pm – 4.30pm

    These sessions are for adults and young people over 18 years.
    For anyone thinking about keeping bees, these two hour ‘taster’ sessions will provide a short overview of beekeeping, bees and hive management. They will give you the opportunity to find out if beekeeping as a hobby is for you. Each session will be led by experienced members of North London Beekeepers and include a ‘hands on’ session with bees and hives at our teaching apiary in North London near Kenwood House and Highgate Village.

    Protective beekeepers suits will be provided. Please wear long trousers, long sleeved tops, wellies or trainers.

    Price £45 including refreshments

    To Book go to: www. webcollect.org.uk/NLBK

    NB: At the end of each session participants will be able to book onto our 10 week Beginners Beekeeping Course starting in February 2018. We advise attending a beginner beekeeping course before buying bees or equipment.
    For further information, please email Julie Parker, North London Beekeepers Education Officer at: education@beekeeping.org.uk or call 07771787292

    North London Beekeepers website: www.beekeeping.org.uk

  30. [News] Asian Hornet will colonise UK in two decades

    Researchers looked at what has been happening in France and said that the detection methods used there are only finding 48% of Asian Hornet nests. 

    It suggests that individual radio tracking of hornets back to their nests and infra red cameras fitted to drones may be necessary to improve detection. 

    You can read the press release from University of Warwick here: 

    http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/asian_hornet_to

    Nature's Scientific Reports piece is here: 

    go.nature.com/2wpXMiT

  31. [News] Cheshire Beekeepers win Gold at RHS Tatton

    The judges loved the display of plants that are best for supplying nectar and pollen to honeybees and other pollinators. Graham Royle, Chair of the Cheshire Beekeeping Association, said: Thje show was very busy despite the changeable weather! Our stand, as always attracted lots of attention with the public asking questions about pollinators, rolling candles and buying honey.” The stand is organised, set up and manned by Cheshire BKA on behalf of the British Beekeepers Association and includes an observation hive which had to be changed each day with different beekeepers donating frames of bees for the public to get up close with honeybees. All the plants in the winning display are grown and donated by a single member, Stuart Hatton. This year the beekepers were located just inside the entrance to the National Plant Societies Marquee and the bee display was the first thing the public saw as they entered the marquee. -ends-

  32. [News] 3 Simple Edible Pots for Pollinators

    Plant organo, tomato and aubergine together and you have a Pizza ingredient pot.

    For edible flowers to sprinkle on your salads, top your cakes or put in delivious summer cocktails, plant marigold, nasturtium borage and chives in a pot.

    Finally for the ultimate summer pudding plant a blueberry bush in a pot and surround it with trailing strawberries. 

  33. [News] British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) has awarded its first School Membership to Calderstones School in Liverpool

    The pupils aged from 11-16 are: Jamie McLoughlin, Natalie Philips, Cameron Wallace, Rebecca Christopherson, Louis Thompson and William Fitzgerald. 

    Their teacher, Emma Burnet-Jones, is a beekeper with the BBKA and has been keen to introducer her pupils to the ancient craft. She has sited some of her own hives in the schools meadow for the children to practice on. 

    Under the new Schools Membership, Calderstones gets insurance for up to 5 hives, training materials, copy of BBKA News and free entry to the Junior Certificate for their pupils. 

    The test involves keeping a bee diary about their experience and knowledge of honeybees and doing a creative project about them as well. 

    Rebecca and Natalie chose to do paintings about bees and beekeeping. 

    The pupils have already extracted more than 60 pounds of honey from the hives and made a profit of £181 for the schools bee fund. 

    Schools wishing to know more about the BBKA Schools Membership should contact General Manager Leigh Sidaway: gen.manager@bbka.org.uk

    -ends-




  34. [News] Blog by May Smith about International Meeting of Young Beekeepers

    Thursday

    The England young beekeepers team met at Cobbs Farm Shop on the outskirts of Marlborough as it was an easily accessible place for everyone to reach. Having not experienced IMYB before I was excited but apprehensive about the daunting prospect of competing whilst England was hosting the event for the first time. Entrants from 21 countries were arriving today from as far away as India, Russia, Israel, Belarus, Lithuania, Slovenia and Czech Republic and a few closer neighbours including France, Ireland and Scotland. When we arrived and explored Marlborough College the excitement of past competitors and facilitators meeting was infectious. The evening became a very social event for everyone to meet and get to know each other, all cultures soon mixed together. To help break the ice each country would give a cultural presentation as part of the entertainment, a few were shown in this first evening including our English performance. Our theme was strange English food and drink, we explained and demonstrated different ways of how we make a nice cup of tea and how scones are pronounced differently and served, jam first or cream first! We had fresh scones to demonstrate! In readiness for the competition everyone discovered which teams they were in, there were 12 teams of approx. 5 people mixing all nationalities together, a brilliant way of making new friends. Language barriers soon came down as everyone found ways of communicating.

    Friday

    Friday morning started with a hearty full English breakfast, although there were continental choices to suit all nationalities. Morning activities started at 9:00am, each of the teams gathered into their groups for the series of beekeeping activities to begin. For my team, dark green, our first challenge was to make a nucleus which involved working together to firstly examine the existing hive then split away five frames to make a new colony. Next we had to mark drones, the male bees. We were given two dates and had to mark according to the international colour marking scheme. The dates that we were given were 2006 (white) and 2009 (green). Grafting was next, we had to transfer 5 young larva from their cells into new cells which would be used to raise new queens. Everyone agreed that good eyesight and a steady hand is crucial for success! Our group then had to complete a disease inspection under the watchful eye of an experienced seasonal bee inspector. Luckily no diseases were found but we were able to identify the healthy brood pattern and explain what we were checking for. We found the queen during this exercise which was a nice bonus! We then went on to make frames which was easier for me because I had done the task before, other countries, however, have different methods of making the frames and struggled; it was real teamwork and I was happy to pass on some of my knowledge. 

    To make the morning have even more of a buzz, the BBC Countryfile team filmed us, we also stopped occasionally to talk and take photos. Anita Rani and the crew looked great filming in beesuits!

    After the morning’s activities we had lunch then boarded a coach for a truly English excursion. Whilst surrounded by beautiful English countryside, Stonehenge was a very interesting place for all, I didn’t realise it was so famous worldwide! The information phones made the experience more enjoyable, people that spoke different languages were all listening to and learning about the same thing.

    Saturday

    The morning activities started at 9:00 when everyone did a formal test which challenged our knowledge of a range of different aspects in beekeeping. This was followed by the anatomy test, we were shown microscopic pictures and had to identify the location upon a bee. The remaining activities for my group included beekeeping equipment identification, botany, honey tasting, and a Nosema test on 30 bees. In the afternoon we went on another local trip to the outskirts of Salisbury where we walked to find a *drone congregation area, this was a great experience and the lovely sunny weather made it more enjoyable for everyone. 

    Saturday evening was the grand finale, everyone gathered for the presentation evening where more teams gave us their beautiful presentations. Each country was called up and everyone given participation certificates, including accompanying adults and facilitators. With much celebration the winning teams and individual winners were announced, everyone was so supportive of the winners. This was followed by a great disco which was a fantastic way to say our goodbyes. 

    Sunday

    Some people had early flights, I found it very sad in the morning as the wonderful IMYB 2017 was coming to an end. The weekend went so quickly and now looking back on the brilliant experience I have realised how much I learned about beekeeping shared from cultures around the world. I have met so many new people with the common interest of beekeeping all of which I hope to stay in touch with and see again one day in the future. 

    Each and every participant shared in a huge thank you to Ian and Ruth Homer who worked so hard to organise the event and to all the sponsors who gave so generously to support this unique event for young Beekeepers around the world. The standing ovation and lengthy applause to all that contributed to making the IMYB 2017 a resounding success was well deserved, albeit a minor representation of the thanks from everyone. The England team would also like to thank Serena Watts who has been a really supportive team leader.

     

    May Smith

     

    Note: *drone congregation area - region where male bees congregate waiting for Virgin Queens to fly up and mate with them. Students took poles with Queen pheromone on the ends and watched as a flight of drones flew up in characteristic formation and excitedly followed the pole. 

  35. [News] International Meeting of Young Beekeepers will be on BBC Countryfile

    A five person BBC team arrived on the field where the meeting apiary was set up early on Friday 7th July. Presenter Anita Rani met the England Team Manager, Serena Watts, and our 3 competitors, May Smith, Younis Bashir and Sarah Bush. They would be competing in mixed teams with youngsters from the 18 other countries that included India, Lebanon and Russia. Sequences were shot with the whole crew suited up with the exception of a very calm sound man. The tests with live bees included making a nuc, marking drones, checking bees for diseases and grafting larvae for Queen rearing. Students also did classroom based stuff like working out which flower bees had collected nectar from by tasting honey, making frames and an anatomy quiz. Skep making was also featured. Simon Cavill BBKA Trustee and England Team Manager said: “The event was a fantastic success which drew universal praise from the participants of the 19 countries including Russia and India. In fact, it was rated as the “best ever” by Dr Juri Piza who created the event in 2010. Marlborough College and their facilities were immaculate and their staff could not have been more helpful.” The Wiltshire edition of BBC Countryfile is due to go out on Sunday 23rd of July. The TV Times was also there so look out for a feature on Anita at the IMYB in next week’s edition. -ends

    Notes to Editor. The IMYB started in 2010 in response to the recognition that beekeepers were ageing and beekeeping associations needed to attract more youngsters. There are 76 local associations in the BBKA representing 25,000 members For further information and interviews: Please contact: Diane Roberts BBKA press officer diane.roberts@bbka.org.uk 07841625797

  36. [Event] BBKA Spring Convention 2018

    The UK's premier educational and networking event for beekeepers and those interested in learning more about honey bees. Lectures, workshops and trade show. Internationally renowned.

    Event prices available nearer the time.

  37. [Event] 1 Day Beginners Beekeeping Course / Topbars / Natural Beekeeping - The Bee Centre

    A 1 day course for beginners to learn the basics about beekeeping and to offer the confidence to start keeping their own bees. The course will focus on top bar hives and a more natural way of keeping bees but we will also discuss and handle national hives (framed hives) and horizontal framed hives as well as coving topics such as how to build a hive, where to site it, etc.

    The tutor is John Vendy, a very well known and respected topbar hive beekeeper & speaker, based in North Lancs

    Cost: £80.00

    For more information/bookings contact: Kath Cordingley Tel No: 07971956148 or E-mail: info@thebeecentre.org

  38. [Event] Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers Annual Conference and Honey Show 2017

    The Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers hosts its 2017 Annual Conference and Honey Show on Saturday 21st October. The INIB return to the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre in the Oxford Island National Nature Reserve for the conference. Bookings are now being taken:http://www.inibeekeepers.com/conbookform17larg.jpg
    Once again, the INIB brings international Guest Speakers to the Beekeepers of Northern Ireland and to friends and visitors from the wider UK and island of Ireland:
    Professor Mark Winston, author of "Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive" and "The Biology of the Honeybee"
    Professor Jurgen Tautz: author of "the Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism"
    As a partner to the All Ireland Pollinator Plan and recognising the role honeybees and beekeepers have to play in the wider environment and the interest that beekeepers have in the world around them, the INIB has invited Dr Úna FitzPatrick, Project Coordinator for the All Ireland Pollinator Plan and Catherine Bertrand, Head of Conservation for the Butterfly Conservation Trust in Northern Ireland, to address the conference.

    Cost: £30.00

    Anyone thinking about making a trip to the conference and enjoying the local sights may be interested in looking at local accomodation options: https://www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/tourism/

  39. [Event] Taster Session - Lincolnshire Beekeepers' Association

    An afternoon to learn something about what is involved in beekeeping and guidance on how to take it further if you decide beekeeping is for you.

    There will be an opportunity to talk to experienced beekeepers and look inside a hive with them (weather permitting).

    Protective clothing provided but participants are asked to bring a pair boots.

    Cost: £15.00 

    Children under 18 free if accompanying an adult.

    Refreshments provided

    For moe information/bookings contact: Mike Seal - Tel No: 07790190261 or E-mail: mikeseal91@sky.com

  40. [Event] Bee Improvement for All Day - West Sussex BKA and BIBBA

    A course to help all beekeepers whatever their experience to assess their colonies with a view to improving them using criteria they set themselves.

    The course also covers simple recording to give information on which queens to cull and which to breed from. There is encouragement to rear queens using natural methods as well as some of the simple "artificial" methods.

    Cost: £12.50

    For more information/bookings contact: Daisy Tel no: 07980 280852 or e-mail: wellingtondays@hotmail.co.uk

  41. [Event] Bee Improvement for All Day with Roger Patterson - Saffron Walden BKA

    A course to help all beekeepers whatever their experience to assess their colonies with a view to improving them using criteria they set themselves.

    The course also covers simple recording to give information on which queens to cull and which to breed from. There is encouragement to rear queens using natural methods as well as some of the simple "artificial" methods.

    Cost: £12.50

    For more information/bookings contact: E-mail: swbka.info@gmail.com

  42. [Event] The Basics of Beekeeping - Evening Beginners Course - Mantel Farm Training Courses

    An evening talk discussing beekeeping today, what you need to know if you are just thinking about keeping bees; the apiary set up, equipment needed, hive management and honey.
    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/The-Basics-of-Beekeeping-Evening-with-Amanda-Miller-8th-September-2017
    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Training-Courses-and-Events/Beekeeping-Courses
    Learning the art of beekeeping is a fascinating past-time, but beware it can become addictive from the very first time you open a hive and peer inside! It is an interest that can just keep growing, as you begin to understand more and more about how these little insects work as an incredible and complex colony there is endless knowledge to gain. Bees are under threat and need our help to survive, by understanding the behaviour and instincts of the honey bee along with their needs and the problems they are encountering you can help a vital part of our environment.

    Cost: £68.00

    For more information/booking contact: Kerry Weller - Tel No: 01424 830357 or e-mail: info@mantel-farm.co.uk

  43. [Event] Beginning Your Beekeeping - Weekend Beginners Course - Mantel Farm Training Courses

    A more intensive course than our evening course to get you started, explaining more about the honey bee, helping you choose your hive and equipment, how and where to set up your apiary, the bees management and pests and diseases. Not forgetting when and how to extract that lovely honey.
    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Beginning-your-Beekeeping-Weekend-with-Mike-Cullen-Jill-Sales-15th-and-16th-July-2017
    http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Training-Courses-and-Events/Beekeeping-Courses/
    Learning the art of beekeeping is a fascinating past-time, but beware it can become addictive from the very first time you open a hive and peer inside! It is an interest that can just keep growing, as you begin to understand more and more about how these little insects work as an incredible and complex colony there is endless knowledge to gain. Bees are under threat and need our help to survive, by understanding the behaviour and instincts of the honey bee along with their needs and the problems they are encountering you can help a vital part of our environment.

    Cost: £198.00

    For more information/booking contact: Kerry Weller - Tel No: 01424 830357 or e-mail: info@mantel-farm.co.uk

  44. [Event] Bee Keeping Begineers Course - Grantham District

    Bee keeping course for beginners, no equipment needed. The course is five two hours sessions covering a five week period on 01,08,15,22 and 29 March 2018 starting at 1930hrs.

    The course covers the course in a case promoted by BBKA. we will also hold two open apairys to allow hands on live bees.

    All equipment apart from gloves and footware will be provided.

    There will be homework via email to be completed.

    Included in the price is assoiate membership of Grantham District (LBKA)

    Cost: £70.00

    For more information/booking contact: Catherine Sheen - Tel No: 07860692529 or e-mail: granthambka@hotmail.com

  45. [News] BBKA support for ban on neonics stays

    30th June 2017 This statement provides an update on the BBKA’s position on the above debate follow the release of two scientific studies into the effects of neonicotinoids on honey and wild bees. In particular it refers to the study by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) that was referred to in our background paper issued March 2017 https://www.bbka.org.uk/files/pressreleases/bbkastatementontheeuwidebanonneonicotinoidpesticidesmarch2017v3.docx_(1)_14894880 65.docx The CEH study states ‘…that exposure to neonicotinoid seed treatments can have negative effects on the inter-annual reproductive potential of both wild and managed bees, but that these effects are not consistent across countries. The country-specific responses of honeybees and bumblebees strongly suggests that the effects of neonicotinoids are a product of interacting factors…’ The BBKA supports this view that the subject is complex and the health and welfare of honey and wild bees need to be considered in total, rather than looking at one specific cause. Specifically as noted in our earlier paper we remain concerned about what alternative treatments the farming community will resort to if the ban continues in place. We need convincing evidence that the position of pollinators will not be worsened if alternative older classes of insecticides are used. The European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) will review this report, together with other evidence and research and issue its report & recommendation in the autumn of 2017. This information will be used to inform the EU who will ultimately make the decision as to whether to continue with the ban. In the meantime, the results of the study do nothing to change the BBKA policy which remains ‘That, until there is convincing independent scientific evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides are not harmful to honey bees, the BBKA will support the continuation of the EU moratorium on their use’ Martin Smith Ivor Davies BBKA Public Affairs Directors 30th June 2017

  46. [Statement] Updated BBKA statement on Neonicotinoids

    This statement provides an update on the BBKA’s position on the above debate follow the release of two scientific studies into the effects of neonicotinoids on honey and wild bees. In particular it refers to the study by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) that was referred to in our background paper issued March 2017

    [News] BBKA welcomes Bidfood national catering company campaign to help Bees

    Bidfood launches campaign to back British bees

    Bidfood has launched a pioneering pollination campaign to help raise awareness of declining bee colonies in the UK.

    The falling bee population is an important issue for the food industry. In fact, 70 of the top 100 food crops are pollinated by bees, which supplies about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

    Set to run throughout the year, the initiative aims to foster a healthy environment for bees. With 24 Bidfood sites across the country involved, activities include building bee ‘hotels’, creating bee-friendly gardens and helping local bee keepers by donating sugar and sponsoring local hives.

    Bidfoods Paddock Wood depot has three hives and approximately 300,000 bees, and has introduced fruit trees and bee-friendly plants and flowers to help aid the pollination process.

    Speaking about the campaign, Site Excellence Manager and Lead Beekeeper, Mike Apps said: “One in three bites of food is only possible thanks to bees pollinating our crops. It’s easy to take something so small for granted, but the importance of bees to the food industry, and our survival, is huge.

    “Our campaign is already gathering a great deal of momentum across the business. Addressing the issue doesn’t necessarily require owning a hive, planting the right flowers can help bees to pollinate and flourish for future generations.”

    Bidfood’s Basingstoke depot has also been busy collaborating with local family- owned beekeepers and honey suppliers, Becky’s Bees, by sponsoring 50 hives at their site in Andover. It also works with Hill Farm Oils, Bidfood’s supplier of rapeseed oil, by sponsoring the placement of 40 hives across 1,200 acres of rapeseed and borage.

    Dr Ivor Davis, Director of Communications, British Beekeepers Association said: “We are delighted to see Bidfood spreading the word about the importance of bees and taking on such an active role at each of its sites.

    “Honey bees, bumblebees and solitary bees, as pollinators of commercially grown insect-pollinated crops in the UK, have an estimated economic value of over £400 million per year. However, due to the expansion of global trading in recent years, bees are threatened by new parasites and diseases that have been brought into this country by error.

    “This policy by Bidfood will help us all protect our valuable army of pollinators.”

    For further information on the British Beekeepers Association visit: https:// www.bbka.org.uk/ orhttp://plate2planet.co.uk on advice and information on being a sustainable operator.

    ENDS

    For more information please contact Charlotte Gallop at Speed Communications on 0117 973 3300 orcharlotte.gallop@speedcomms.com
    About Bidfood
    As one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, we share our customers’ passion for great food.

    But our passion doesn’t stop there. We are also 100% dedicated to delivering service excellence to help our customers succeed and grow.

    • Our 13,000 strong product range includes the best of both own brand and leading foodservice brands.

    • Our 22 depots operating right across the UK allow us to offer a truly unique local service – and the majority of our depot teams are no more than 80 miles away from their customers.

    • ViVAS is our comprehensive range of over 250 carefully selected wines, as well as beers, ciders and spirits, developed in partnership with Bibendum, the UK’s leading independent wine merchant.

    • We don’t stop at just food and drink. We also provide a range of quality catering equipment, from cutlery to cookware, cleaning and disposables.

      www.bidfood.co.uk / 01494 555 900 

  47. [Press Release] Bidfood catering suppliers is backing British Bees

    The British Beekeepers' Association is delighted that catering supply company Bidfood has launched a campaign to support British bees.

    [Event] An Advanced Beekeeping Course - Saturday Daytime

    For those with 2 or more years experience wishing to keep their bees healthy and content by understanding their requirements and behaviour. Including important manipulations such as finding the queen, requeening, shook swarms, basic queen rearing, collecting, preventing and control of swarms. Managing the honey crop and how to recognise, prevent and deal with diseases, pests and other problems which may arise.
    Click here for more information about this beekeeping course and to book - http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/An-Advanced-Beekeeping-Day-with-Amanda-Millar-3rd-June-2017
    More beekeeping courses are available on our website - http://mantelfarmshop.co.uk/Training-Courses-and-Events/Beekeeping-Courses
    Learning the art of beekeeping is a fascinating past-time, but beware it can become addictive from the very first time you open a hive and peer inside! It is an interest that can just keep growing, as you begin to understand more and more about how these little insects work as an incredible and complex colony there is endless knowledge to gain. Bees are under threat and need our help to survive, by understanding the behaviour and instincts of the honey bee along with their needs and the problems they are encountering you can help a vital part of our environment.

    Cost: 98.00

  48. [Event] An Introduction to Beekeeping 2018 - Ipswich & East Suffolk BKA

    The aim of the course is to allow those with no previous knowledge or experience to start keeping bees successfully.

    This is a short course so, if you take it and wish to keep bees, you can’t afford to miss a single session. To underpin the instruction, within reasonable limits, we offer advice and assistance afterwards.

    You will get most from the course if you already have some acquaintance with honey bees; get in touch with us as soon as possible and we will arrange that.

    Two at the same address may come for the price of one.

    Cost: £50.00

    For more information contact: Jeremy Quinlan on 01473 737700 or email jeremyq@tiscali.co.uk