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. [Event] Beginners Beekeeping 2018 - Ryedale Beekeepers Association

    An introduction to Beekeeping for anyone who thinks they might be interested in keeping bees.

    The course consists of 6, two hour indoor, evening sessions and will include refreshments. This will be followed by an open hive session. The course will cover an introduction to bees, the hive and beekeeping equipment, beekeeping tasks throughout the year, pests and diseases, and  hive products.

    In addition participants are invited to attend all/any of RBKA's 2018 indoor and outdoor meetings. Full details at ryedalebees.co.uk

    Cost: £40.00

    For more information contact - Email: ryedalebees@btinternet.com

  2. [Event] Beekeeping for Beginners - Coventry & District Beekeeping Association

    An intensive two days course teaching the Basics of Beekeeping. Topics covered include: Equipment, Bee types, Swarm management, Routine inspections, honey harvesting and processing, legal aspects of Beekeeping, bee diseases.
    For the students guidance is given on what is needed to get started as a Beekeeper.
    Further details cab be obtained at this link
    https://www.covbeebranch.co.uk/training/beginner-s-courses/

    Cost: £80.00

  3. [Event] Beginners Beekeeping Course 2018 - Basingstoke Beekeepers

    Beginners Beekeeping Course - Basingstoke Beekeepers
    ====================================================
    Basingstoke Beekeepers offer a comprehensive beekeeping course which contains all the theoretical material and practical training needed to take a complete beginner to the point where they can start keeping bees. No prior knowledge is required, just enthusiasm to learn.
    The course consists of:
    -----------------------
    Four half day theory classes. 25th February, 4th, 18th and 25th March, from 12.00 to 4.00 pm.
    An afternoon practical (details TBD).
    7 afternoon apiary meetings to experience working with real bees. Weather permitting starting 2.00pm on 7th April, 5th May, 2nd June, 7th July, 4th August, 1st September and 29th September.
    The course costs £95 which includes course materials, refreshments and a beekeeping book, "The Haynes Bee Manual".
    Contact Bill Prescott: Telephone 07757 270215, Email william.prescott1@btinternet.com.
    Association website: http://www.basingstoke-beekeepers.org.uk/new-beekeepers-course-2011

  4. [Event] An Introduction to Beekeeping - Solihull and District Branch, Warwickshire Beekeeping Association

    A short introductory course in the theory of beekeeping; lifecycles, diseases, how to set up an apiary etc. which aims to teach an understanding of bees and beekeeping on a small scale.Eight weekly 2 hour evening sessions 

    Cost: £60.00

    For more information contact: Email: dizzyheights271@btinternet.com

  5. [Event] Sustainable Beekeeping: A future without Imports - BIBBA

    An exciting event has been organised in response to the increased interest in native and near native honey bees. The event includes the following topics and speakers:

    Why we need to conserve the dark European Honey Bee - Norman Carreck.

    Mapping honey bee health and genetic diversity in the UK - Mark Barnett

    Local adaptation in UK populations of dark European honey bees - Mairi Knight/Victoria Buswell

    Sustainable Bee Improvement - Jo Widdecombe

    The Journey to sustainability- Roger Patterson

    Cost: £17.00


    For more information contact: Email: kevinthorn@me.com

  6. [Event] Bee Improvement for all day - 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: £16.00

    For more information email: anemone1975@talktalk.net

  7. [Event] Beginners Beekeeping Theory Course - Chelmsford Beekeepers

    This course is very popular and provides a valuable insight into the life of bees.

    The syllabus of the course broadly aligns with the Basic Certificate in beekeeping and on completion will allow you to move on to the Beginner’s Practical Course. Recommended pre-course reading: ‘The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping’ by Ivor Davis and Roger Cullum-Kenyon. Published by Bloomsbury.

    To book: Use our new secure online shop at Chelmsfordbeekeepers.com Debit, credit cards and paypal accepted Cost: £70. Equipment: Notebook, pencil/pen

  8. [Event] Bee Improvement For All Day - North Somerset BKA/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: £10.00

    For more information contact E: ja.banks1@btinternet.com

  9. [News] First school in BBKA's new Schools Scheme wins Eco Project of the Year award!

    6 pupils at the school recently received the first Junior Beekeeping certificates under the BBKA’s (British Beekeepers Association) new School Scheme.


    The school has established a wildflower meadow and in that they have hives keeping honey bees. It was this project that won them the award and the school has said a huge array of pollinators have visited the meadow this year and they will be adding more flower types next year. Their beekeeping mentor is teacher Emma Turner-Bone.


     

    The BBKA is thrilled that they are getting this recognition.


    -ends-


  10. [News] BBKA Encouraged that Michael Gove will now back Total Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides

    Update to BBKA Statement on Neonicotinoid Pesticides – 9th November 2017

    Introduction 

    This statement provides an update on the position of the British Beekeepers Association in relation to the EU ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides released on 30th June 2017. This update follows a statement made by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on 9th November 2017.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-secretary-backs-further-restrictions-on-neonicotinoid-pesticides
    BBKA Comments 

    The BBKA has maintained that the policy of both the UK and the EU should be led by sound science. It is encouraged to note that Mr Gove’s comments are based on the updated advice of the UK’s Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) which has been released today.
    They have concluded that:
    • Exposure to neonicotinoids under field conditions can have an unacceptable effect on honeybee health.
    • Such unacceptable effects are occurring at a landscape level and between seasons.
    • These neonicotinoid pesticides are relatively persistent in the environment and can occur in non-target plants foraged by bees.
    • Wild bees (bumblebees and solitary bees) are negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoid residues from across the landscape.
    The position of the BBKA has, and continues to be ‘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.’
    The advice to ministers indicates that Neonicotinoid pesticides are causing harm to both pollinators in general, honey bees in particular and equally importantly the overall environment. This means that the BBKA will support the continuation of the moratorium on their use and would support an overall banning of their use. The UK government position which will feed into the European discussion is likely to have a significant impact as they were one of the few voices arguing against the moratorium originally, making it more likely that EU wide ban will be extended or made permanent.
    The BBKA was pleased to be involved in discussions across a wide range of farming related sectors about how the regulatory regime would evolve as the UK leaves the EU. We were encouraged that the government is thinking about the importance of pollinators in general and honey bees in particular in the context of Brexit. Equally we are pleased that the government is offering to work with farmers to develop an alternative approach to treating crops. We remain concerned however that any alternative treatments used do not cause harm to honey bees and other pollinators.
    We will continue to update both our members and the public as the current debate evolves.
    Martin Smith Director of Communications
    Martin.smith@bbka.org.uk
    9th November 2017
  11. [Statement] Update to BBKA Statement on Neonicotinoid Pesticides - 9th November 2017

    Introduction

    This statement provides an update on the position of the British Beekeepers Association in relation to the EU ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides released on 30th June 2017. This update follows a statement made by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on 9th November 2017 BBKA Comments

    The BBKA has maintained that the policy of both the UK and the EU should be led by sound science. It is encouraged to note that Mr Gove’s comments are based on the updated advice of the UK’s Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) which has been released today.

    They have concluded that:

    • Exposure to neonicotinoids under field conditions can have an unacceptable effect on honeybee health.

    • Such unacceptable effects are occurring at a landscape level and between seasons.

    • These neonicotinoid pesticides are relatively persistent in the environment and can occur in non-target plants foraged by bees.

    • Wild bees (bumblebees and solitary bees) are negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoid residues from across the landscape.

    The position of the BBKA has, and continues to be ‘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.’

    The advice to ministers indicates that Neonicotinoid pesticides are causing harm to both pollinators in general, honey bees in particular and equally importantly the overall environment. This means that the BBKA will support the continuation of the moratorium on their use and would support an overall banning of their use. The UK government position which will feed into the European discussion is likely to have a significant impact as they were one of the few voices arguing against the moratorium originally, making it more likely that EU wide ban will be extended or made permanent.

    The BBKA was pleased to be involved in discussions across a wide range of farming related sectors about how the regulatory regime would evolve as the UK leaves the EU. We were encouraged that the government is thinking about the importance of pollinators in general and honeybees in particular in the context of Brexit. Equally we are pleased that the government is offering to work with farmers to develop an alternative approach to treating crops. We remain concerned however that any alternative treatments used do not cause harm to honeybees and other pollinators

    We will continue to update both our members and the public as the current debate evolves.

    Martin Smith Director of Communications

    Martin.smith@bbka.org.uk

    9th November 2017

    [News] New show trailer offer for Associations

    Dear Members, 

    The weather is getting wetter and the nights are certainly drawing in.  I have not been able to get into my bees for over two weeks and with the forecast it may be another two weeks before I can give them their final check before winter really sets in. 

     

    BBKA HQ

    So, what is happening at BBKA? Well, the building work has well and truly started.

     As you can see, it has opened the space out considerably, there is a wall to be built but you get the general picture, all the staff are now temporarily working from the board room and kitchen  upstairs, so if there are delays in answering any requests please bear with them. 

    As we approach the year end, we will have to take stock of all that we have of value.  It is our intention to start a new and effective stock control system from the beginning of the new financial year. We should be able to start with the numbers that we have to produce for the accountants.  This will make life easier as we will include minimum stock dates so that we can re-order effectively before the stock runs out. 

     

    Asian Hornets 

    By now, you should all know that there has been a sighting of Asian Hornets in Woolacombe in Devon.  We know that every available inspector has been working on this and they have found and destroyed the nest. Hopefully they managed to do this before the new queens have left home to hide somewhere over winter. 

    We have had an offer from Nigel Semmence from DEFRA to come to the Stoneleigh Office to train staff and trustees about the Asian hornet. What exactly to look for and how to identify and who to report to.  That will help if any members think they have a sighting and are not sure what to do. 

    DEFRA have released a mobile phone App to help people correctly identify the Asian Hornet, the App is free from both the Apple and Android App store and works on all suitable smart phones.  

    Apparently the nest for the Asian Hornet in Jersey was found in a shed, so they are not necessarily up in the tree tops. 

    More information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-app-to-report-asian-hornet-sightings

     

    Apimondia Convention – Istanbul, Turkey.

    Whilst Margaret Murdin and John Hendrie were at the Apimondia Convention, they entered our own BBKA News and all the Special Issue Booklets into the World Beekeeping Awards competition, sadly it was not a winner as the judges went for more scientific journals.  But at least we tried. 

    It is nice to note that a BBKA judge (Margaret Davis) was in charge of all the judging at the World Beekeeping Awards at Apimondia. 

    More details at: http://www.apimondia2017.org/default.asp

     

    New BBKA Schools Scheme

    We have just been told that Calderstones School which was first to get the Junior Certificates in the new School Scheme has been shortlisted for Eco School of the Year in the North West - this is based on the wildflower meadow and presumably the beekeeping. Here's the article from Educate Magazine showing the shortlists: 

    http://www.educatemagazine.com/schools-react-educate-awards-shortlist/

     

    National Honey Show

    We will have a stand at the National Honey Show and the initial run of ‘How to’ laminated leaflets will be available; the first one is on a Bailey Comb Change, kindly written by Wendy Maslin. You will be able to take it with you to the Apiary without the fear of it being damaged by weather or bees’.

    We also have a new BBKA News Special Issues booklet out, which should also be available at the stand.  It’s called Flower Families for Forage, by Celia Davis, Master Beekeeper, NDB.   It will be £3 from the BBKA stand at the NHS and £4 (inc P&P) afterwards from the BBKA shop.

    Visitors to the BBKA stand at the NHS will also be able to get an early view of the new BBKA website. There has been a lot of work put into this especially by the office staff and George Brown and we do hope you like the results of all their labours. 

    The Northern counties are looking to work together in a similar way that the South West counties do, this is still work in progress, but it looks good. 

    We have some interesting meetings scheduled with companies who want to be involved in promoting bees and beekeeping. These will happen in the next few weeks, so when we have some positive news resulting from the meetings we will let you know. 

    Show trailer 

    The Shows committee held a meeting recently and we are still looking at providing a ‘Trailer’ which can travel to any Association which may want to use it for their show. One option might be a self-contained unit with a drop down walk-in front and ‘wings’ that open out with display boards. Hopefully it will hold the Hive Experience and all the equipment you will need for a show. It would be good if Associations would let us know if there is any interest in using this - after all, the whole idea is to support you as major stakeholders in achieving our Charitable Objectives.

    Margaret Wilson 

  12. [Event] Introduction to Beekeeping 2018 - Reigate Beekeepers

    This is an excellent 10 week theory course, starting on Monday 15th January and going through until 19th March. 

    The theory sessions are followed up during the following April by four weekly practical beekeeping sessions at our apiary near Dorking on Wednesday evenings. 

    This course gives you the knowledge you need to start keeping your own bees.  The price of the course includes a copy of a well known beekeeping manual - title to be confirmed.

    Cost: £150.00

    For more information contact: Gill Simpson - E: Secretary@ReigateBeekeepers.org.uk or T: 01883 343791

  13. [Event] Introduction to Beekeeping 2018 - Warwick and Leamington Beekeepers

    Introduction to Beekeeping 2018

    This 6 week, one evening per week course, starts on 5th February 2018, and is aimed at those wishing to start keeping honeybees. It will take place on six consecutive Monday evenings at the British Beekeepers' Association Offices, Stoneleigh Park, from 6.30pm to 9.00pm (with a tea/coffee break during the evening).

    The Delegates will also be invited to attend the Hive and Frame Assembly Workshop planned for April 2018.

    There will be practical bee handling sessions arranged if the weather is warm enough to open the Branch beehives. Those who decide to join our branch will be assisted in acquiring honeybees and equipment, will be eligible to request mentoring support in their first year of beekeeping, and will be encouraged to attend weekly branch apiary meetings in order to gain practical experience.

    Cost: £70.00

    For more information and enrolement form please go to the Warwick and Leamington Beekeepers website: http://www.warleambees.org.uk/

    Please complete a separate form for EACH PERSON enrolling on the 2018 course

  14. [News] "Depressingly small" honey crop from British Beekeepers

    The two most productive regions in England continue to be the South East, producing 30.1 lbs of honey and the East with 29.3 lbs of honey per hive, while those areas which suffered a particularly wet summer, Wales and the South West, both saw their honey crop drop to 18 lbs per hive.

    Britain differs from the rest of Europe in that most of its beekeeping is carried out by amateur beekeepers, whereas in much of the rest of Europe it is carried out by bee farmers. In common with the EU as whole,  Britain does not produce enough honey to meet demand. 

    “A honey crop of fifty to a hundred pounds was typical when I started beekeeping in the 1950’s,” said Job Hobrough who was recently awarded his BBKA certificate for sixty years of beekeeping and is the BBKA’s Adopt a Beehive representative for the North East region. 

    He continues:

    “In those days farmers under-planted crops with clover to nourish the land, nowadays there just isn’t time or space for this style of farming. I think it is having a huge impact on the honey crop, by reducing the forage available not just to honey bees, but all our insects.  

    “I warn new beekeepers not to expect a big crop of honey, and to be fair many people aren’t in it nowadays for the honey.”

    While weather conditions will always cause variations in the honey crop, for example the cold winter of 2014 saw the honey crop drop to just 8lb a colony, it is the steady overall decline in quantity which is worrying.  

    The top five factors worrying beekeepers about the future of the honey bees are:

    • use of pesticides including neonicotinoids 62%;
    • loss of forage from agricultural development 31%;
    • Asian hornet 32%;
    • Varroa mite 28%’
    • climate change 28%.

    Margaret Murdin, BBKA Chairman, concludes:

    “Everyone can play a part in helping honey bees and all the other insects they love such as butterflies and bumble bees by planting the right sort of flowers and shrubs. Check the label to see that anything you plant will be rich in nectar and pollen, as not all plants are equal in this respect. A crocus is so much better for bees than a daffodil, for example. 

    “Our survey shows that suburban gardens and urban roof tops produce some of the best honey crops, so how we garden really can make a difference.”                         -ends-       

  15. [Press Release] "Depressingly small honey crop" from British Beekeepers

    The honey crop from British beekeepers remains depressingly small, just 24 lbs or approaching 11 kilos per hive, pointing to a steady decline in the crop and an increase in worries about the future of honey bees

    The results of the British Beekeepers Association’s annual Honey Survey released today reveal that the average beekeeper in England produced 23.8 lbs (10.8 kilos) of honey this year – a decrease of 2.3 lbs over last year’s crop.

    [News] British Beekeepers are Losing Fewer Bees over Winter

    The overall trend continues to show a welcome decline in the number of colony losses. Respondents gave a variety of reasons why they believe their colonies failed and these included various aspects of queen failure, starvation, lack of forage and cold weather restricting foraging activities and forage availability. Regional analysis showed the highest regional losses were seen in the North East at 23% and the lowest in the Eastern region at 9.7%. This reverses the regional pattern of 2016 which showed higher losses in the South of the country. It is unclear what is driving these regional variations BBKA Director of Communications, Martin Smith, said: “One of the key drivers of success in overwintering honey bees is the level of competence of individual beekeepers. The BBKA and its member associations have worked hard to provide educational resources, training courses and other materials to allow beekeepers to improve their husbandry skills. This in turn enables them to maintain healthy bee colonies, despite the various threats to their survival.” The above data preceded the arrival of the Asian Hornet into the UK and this aspect will also be monitored in the 2018 survey in the light of the development of the Asian Hornet invasion. Notes​ ​to​ ​Editors Importance​ ​of​ ​winter​ ​losses of​ ​honey​ ​bees The honey bee is the only bee to maintain a colony throughout the winter. The colony reduces its size in autumn and relies on its stores of honey to last it through the winter months when it is too cold for foraging or there is no forage available. The loss of honey bee colonies impacts the available pollination resources as well as reducing honey crops, so it is essential that beekeepers rebuild stocks. This is done by ‘splitting’ colonies and building honey bee numbers back up to strength over the season. So if, for example, a beekeeper takes 10 hives into the winter but loses two colonies by the spring, a further two colonies must be ‘split’ to get back up to 10 colonies by the end of the season. The net effect being that the beekeeper has effectively only 6 hives running at full strength during that season. Experienced beekeepers keeping bees in good conditions are able to increase the number of colonies highlighting the importance of beekeepers in managing and growing honey bee colony numbers. Honey​ ​bee​ ​survival In winter, worker bees can live for up to five or six months, But in the summer, worker bees only live for around six weeks having to work much harder foraging. Honey bee queens live for three to four years but cannot survive without worker bees. In some other species of bees or wasps only the queen survives by hibernating through the winter months. About​ ​the​ ​BBKA With around 25,000 members the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) is the leading organisation supporting honey bees and beekeepers within the UK. It aims to promote and further the craft of beekeeping and to advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment. For further details: Please contact Diane Roberts, press officer, BBKA: 07841-625797 16​ ​October​ ​2017

  16. [News] Baby Seal Reunited with Mother at High Tide

    Beekeepers checking their hives after Storm Ophelia Beekeepers checking their hives near the beach after Storm Ophelia battered Anglesey with winds of more than 80 miles per hour for more than 5 hours heard distressed calls from a baby seal. 

    The seal had been thrown far up the beach by the winds and was trapped behind large rocks. 
    An RSPCA marine mammal vet from Anglesey Sea Zoo was called to check the seal over and an anxious watch was kept for signs of the seal's Mum. The vet said the baby was fit as a fiddle and just missing his mother. 
    The decision was made to wait for high tide at 10pm to try to bring the two of them together. 
    The baby seal was placed in a sling and helped over the rocks and into the water where his anxious mum was waiting. 
    This morning they have been seen together in the bay but many other baby seals on Anglesey and the LLyn Peninsula died in the storm. 
    it was a long, soaking day for the beekeepers but luckily all their hives had stayed intact during Ophelia. 
    -ends- 
  17. [Press Release] British Beekeepers Losing Few bees over Winter

    British​ ​Beekeepers’​ ​Association​ ​(BBKA)​ ​10​th​ ​Annual​ ​Colony​ ​Survival​ ​Survey results​ ​are​ ​published​ ​today​ ​and​ ​show​ ​a​ ​reduction​ ​in​ ​the​ ​over-winter​ ​losses compared​ ​to​ ​the​ ​previous​ ​year,​ ​down​ ​from​ ​16.7%​ ​to​ ​13.2%.

    [News] Baby Seal Rescue

    The seal which still has its white baby fur was on its own with no sign of any other seals in the area. 

    The beekeepers called Anglesey Sea Zoo which has a maritime research department and they are on their way to rescue it. 


    -ends- 

  18. [Event] Beginners Willow Weaving Course - Make a Garden Bee Sculpture

    Willow Weaving Course - Make a Bee (Saturday 20th January 2018)
    Learn a new skill this winter. Join our professional willow weaver, Heather, as she guides you through the techniques needed to build your own willow bee.
    ​
    This practical and enchanting course is ideal for participants from a wide range of ages and abilities. It is ideal for families.
    ​
    Gift vouchers will be supplied for Christmas or other special occasions.
    ​
    The course fee includes:-
    ​
    Extensive tuition
    All materials needed to create your own willow bee

    Teas and coffees will be provided throughout the day

    At the end of the day you can take your bee home to take pride of place in your garden.
    ​​
    You will need to bring:-

    Lunch
    Warm clothing (in case the building gets chilly (after all it will be January)
    ​
    The Venue

    The course will be held at "The Bee Centre" on the Samlesbury Hall estate near Preston. We are 5 minutes from J31 of the M6. The facility includes a large indoor visitor centre and classroom area alongside our outdoor apiaries and half acre pollinator garden.
    ​
    Set in the heart of Lancashire, the location is ideal for those who wish to integrate the course with an extended visit to the North West. We are a short hop from the Lake District, the North Yorks Moors and the beautiful Trough of Bowland. There is also Samlesbury Hall itself; a striking 12th century building and visitor attraction which now includes an excellent restaurant and wafflery. There is also plenty to do for partners who wish to accompany delegates and/or for those of you who want to take the opportunity for an extended stay.
    ​
    Accommodation, food, etc.
    ​
    There is accommodation available on site (in glamping-style shepherds huts) at additional cost, as well as local hotels, pubs and B&Bs. A selection of links are provided below.
    ​
    Samlesbury Hall
    Premiere Inn
    Samlesbury Hotel
    Tickled Trout
    Holiday Inn Express

    The price for this course is £45.

    Places are limited as this course is expected to be popular and we need to keep numbers low (maximum of 10 people) in order to ensure good support for all participants. It is therefore advisable to book early.

    Bookings are taken on a first come first served basis. When full, a waiting list will be created. We may run a second course in March.

    Once paid, the fee for this course is not refundable.

    For more information contact: Simon Cordingley or Kath Cordingley - T: 07971956148 or E: info@thebeecentre.org

  19. [Event] Treatment Free Beekeeping with Dr. Leo Sharashkin

    Weekend Course on treatment free beekeeping in horizontal hives with Dr Leo Sharashkin of Missouri, USA.

    The Course will take a natural approach to beekeeping including:

    •How bees live in nature and how to respect their ways in your apiary.
    •Natural and less intensive management.
    •Start or increase an apiary by attracting swarms of local bees.
    •Horizontal hives and their advantages.
    •Wax foundation v foundationless natural comb.
    •Colony management - what to do and what not to do.
    •One-box hive, no feeding, no queen excluders, no requeening.
    •Healthy strong colonies without any treatments.

    Dr Leo Sharashkin is editor of Keeping Bees With a Smile: A Vision and Practice of Natural Apiculture, a comprehensive resource on keeping bees naturally in horizontal hives. He is contributor to American Bee Journal, The Beekeepers Quarterly, and Acres USA, and speaks internationally on sustainable beekeeping, organic growing, and Earth-friendly living. He holds a PhD in Forestry from the University of Missouri and a Master’s in Natural Resources from Indiana University, USA.

    Cost: £325.00

    For more information contact: Donna Regan - T: 01600714848 - E: bfdoffice@beesfordevelopment.org

  20. [Event] Practical Beekeeping 2018 - Epsom Beekeepers Association

    This course provides a practical introduction to managing a colony of bees safely and responsibly. You will have the opportunity to work in small groups with an experienced tutor to inspect and manipulate "your" colony of bees for the whole summer season and discover if beekeeping is for you.

    There may be a chance to purchase a nucleus colony of bees from the apiary at the end of the season.

    We will provide a protective bee suit.
    Please note this course ideally follows our winter evening classes on the theory of beekeeping so is most suitable for those already secure in some knowledge of beekeeping.

    Cost: £100.00

    For more information contact: Helen Worwood - E: info@epsombeekeepers.co.uk

  21. [Event] An Introduction to Beekeeping - Taster Day - Epsom Beekeepers Association

    The morning session will introduce you to the theory of beekeeping - bee biology, hive set up, cost and equipment required, the beekeeping year and all about honey!
    Weather permitting, after lunch we will open and inspect a hive alongside an experienced beekeeper.
    A protective bee suit will be provided.
    16 places available each date - book early to avoid disappointment.

    Cost: 50.00

    For more information contact: Helen Worwood - E: info@epsombeekeepers.co.uk

  22. [Event] Introduction to Beekeeping - Taster Day - Epsom Beekeepers Association

    The morning session will introduce you to the theory of beekeeping - bee biology, hive set up, cost and equipment required, the beekeeping year and all about honey!
    Weather permitting, after lunch we will open and inspect a hive alongside an experienced beekeeper.
    A protective bee suit will be provided.
    16 places available each date - book early to avoid disappointment.

    Cost: £50.00

    For more information contact: Helen Worwood - E: info@epsombeekeepers.co.uk

  23. [Event] An Introduction to Beekeeping - Epsom Beekeepers Association

    This 10 week evening class is designed to give you a theoretical overview of Beekeeping. It provides a fascinating insight into the world of the honey bee and the craft of keeping bees.

    You will discover more about:
    * Life of the honey bee and colony
    * How bees forage
    * A season of Beekeeping
    * Honey and Wax products of the hive
    Please note this course does not provide practical beekeeping.

    For those wishing to keep bees we recommend attending the practical beekeeping course that follows this.

    Cost: £110.00

    For more information contact: Secretary of EBKA - E: info@epsombeekeepers.co.uk

  24. [Event] Weekend Beginners Course - Awbridge - Romsey & District Beekeepers Association

    On this 2-day course you will learn about the honey bee colony and forage, seasonal management and inspecting bees, buying kit and setting up an apiary, the life-cycle of a honey bee, pests and diseases, swarming and other aspects of bee behaviour. 

    At the end of the course you will have enough knowledge to help you make a start as a beekeeper, and you will know where to go and who to ask as you build on that knowledge and develop your skills. 

    The course includes a visit to the bees, where we will open a hive in small groups so that you can see and handle bees.  We can lend protective clothing if you do not have your own. 

    Light refreshments are included; please bring your own lunch.

    Cost: £90.00

    For more information contact: Gillian Bird - T: 01264 889463 or E: gillian.j.bird@btinternet.com

  25. [Event] Autumn Lecture : 10 Rules of Modern Beekeeping - Lincolnshire Beekeepers' Association

    Evening Lecture commencing at 7.30pm plus Northern Bee Books Stall, Grand Raffle and Refreshments.

    Event free to Lincs BKA members, all others £3

    For more information contact: Martin Robinson - E: martinlbka@yahoo.com

  26. [Event] Beekeeping Taster Session - West Suffolk BKA

    An evening course for those interested in and thinking about taking up and interested in beekeeping.

    An insight into what is involved, equipment needed, costs and an overview of the beekeeping year.
    The course will run from 7-30 pm to 9-30 pm

    Cost: £10.00

    For more information contact: Kevin Thorn - T: 07557 418418 or E: kevinthorn@me.com

  27. [Event] Autumn Conference - Central Association of Bee-Keepers

    The CABK Autumn Conference will be staged at the Woodside Hotel and 7 lectures from active researchers will be delivered at a relaxed pace over the 3 days.

    Running from the Friday afternoon through to Sunday morning, this is a great opportunity to hear the latest research and to network with beekeepers from all over the country.

    The hotel has excellent facilities including a pool and fitness room; all bedrooms are en-suite.  Various packages are available including single days or non-residential; please see the website for full details, booking form and prices.

    Please book via the website, www.cabk.org.uk

  28. [News] First school in BBKA's new Schools Scheme is shortlisted for ecological education award

    The school has established a wildflower meadow and in that they have hives keeping honeybees. Their beekeeping mentor is teacher Emma Turner-Bone. Pupils have already had a good harvest of honey and have been busy making candles to sell at school fairs. The winners will be announced in a ceremony at Liverpool Cathedral on 17th November. The BBKA is thrilled that they are getting this recognition. -ends-

  29. [News] Asian Hornet nest found in North Devon

    The nest will then be removed and sent for analysis at a government laboratory. This follows the first confirmed sighting of an Asian Hornet on the UK mainland in 2017 two days ago in that area. A beekeeper near Woolacombe in North Devon saw an Asian Hornet hawking in front of his hives and also gathering nectar from ivy. Beekeepers in the area need to remain vigilant in case secondary nests have been established. Bee inspectors who found the nest will continue their surveillance of the area. Any sightings should be reported through the Asian Hornet Watch app or sent to the non-native species alert email address: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk -ends-

  30. [News] First Asian Hornet confirmed on UK mainland in North Devon

    26​ ​September​ ​2017 The​ ​first​ ​confirmed​ ​sighting​ ​of​ ​an​ ​Asian​ ​Hornet​ ​on​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​mainland​ ​in​ ​2017​ ​is in​ ​North​ ​Devon. A beekeeper near Woolacombe in North Devon saw an Asian Hornet hawking in front of his hives and also gathering nectar from ivy. The beekeeper submitted his evidence to the National Beekeeping Unit (NBU) and they have confirmed that it is an Asian Hornet. Inspectors from the NBU are now on their way to Devon to back up local colleagues in the urgent task of tracking down the nest. All beekeepers in the area are advised to check their own hives and look out for any signs of Asian Hornets nesting. Recent finds on the Channel Islands suggest that they not only place their nests at height in trees but also use a quiet spot in a garden shed from time to time to build their living spaces. -ends-

  31. [Press Release] First Asian Hornet confirmed on UK mainland in North Devon

    26 September 2017


    The first confirmed sighting of an Asian Hornet on the UK mainland in 2017 is in North Devon.


     

    A beekeeper near Woolacombe in North Devon saw an Asian Hornet hawking in front of his hives and also gathering nectar from ivy.


    The beekeeper submitted his evidence to the National Beekeeping Unit (NBU)  and they have confirmed that it is an Asian Hornet.  


    Inspectors from the NBU are now on their way to Devon to back up local colleagues in the urgent task of tracking down the nest.


    All beekeepers in the area are advised to check their own hives and look out for any signs of Asian Hornets nesting.


    Recent finds on the Channel Islands suggest that they not only place their nests at height in trees but also use a quiet spot in a garden shed from time to time to build their living spaces.


    -ends-


    [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-

  32. [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

  33. [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

  34. [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

  35. [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

  36. [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.

  37. [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
  38. [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-

  39. [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

  40. [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

  41. [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

  42. [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.

  43. [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

  44. [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

  45. [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

  46. [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