BBKA News Feed

  1. Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire TF10 8NB   Lectures, Workshops, Seminars and Trade Show For a taste of what you missed at the 2019 event Click here to view the 2019 programme
  2. We have opened this category up in the hope of encouraging more beekeepers to go into schools and share in the magic and excitement of our craft. As a 'Schools Member' ONE NAMED MEMBER OF STAFF will sign up to your assoc/branch with their school address and school email address to get their BBKA News sent out to them. They get the same rights as a registered member for voting at the ADM and will be the sole named person who can come along to your branch meetings. We recommend that the school advise their own insurers. We have heard from beekeeping schools that they have not experienced any issues with adding beekeeping to their existing insurance cover. Bee Diseases Insurance is available, as it is to all members, should they want to add this to their membership. Not all visiting beekeepers will need DBS checks to go in to do talks, but all schools have different policies on this so please check with the staff. Should you need to have one done the cost is around £25: You...
  3. More information here  on objectives and expected outcomes for the study.
  4. A Queen rearing workshop for Master Beekeepers  This course is an opportunity to consolidate knowledge and skills in the technique of grafting and is aimed at those who will be teaching queen rearing in their local groups or branches.  Course Tutor  Clive de Bruyn  Date Friday pm  21st June – Sunday 23rd June  BBKA Stoneleigh CV8 2LG Cost £75  (you will need to find accommodation and evening meals, light lunches will be supplied)  By attending the course your are agreeing to pass on your skills through queen rearing courses in your local branches.  We will initially only be offering the course to Master beekeepers, if you would like to apply for a place please email anne.rowberry@bbka.org.uk for an application form.  Numbers will be limited.  I look forward to hearing from you  Anne Rowberry Practical Queen Rearing Course for Master Beekeepers Notes from Clive de Bruyn  Undoubtedly there are...
  5. Young Beekeeper William William; I’m 9 years old and from a small town called Boston in Lincolnshire. I first noticed bees at my first school whilst on the running track and started to notice they all looked different. Where some of my friends would run away from bees, I would keep calm and just watch them. I then found out in a topic lesson that pollinators were dying out due to (chemicals) pesticides and I felt upset that we could effect nature like this. My teacher told the class about how if we didn’t have pollinators that fruit and vegetables would not grow. There is lots of farmland where I live and we were lucky because some tree bees decided to live in our compost bin. I became very interested in seeing what the tree bees were doing. I wanted to check on them everyday & refused to let my dad move them. Since then I’ve reached lots about bees and kept on asking if we could keep bees. Last season my dad helped me to reach out to a local beekeeper to get...
  6. 8th April 2019A Queen rearing workshop for Master BeekeepersThis course is an opportunity to consolidate knowledge and skills in the technique of grafting and is aimed at those who will be teaching queen rearing in their local groups or branches.Course Tutor  Clive de BruynDate Friday pm  21st June – Sunday 23rd JuneBBKA Stoneleigh CV8 2LGCost £75  (you will need to find accommodation and evening meals, light lunches will be supplied)By attending the course your are agreeing to pass on your skills through queen rearing courses in your local branches.We will initially only be offering the course to Master beekeepers, if you would like to apply for a place please email anne.rowberry@bbka.org,uk for an application form.  Numbers will be limited.I look forward to hearing from you Anne Rowberry Practical Queen Rearing Course for Master Beekeepers Notes from Clive de BruynUndoubtedly there are a multitude of ways to raise queens.  Honeybees have been doin...
  7. 4th April 2019 Southport & District Beekeepers were moving their Apiary from just outside Formby to Hesketh Park in Southport when they discovered an old microscope they had been given back in the 70s.  It was an old PriorLux 100 series donated by the widow of the late Trevor Willets, a former pathologist, and was clearly in need of repair.  Southport contacted the maker Prior Scientific and was told that they did not do repairs. So they put the microscope on Ebay hoping to raise a few hundred pounds that way so they could enhance the new apiary. Then they got a call from the sales manager at Prior who asked them to send across some pictures of the microscope.  It turned out that Prior was celebrating its 100 year anniversary and thought the microscope would fill a space in its museum of microscopy.  Barry Milne. chair of Southport & District Beekeepers, said "They wanted it for their museum of instruments and offered us a more up-to-date stereo mic...
  8. The annual survey by the BBKA has been running year-on-year since 2007. It aims to determine its members' honey bee colony survival and to understand the causes of success and failures in overwinter colony survival. The survey time period is from 1 October 2018 to 31 March 2019.  Please follow this link through to the 5 minute survey
  9. The annual survey by the BBKA has been running year-on-year since 2007. It aims to determine its members' honey bee colony survival and to understand the causes of success and failures in overwinter colony survival. The survey will be live between the 1 to the 30 April 2019. Please follow this link through to the 5 minute survey
  10. Information coming soon...
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  15. 1874 - the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) was instituted “For the Encouragement, Improvement and Advancement of Bee Culture in the United Kingdom, particularly as a means of bettering the Condition of Cottagers and the Agricultural Labouring Classes, as well as the advocacy of humanity to the industrious labourer – the Honey Bee.” 1914-18 and 1939-46 – during the two world wars, the BBKA made successful representations to government to secure extra sugar rations for beekeepers, as honey was recognised as an important foodstuff. 1960 - a new Constitution was adopted, after 17 years of heated discussion between the various county associations and membership factions and their representatives. However, fortunately the post-war years proved to be boom years for beekeeping and in 1953 there were 80,000 beekeepers in England and Wales with 396,000 colonies. 1990 - marked the arrival of the varroa mite in the UK, which had a major adverse impact on bee coloni...
  16. 21 March 2019 The University of Plymouth in partnership with B4 (a community interest company: Bringing Back Black Bees) and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have started a 4 year PhD study to investigate suggestions from bee-keepers that different sub-species have a suite of different behaviours and characteristics in comparison to other sub-species, and further that these might be highly regional in their nature. The project will measure these differences, and match those with genetic signatures to confirm the lineage of bees showing different traits. It also aims to identify the parts of the genome that might be under rapid change in these sub-species. While some of the trait differences might be well-established in the bee-keeping community, to date published, robust empirical evidence is lacking. The kinds of traits that we’re interested in gathering data on are, for example, drone brood timings, worker brood cycle, and thriftiness. We will inves...
  17. The University of Plymouth in partnership with B4 (a community interest company: Bringing Back Black Bees) and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have started a 4 year PhD project to investigate suggestions from bee-keepers that different sub-species have a suite of different behaviours and characteristics in comparison to other sub-species, and further that these might be highly regional in their nature. The project will measure these differences, and match those with genetic signatures to confirm the lineage of bees showing different traits. It also aims to identify the parts of the genome that might be under rapid change in these sub-species. While some of the trait differences might be well-established in the bee-keeping community, to date published, robust empirical evidence is lacking. The kinds of traits that we’re interested in gathering data on are, for example, drone brood timings, worker brood cycle, and thriftiness. We will investigate these...
  18. Tuesday 12 March 2019 The team of young beekeepers who will represent the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) at the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers in July has been chosen. This year the event is being held in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia from the 3rd to the 7th of July.  Three 14 year old beekeepers were selected at a special recruitment day, plus a 16 year old reserve beekeeper. They are,  from left to right, Izzy Campbell from Newcastle, reserve, Natalie Phillips from Liverpool, William Akers from Buckinghamshire and Ben Sullivan from Norfolk.  All of them had to pass written and practical exercises either individually or in a group and show that they were competent at handling honeybees.  They were also followed by a team from the Discovery Channel who will be following them to the IMYB and finding out how Beekeeping differs around the world.  William Akers said: "I was amazed to be selected and am keen on working in agriculture and p...
  19. If you think you've got what it takes to offer a sanctuary to honey bees get in touch today! We are currently in the process of mapping sites across the UK where people have land to house beehives. Our aim is to get you teamed up with one of our 25,000 > beekeepers and set up a mutual relationship between the host, beekeeper, and of course the bees! And if you think you might not have enough forage available this year, don't fear! There is a lot of research around right now about the best plants for pollinators, and we have a great guide available here to tell you what you can get planting to gear up to be the ideal Bee and Bee.  To register your place on the forthcoming map, please send your postcode / email address / a photo of the land and tell us whether you're a business or it is a personal address to claire.hartry@bbka.org.uk  MAP COMING SOON!
  20. All the information gathered in this survey will be confidential and used only in the pursuit of brining this book up to a publishable standard. You may withdraw consent for your data to be included at any time by emailing z.mccullaghgeorge1@unimail.derby.ac.uk
  21. Adopt a Beehive is temporarily unavailable whilst we review the scheme. Please note that any orders we have received up till now will be sent out as normal and your money will still go straight to Honey Bee Health research. Thank you so much for your support. You will still receive your updates throughout the year. If you would still like to support BBKA please donate and leave a comment. If you haven't already, you can sign up to our newsletter (link below) to keep up-to-date.
  22. This vacancy will close at midnight on 28 February 2019. You are able to view the vacancy by clicking on this link:  https://applications.work-for-scotland.org/intranet/job_search_view.aspx?preview=preview&jobId=13647  
  23. 11th March 2019 The IMYB Assessment took place on 10th March at Stoneleigh Head Quarters and organiser Simon Cavill says a fine team has been assembled for the meeting in July. As well as the team for this year he said there were some enthusiastic future candidates that attended who will be all set to join future teams as they now have a real feeling for what the meeting is about.Three 14 year old beekeepers were selected at a special recruitment day. They are, Natalie Phillips from Liverpool, William Akers from Buckinghamshire and Ben Sullivan from Norfolk.  5th Jan 2019Calling all teen beeks…It’s that time of year again when we start recruiting young beekeepers for the 2019 IMYB which is in its 10th year and is being held in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, on the  3rd July - 7th July 2019. As before, we are looking for a team of three teen beeks aged between 12-17 with either the BBKA Basic or Junior Assessment (or equivalent experience) to come on an all expenses paid...
  24. 13 February 2019 The first Asian Hornet of 2019 has been found in the British Isles. A foundress queen hornet emerged from hibernation at St Heliers Bay on the island of Jersey. The hornet had been sheltering in hessian used to protect ships cables. She was captured.  Last year, Asian hornet hunters and pest controllers on the island, found and destroyed more than 50 nests estimated to produce 200 queens each.  Even with high winter mortality, it's expected to be a testing season for island beekeepers.  -ends- 
  25. I have just read an article on dorsoventral abdominal vibrating dance (DVAV) and I think we as Beekeepers need to take on the message – ‘work is on the horizon’. Not the Spring Inspections or frantic frame making or even booking tickets for the Spring Convention, but we need to be busy. Now is the time to take an extra stroll around woodlands before they come into leaf to check no uninvited guests have been building nests. There won’t be any Asian Hornets in the nests but it may indicate that there could be overwintering queens about to emerge in the area. Hopefully your area Association has established an Asian Hornet team with each branch or club in the Association having their own team. It is really important that each member of the team is aware of the main identification points of the Hornet and has an information card to refer to if needed (these can be obtained from the NBU or downloaded from their website). Every beekeeper team member needs to be sure...
  26. Trustees Liability Schedule Management Liability Policy
  27. John Canning - elected January 2019 ADM for a 3 year term I am a recently retired GP and have been keeping bees for 6 years. For over 30 years I have been involved in organisations, at both local and national levels, which are representative and democratic. I have been particularly keen to ensure safe and accountable structures are in place to enable the organisation to concentrate on its primary objectives. I am passionate about beekeeping, and the need for clear national representation to ensure that the BBKA provides a strong voice for honeybees and beekeepers. My experience of changing representative organisations will be helpful the to the Trustees. I am also committed to ensuring that central organisations help local ones to flourish. Email here 
  28. Why Do Bees Make Honey? Honey bees are special in that they overwinter as a colony, unlike wasps and bumblebees (see Biology). The colony does not hibernate but stays active and clusters together to stay warm. This requires a lot of food, which is stored during the summer. Although a hive only needs 20-30 lb of honey to survive an average winter, the bees are capable of collecting much more, if given storage space. This is what the beekeeper wants them to do. Bees have been producing honey in the same way for over one hundred and fifty million years How Much Honey Can One Beehive Produce? One hive can produce 60 lb (27 kg) or more in a good season, however an average hive would be around 25 lb (11 kg) surplus. Bees fly about 55,000 miles to make just one pound of honey, that’s 2.2 times around the world. Romans used honey instead of gold to pay their taxes. How Does The Beekeeper Get The Honey From The Bees? The queen bee is kept below the upper boxes (called &lsquo...
  29. Beeswax  Made from the honeycomb of the honeybee, beeswax is the purest and most natural of all waxes. For each pound of beeswax provided by a honey bee, the bee visits over 30 million flowers. To produce one pound of wax requires the bees to consume about eight to ten pounds of honey. They secrete the beeswax from the underside of their abdomens, and then use the wax to construct a honeycomb. The youngest bees cluster in large numbers to raise their body temperature. Wax-producing glands under their abdomens slowly secrete slivers of wax about the size of a pinhead. Other worker bees harvest these wax scales and take them to the part of the hive requiring the new wax. Bees use about 6 lb of honey to produce 1 lb of wax. Bee bread 'Edible grade' pollen or 'bee bread' is a mixture of plant pollen and honey, which bees mould into granules and store in their honeycombs. Plant pollen can make you sneeze and have a runny nose and eyes if you are allergic to it, but people eat bee...
  30. Shop for honey and you'll see that some are lighter, others are darker. In general, the darker the honey, the better its antibacterial and antioxidant power. Honey was known to the Greeks as the "food of the Gods." Honey was used in WWI to treat soldiers wounds. It is still used in wound dressings  today - medical grade honey is found to work against bacteria and fungi by creating a moist healing environment that is antibacterial in nature.
  31. THREATS TO UK HONEY BEES Habitat loss Use of pesticides Pests and diseases Extreme weather and climate change, and Competition from invasive species Ways to help Grow more flowers, shrubs & trees  Let your garden grow wild Cut grass less often Don’t disturb insect nests & hibernation spots Try and not use pesticides Open to letter to Councils across the UK - please feel free to copy and send to your local Council Isle of Wight Council plans to reduce verge cutting, saving £11,000 a year. This will allow more wildflowers to bloom, benefitting pollinators, while essential road safety standards are maintained. Please also consider donating 
  32. Legs – The honey bee has three pairs of legs, six legs in total. However, the rear pair is specially designed with stiff hairs to store pollen when in flying from flower to flower. This is why a heavily laden  worker bee is seen to have two golden pouches in full season. The front pair of legs has special slots to enable the bee to clean its antenna. Wings – The honey bee has four wings in total. The front and rear wings hook together to form one big pair of wings and unhook for easy folding when not flying. Eyes – Incredible as it may seem, the honey bee has FIVE eyes, two large compound eyes and three smaller ocelli eyes in the centre of its head.
  33. For any branches or associations who are yet to nominate their AHAT coordinator, please email gen.manager@bbka.org.uk with the details. You will find our advice here  Please action this asap to ensure we can all help the NBU in the coordinated response to this invasive species.
  34. National Bee Unit identification poster These resources can be ordered direct from the NBU office by contacting nbu@apha.gsi.gov.uk - but to save time and money you can also download the files above and print them yourselves PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE ASIAN HORNET IDETIFICATION APP HERE FOR FREE
  35. Please save, print and display this wherever you think it would be useful
  36. Each BBKA branch or Area Association is being asked to set up a team that can assist with local requests for help in identifying Asian Hornets. We thank the AHATs in Devon for their guidance and forethought with this.  Please download the file for full details.     download file O Please find a written overview from the Government of all the relevant Organisations in relation to the response on Asian Hornets.      download file
  37. DEFRA is recommending monitoring traps in all areas of the Country even where there is no Asian hornet incursion known of at present. Once an Asian hornet has been positively identified in an area then kill traps should be used. This is in the expectation that if Asian hornets are in the area then they will be trapped and identified. The by-catch in these traps will be small compared to the damage caused by the Asian hornets if the nests are not found.  Any suspected Asian Hornets should be photographed and the pictures sent to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk Download the full monitoring trap PDF here
  38. You may be wondering how Jersey beekeepers have worked out the distance they are from an Asian Hornet's nest by timing how long it takes a hornet to fly from bait to nest and back? Well it all goes back to elementary mathematics..... Speed is a measure of how quickly an object moves from one place to another. It is equal to the distance traveled divided by the time. It is possible to find any of these three values using the other two. Peter Kennedy, Research Fellow at the University of Exeter has provided a very helpful explanation of how they did it on Jersey:  John de Carteret on Jersey observed from a number of nest locations that when one looks back at ta he times quoted for individual foraging hornets at various bain stations ( i.e. the time between when an individual departs and then returns) that there was a time/distance correlation. His observation, that proved a useful rule of thumb, was that each minute of a flight interval equates to approximately 100 metres between...
  39. Every year in the second week of September we hold an 'Asian Hornet Week' to raise awareness of this invasive species, this is the time of year when Asian hornets start hawking honeybees at hive entrances. The early autumn is the last chance we will have to prevent the emergence of new Asian hornet queens.  A further reminder that if we are to have any chance of stopping Asian Hornets from becoming established in the UK all Beekeepers, AHATs and local BKAs need to be prepared and spend periods of time being on the look out for Asian Hornets at apiaries throughout this autumn. Please find the ASIAN HORNET IDENTIFICATION PDF HERE
  40. If you think you have seen an Asian Hornet 1. Please use the Asian Hornet Watch app on your phone to send a picture and a location via GPS in the app straight to the non-native species secretariat and National Bee Unit. 2. If you cannot download the Asian Hornet Watch app, please use this online recording form 3. As a last resort, you send a picture and email with details of where you saw the Asian hornet with your contact details to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk If it is safe to do so, you can send in a sample to the National Bee Unit for examination to confirm identity (please note the specimen must be dead before sending it in). However, do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest. For more information visit the Non Native Species Secretariat website.
  41. Latest on Asian Hornet - AHAT action required Claire Hartry BBKA Trustee Anne Rowberry has attended meetings and had discussions with Nigel Semmence, Contingency Planning & Science Officer, Bee health advice service at the National Bee Unit.  This document is the summary of the protocol that has been agreed. Further information will be posted on the website as it becomes available under Services\Asian Hornet\   Here is the link direct to the web page:   https://www.bbka.org.uk/asian-hornet-action-teams As you will read in the document, the BBKA needs all Area Associations to supply contact details to the office of their Asian Hornet Area Co-Ordinator(s) as soon as possible.  We are in the process of creating a map on the website, similar to the swarm map, to facilitate members of the public being able to contact your co-ordinator. We have also put on the website a document prepared by Nigel Semmence which gives...
  42. BBKA Holds a competition every year to raise the profile of bees In 2018 this was 'Bees in Art' and the winners will be receiving a commemorative plate with their own picture printed on and a winner's certificate. Here are our wonderful winners from 2018: Poppy Rain, 11 years William Morrish, 15 years Lauren Gorbould, 16 years
  43. 30 November 2018  9 year old Rosie Edmundson was 'over the moon' to receive the British Beekeepers Association President's Prize for 2018 during morning assembly today.  Rosie, who attends Bewdley Primary School in Worcestershire, has been collecting money this year to help honeybees. The President's Prize is given to an individual who has done something special to help bees.  Margaret Murdin, who is the BBKA's President, travelled to her school to present her with a certificate and a shopping voucher that she can use to buy herself something she really wants.  Brownie  Rosie is a keen member of her local Brownie pack and has been very concerned about endangered animals.  Last year she raised £96 to help them but this year she has concentrated on honeybees and raised £85! She has been printing her own T-shirts to sell and helped decorate a duck house with bees in a meadow for a competition she entered.  Her mum, Lynsey, said&...
  44. Link to My beekeeping diary by Connie Rogers
  45. ta.answers@bbka.org.uk
  46. michelle.walsh@bbka.org.uk
  47. Supporting an onsite apiary in a school takes an enormous amount of work, time and effort but the bees can offer so much to the children in ways that are immeasurable The excellent Heron Hill Apiary, supported by Kendal Beekeepers started 3 years ago. Jacqui Cottam, being involved with bees since she was twelve, thought to bring bees and children together would be a great step for her school. She had a lot of support from her local beekeeping association and this has resulted in successful completion of their first ten Junior Assessments in June 2018. Jacqui said: ... seven were current Heron Hill children, 8–11, and three were past pupils, so ‘bitten by the beekeeping bug’ they come back every week for bee club and have taken the certificate. The exam day went well; tough, but the children did brilliantly, even demonstrating an artificial swarm to the examiner in the practical session! I was so proud of them. They might have been standing on boxes to reach...
  48. 23 November 2018  Horticulture students from Pershore College near Evesham have started mapping out plans to transform the National Apiary at the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) headquarters at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. The work is happening because of a very generous legacy left to us by a keen beekeeper. You can read the college news release below:  Local horticulture students are helping transform the apiary at the National Beekeeping Centre in Warwickshire to inspire a new generation of beekeepers – thanks to a Coventry man’s legacy. The BSc Horticulture students from Pershore College, near Evesham, part of WCG, have been tasked with coming up with a new design for the apiary, which is home to some 500,000 honey bees, so that it can be opened up to the local community. The apiary is part of the National Beekeeping Centre established by the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) at Stoneleigh Park in 1965, and is currently only used for b...