• Winner of RHS Chelsea tickets announced
    on May 15, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    15 May 2019 The winner of two tickets for RHS Chelsea Flower Show donated by McQueen's Flowers has been announced.  As the BBKA's Claire Hartry takes you on a tour of the national apiary and explains our plans for transforming it she also drew the winners name out: Helena Smith. YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs0H5qTghS0 McQueen's Flowers are making their stand at Chelsea all about the Uk's honeybee Apis Mellifera. There will also be a special honey menu for guests created by beekeeper chef Marcus Wareing and visitors will enter a virtual reality where they will feel like a honeybee flying over a field of flowers.  -ends-  &nbs […]

  • Back to School Bees
    on April 29, 2019 at 11:25 am

    The BBKA has launched a new JustGiving campaign to raise £2000 to get schools skilled in beekeeping.  The money raised will be used to give 80 Junior Schools or 40 Senior Schools the chance to join our new schools membership scheme.  Network of schools 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. Lesson plans & insurance included  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 Be... […]

  • What's in your Bee Shed?
    on April 23, 2019 at 7:44 am

    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... […]

  • New BBKA Forum
    on March 26, 2019 at 9:38 am

    The British Beekeepers Association ( BBKA) has a new forum for members and anyone interested in asking a question about beekeeping.  There is a general bee chat and a swarm tracker page on the site plus somewhere for young beekeepers to hang out.  The forum has the same code of conduct as all our social media - you can find full details here but we expect everyone to be courteous and refrain from using derogatory language:  BBKA Code of Conduct for Social Media So far there has been question about white ghost bees which turn out to be honeybees covered in the pollen from Himalayan Balsam plants. There is no doubt that the Balsam is flowering much earlier just like everything else this summer and the drought may mean there is not much nectar produced by the plants but honeybees are still working them.  That lack of nectar production is also discussed along with advice to not take too much honey off at this stage as we are nowhere near closing up th... […]

  • Use Honey first for a cough, new guidelines say
    on March 25, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    New guidelines for doctors from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) say they should tell patients to use honey first when they have a cough. This is based on 3 studies that showed honey reduces symptoms by 2 points on a 7 point scale. Honey and over-the-counter medicines should be the first line of treatment for most people with coughs, new guidelines recommend.  Antibiotic resistance This is intended to help tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance. Overusing antibiotics is making infections harder to treat, by creating drug-resistant superbugs.  A hot drink of milk and honey is a very effective remedy for a sore throat.  And honey can be combined also with lemon and ginger for coughs and a sore throat.   Patients are advised to use honey and over-the-counter medicines containing pelargonium, guaifenesin or dextromethorphan and wait for symptoms to improve, before going to a GP.  Most coughs are caused by viruses, which cannot be trea... […]

  • Does Bee Behaviour Relate to Inheritance?
    on March 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    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... […]

  • Team chosen for International Meeting of Young Beekeepers 2019
    on March 13, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    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... […]

  • First Asian Hornet of 2019
    on February 13, 2019 at 10:18 am

    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-&nbs […]

  • Students Start Mapping Exercise to Transform National Apiary at Stoneleigh
    on January 31, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    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... […]

  • 2018 Honey Harvest is third bigger than last years
    on January 31, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    22 October 2018 The annual honey survey by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) shows honeybees survived the difficult climate this year and produced a crop of honey a third bigger than last years. The results show that the honey crop was, on average, just over 30lbs of honey per hive, or just under 14 kilos  across England and Wales. It was a difficult year in climactic terms with a very cold snap nicknamed the Beast from the East halting the honey gathering in Spring and then a long drought in many parts of the country which meant plants with shallow roots stopped producing nectar.  While regions which traditionally have the biggest crop of honey, the East and South East, saw increases to 41 and 36lbs of honey per hive respectively, Welsh beekeepers reported an exceptionally improved crop, with over double the amount of honey compared to last year at 31.4lbs per hive, thanks largely to the long, warm summer. Calwyn Glastonbury, a beekeeper in the Usk Valley who ... […]