BBKA Annual Honey Survey

The BBKA annual honey survey is now open on their website. It really does only take a few minutes to complete and we would like to encourage as many members as possible to take part.

Here is the link : BBKA Annual Honey Survey

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Virtual National Honey Show

This year’s National Honey Show, 22nd to 24th October, will be a professional, online conference welcoming beekeepers worldwide.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event, free of charge.

Attendees will be able to attend lectures, demonstrations, visit our trade hall and take part in other exciting activities.

The show will feature a series of lectures and demonstrations, followed by live online Q&A sessions, with the opportunity to ask questions via the ‘chat’ facility.

Entry to the Show is by registration only and is free to all. Registration is now open at and it only takes about a minute to register. Once registered you will receive a confirmation email with their registration details.

Conference Programme

Thursday 22nd October

13.45 Welcome
14.00 Mike Palmer: A year at French Hill Apiaries
15.30-16.30 Demonstration: Gwyn Marsh Making Beeswax wraps
17.00-17.15 National Honey Show AGM
17.30-17.45 National Council AGM
18.30 The Central Association of Bee-Keepers Lecture: Medhat Nasr: Wintering honey bees – but not as we know it

Friday 23rd October

11.00-12.00 Demonstration: Chris Park, Skep making
14.00 Etienne Bruneau: The honey market in turmoil
15.30-16.30 Demonstration: John Goodwin, Showing honey
18.30 Bees for Development Quiz:

Saturday 24th October

11.00-12.00 Demonstration: Same day soap: The Robb recipe
12.30-13.30 Bill, Bob and Bees. Bill Turnbull and Prof Robert Pickard interview
14.00 Jeff Pettis: Long live the queen, please!, why are queens failing?
15.30-16.30 Closing

We know the lack of a physical Show will be disappointing, as it is for us all, but we hope to offer an exciting armchair event, where the National Honey Show Community can come together online.

Virtual Trade Hall

All your favourite traders will be represented in the Trade Hall, where you will be able to keep in touch with their latest offerings.

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Asian Hornet Week 2020

Asian Hornet Week 2020 7-13 September
We are asking everyone to be vigilant in looking out for this alien species, the Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina. This hornet could decimate our pollinators including our honey bees, it is important to have everyone actively looking for it.

Follow the BBKA on social media and share the Asian hornet week posts to help raise awareness

Autumn is the time for trapping as wasps and hornets lose their sources of floral nectar and find hives full of honey very attractive. We are asking beekeepers to put an hour aside every day to watch for hornets hawking their hives during Asian Hornet Week.

Effect on Biodiversity
From the Invasive Species Compendium

Hornets are well known for their attacks on other hymenopteran species, especially honey bees. Studies by Muller et al. (2010, 2013) in France demonstrate that V. velutina preys on a range of insects and the carcasses of mammals and birds.

The prey spectrum consisted of 59% hymenopteran species [of which bees (Apidae) represented over 35%], 32% dipterans, and 9% others (orders Hemiptera, Orthoptera, Lepidoptera, Mecoptera, Trichopetra, Coleoptera, Heteroptera, Neuroptera, Dermaptera, and Blattaria).

This is a link to a PDF for an Asian Hornet banner we designed in the office and have used at the Asian hornet conference in 2020. This is shown on the right.

This is the PDF file of the latest banner used

You can use the pdf to have your own banner printed by downloading it to your computer and then uploading it to this website. Banners are in the region of £30/40 pounds - (other websites are available!)

We have also attached the latest Asian hornet poster from the Government which you can display anywhere you think might be useful in your locality (local shops/ allotment site / work notice boards).

Asian hornet ID poster

How to report an Asian hornet
If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you should report this using the ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ app:

Asian Hornet Watch app for iPhone
Asian Hornet Watch app for android
You can also report sightings by email: Please include information on location, date and number of Asian hornets you have seen. Please also include a photo if you can to help our experts identify the insect.

Alternatively, you can fill out an online report form

Reporting Asian Hornet Sightings

Please fill out the details in the form – Non-native Species Alert – at the link, in each of the three sections, before clicking on the Save button at the bottom of the last section.

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Bucks County BKA Spring Seminar 2020

Bucks County BKA Spring Seminar 2020

The 24th annual spring seminar hosted by Bucks County Beekeepers will take place at the Wendover Memorial Hall on Saturday 8 February, 2020 from 10am

The speakers are:

Bob Smith: 8mm of nothing – the importance of bee space.

Dr Seirian Sumner: Wasps – the neglected darlings of the insect world.

Dr Nick Isaac: Where have all the pollinators gone?

There will be a second hand equipment stall – please contact Steve Adkins if you have something you’d like to sell – If you have items you wish to offer for sale please bring them on the day between 9:45am – 10:20am clearly marked with your name and price required. (all un sold equipment must be removed by the owner at the end of the day)

There will also be a raffle and stalls to browse: Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Bees Abroad, BBKA, Central Association of Bee Keepers, the Bucks Microscopy Group and a secondhand beekeeping bookstall.

Tea, coffee, cakes and a ploughman’s lunch is included for those who pre book so please register so that we can cater for everyone. The cost for the event is £15

The Bucks County Beekeepers AGM will be held at the end of the meeting.

For bookings CLICK HERE

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Practical Workshop for Beginners

Practical Workshop for Beginners

25 January 2020

This workshop is being held to help guide our new beekeepers through the process of assembling their equipment ready for the new season, if anyone is interested in helping please contact Lilian

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BBKA 2019 Exam Results

Congratulations to all those who passed their Basic Assessment in Beekeeping in 2019!

The BBKA have published their exam results for 2019 and once again we are delighted for our members who passed with Credit.

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Next Members Meeting

The first of our Member evening winter meetings of 2020 will be on Friday 17 January 2020, starting at 7.30pm, at East Challow Village Hall.

For those new to the association or who haven’t been there before – the full address is Main Street (A417), East Challow, Wantage OX12 9SR. The village hall is on the right hand side as you come down the hill in East Challow from Wantage, and there is parking in the car park at the hall.

We have invited Derek Mitchell back for a return visit. Some of you may remember Derek from his talk at a winter meeting a few years ago where he gave a fascinating insight in to the results of his research in to the thermodynamics of the hive (he is a physicist by training, and uses his wife’s hives for his research!).

The subject of his talk this year is “The invisible world of honey bees or How bees beat beavers at dam building”, and we look forward to seeing you there.

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Smarter Rules for Safer Food

December 2019 – NBU – Smarter Rules for Safer Food – Official Controls Regulation

The new Official Controls Regulation (OCR) will apply directly to the UK from 14th December 2019. Please read the OCR Factsheet for further information.

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News From BBKA

Learning about Asian hornets from Jersey Beekeepers

Mark White of EDBKA is working with the Asian hornet team on the island of Jersey, learning how to track a suspected nest. Mark is actually allergic to stings so will be taking care not to get stung. He will be putting out regular blogs on the East Dorset Beekeepers page and here is the first:

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Asian Hornet Alert

Asian Hornet Alert – from the NBU:

On Friday 4th October a nest was destroyed following the confirmed sighting of an Asian hornet near Christchurch, Dorset after it was reported by a member of the public. It is imperative that any Asian hornet colonies in the UK are detected and destroyed before queens are released. This is the time of year when colonies have been previously detected and we depend on alert beekeepers and members of the public to report sightings. As we have an abundant insect population, Asian hornets may not just be found in apiaries, they could also be at places where insects congregate – stands of ivy, for example, and on decaying fruit. At any sunny, warm period, take a little extra time – 20 minutes or more – to look around your apiary, any ivy and garden generally to help early detection of this alien insect.

What Else Can I Do?

  • Monitor your apiaries and observe local forage sites using monitoring traps:
    We have produced a useful guidance note and video on how to make a monitoring trap.
  • Ensure your BeeBase records are up to date with apiary locations and contact information:
    We encourage you to use the online functionality to update your apiary records and also record if Asian hornet traps are situated in an apiary. Guidance on how to update your records can be found here.
  • Cooperate with your local Bee Inspectors:
    Beekeepers within the area of the outbreak may be contacted by NBU Inspectors in order to carry out apiary surveillance, we kindly ask for full your co-operation with these visits.
  • Report any suspect sightings:
    - with your smart phone or tablet, by using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app: for Android and iOS devices.
    - online at:
    - by email to: . Please include as much information as possible in your email; where you saw the sighting, your name and contact details and if possible an image.
    Please note that during outbreaks the NBU receive high numbers of calls and emails, we therefore ask that you use the signposting information above to report sightings, where possible preferencing the app or electronic form.

We thank you in advance for your co-operation and continued vigilance.

Kind regards,

National Bee Unit.

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