Newsletter from BBKA Worker Bee

BBKA member e-newsletter covering the latest news, initiatives, opportunities, outcomes and policies
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Importation of honeybees from Southern Italy
You may read or receive information advertising the exportation of honeybee colonies from Southern Italy into the UK. The advertisement makes reference to the fact that the bees will be exported with a health certificate. We have asked the UK authorities what special measures they intend to take to ensure that the bees exported from Italy will not pose a health risk to the UK honeybee population in view of the occurrence of Small Hive Beetle in parts of Southern Italy.
Swarm Collection
PlanetBee Wines
Wasp Trap
Announcement logo
13: Spray Liason deadline
20-22: Edible Garden Show
28: NE Beekeepers Conference
28: EC Meeting

3-6: Easter weekend
17-19: Spring Convention
9: EC Meeting
11: Special ADM Paper distribution
11-14: Gardener's World Live
20: Special ADM, Warks
30-5 July: RHS Hampton Court 
22-26: RHS Tatton Park
25: EC Meeting
31: Bank Holiday
12: BBKA Forum, NBC
30: Capitation deadline
25-31: National Honey Week
29-31: National Honey Show
14: EC Meeting
5: Chairman's Day

Photo Request: bees with unmarked queen

Can you help Chichester Beekeepers create a buzz for kids, by providing a life-size photo of a frame of bees with an unmarked queen? The group wants to do a ‘Where’s Wally?’ style game at fairs and events, so they need a photo that children can identify the unmarked queen in. If you can help, please email Nicky.morris [at] (subject: Photo%20of%20unmarked%20queen) (Nicky Morris)


If so, Graham Read - Scout leader, and UK Beekeeper, member of BBKA (via Fleet and District Beekeepers Association) would like to make contact with them.  wants to put on a beekeeping display at this Jamboree in July/August in Japan. He has asked whether we have any contacts with beekeepers in Southern Japan. Pleasegraham1read [at] (subject: Japanese%20Beekeeper) ( email Graham)


Hives at Nat Grid site Pentir – photo by Yavuz Akol 
Belectric Solar Farm
Baratts School Talk

BBKA Literature Orders

As the busy bee season approaches, so do the demands for beekeepers to attend events, from county shows to local fetes and talks. BBKA literature is always in high demand, and we’re happy to provide it to you with a postage and packing fee. However, like everyone else we need to reduce our costs. To help us to do this we would like to know your order requirements in advance so that we do less reprinting throughout the year.
If you order your event literature by 25th March, you can collect it at the Spring Convention for free. If you order for delivery before 25th March, the literature will still be free but you will need to pay the postage and packing costs.
All orders placed after 25th March will be charged at £5 plus postage and packing.
You can download the order form on the BBKA website - Members Area - Information for Beekeepers

Joules' Bee Wellies new designs for 2015!

Urban Beekeeping Video

A short video from Wolf Ollins about their motivation for keeping bees in London.
Click here

Beautiful Necklaces & Self Storage Support the Honeybee
Jewellery companyHenryka is supporting Friends of the Honeybee by donating £1 from the sale of every Bumble Bee Necklace, worth £15.00. Friends can buy the necklace at a discount – find out more and become aFriend too.
Attic Storage has a facility surrounded by wildflowers, and has decided to help us spread the word about planting for pollinators. The company, based in London, is donating £1 per ‘move-in’ to Friends of the Honeybee.

BeeGYM Update

The project is alive and well, opening the idea out to the beekeeping world has changed everything and led to alterations and new ideas. Feedback from beekeepers in 2014 led to some subtle but important changes in the make up of the Bee GYM, this then produced the best results so far in the project!
For more information contact: stuart [at] (subject: Workerbee%20-%20BeeGym%20Update) (Stuart)

 or check out the BeeGym blog
Mothers Day Gift Inspiration
at the BBKAwebsshop
Contribute & Share
To include articles of interest about your association and your local activities and initiatives with fellow members please send them by jane.moseley [at] (subject: Worker%20Bee%20Article%20Submission) (email)

Swarm Collection 2015
We are preparing for the forthcoming swarm season in a number of ways, to improve the public experience as well as that of our beekeeper members.
This year there will be video footage of a swarm on the BBKA website (, and prioritising the honeybee over solitary bees and bumblebees will hopefully eliminate the extraordinary number of bumblebee calls we receive throughout the season.
We have requested the swarm collectors and co-ordinators listings from Area Associations and the deadline is imminent. Please note that those who are on the list should make themselves familiar with the Swarm Collectors Protocol and, if so desired, should download a copy of the Swarm Collectors Disclaimer from the 
the Insurance zone of the BBKAwebsite Members' Area.
It is vital that Associations make their Swarm Collector returns by the deadline to ensure that the database can be loaded in plenty of time for the season.
Spring Convention 2015

As this key event in the BBKA – and indeed beekeeping – calendar approaches, now is the time to visit the BBKA website to buy your entry wristbands and book courses, accommodation and meals.
A number of courses are already sold out, particularly the smaller specialist workshops, but many places are still available. More than 30 lectures are on offer over the three-day event and we welcome 15 new lecturers to the faculty put together by Norman Carreck. The lectures are open with plenty of capacity, augmented by CCTV relay to nearby rooms for the RFA and Teaching Block lecture halls.
Accommodation is plentiful and places are still on offer at the dinners. Add to this the trade exhibition open on Friday and Saturday, with all the key traders and bargains to tempt you, the weekend is set to keep you fully entertained. ‘Buy now while stocks last’ goes the saying – book your entry tickets now and you can still enjoy the ‘in advance’ price. Visit the website for details and to book!

Special Offers

WINE – Last year we partnered with PlanetBee Wines to raise funds for the BBKA. The Planet Bee Chenin Blanc, a very dry white, is made by award-winning Christiaan Groenewold and is available by the glass or bottle at All Bar One and selected Mitchell & Butler restaurants and bars. For every bottle sold, 50p is donated straight to the BBKA via the Friends of the Honey Bee fundraising scheme.

We have negotiated a special deal with the distributor Morgenrot for members to buy this special wine by the case. Ideal as a club buy for raffles, Harvest Suppers, and great for Christmas presents – why not buy a case and benefit from the greatly reduced member price? At just £96 for 12 bottles, including delivery, each bottle is only £8. To place your order, please complete the order form available in the Members' Area of the BBKA website (

BULBS FOR BEES – We will be stocking summer flowering bulbs this season, and this gives you an opportunity too. Whether you want flowers for your apiary or for your work with schools or other community groups, or if you want to generate funds for your local branch at forthcoming events or for your own garden, the special bee mixture is perfect. A jute bag of 80 summer flowering bulbs has a retail price of £14.95; you can order 10 bags for £100 (£10 each), 25 bags for £200 (£8 each) or 50 bags for £300 (£6.25 each). Order by 30th March, all prices subject to delivery charges.

WASP TRAPS – BBKA has exclusivity on the sale of the VASO Wasp Trap: A simple click on / click off adaptation to turn any 1kg jar into a simple and sturdy wasp trap for use around your apiary or garden. We now have these available to you at bulk prices – an excellent opportunity for associations to buy together and benefit from preferential rates, or to use within your own apiary and share with friends.

Opportunities: Sites for Hives

Belectric Solar Ltd have new opportunities for BBKA Member Associations and Individuals. If you are seeking a new association apiary for training, queen rearing, or quarantine, or a members’ out apiary, then a Belectric Solar Farm could be the answer.
All solar farms offered by Belectric provide secure sites, long tenancies (25 years) and are planted to provide a long flowering time. As a BBKA Corporate member, Belectric is committed to supporting honeybees and beekeepers; by the end of March 2015 they will have planted in excess of 500 acres of their solar farms for honeybees:
  • Landmead Solar Farm: Land at Landmead Farm, East Hanney, Oxfordshire, OX13 5PA
  • Turweston Solar Farm: Turweston Airfield, Turweston, Bucks, NN13 5TD
  • Atherstone Solar Farm: Grendon House Farm, Atherstone, Warwickshire, CV9 3DT
  • Southam Solar Farm: Elms Farm, Plough Lane, Bishop’s Itchington, Southam, Warwickshire, CV47 1QG
  • Paddock Wood: Park Farm, Queen Street, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6NS

Why not take advantage either as an Association or Individual? To register your interest or request more information, bbka [at] (subject: Belectric%20Site) (email us at the BBKA)


LUTTERWORTH - Opportunities for beekeepers are available at the Gazeley Lutterworth site, if you are interested in this please send an jane.moseley [at] (subject: Gazeley%20-%20Beekeeping%20Site%20Lutterworth) (email)

 and a site visit can be arranged.

NATIONAL GRID - Further sites will be available in 2015 on National Grid Sites and these will be posted on the from April 2015, so keep checking the site for latest additions and information.



To everyone who has supported our Corporate Members and Partners through talks, demonstrations, show attendance and school activities. Your support is very much appreciated.
Jane Moseley, BBKA General Secretary & Operations Director

Corporate News – 
Fundraising Update

With the SDM taking up the majority of my time in the first quarter of BBKA's financial year the pressure is on to achieve in 2015. Here's an update on who is doing what, and who is new among the BBKA Corporate Members.

BeeGood joined us this year as a corporate member, offering members a discount on all products bought via their website. BeeGood was founded by a BBKA member, and made from 100% British hive produce, these are products that you can affordably enjoy. For the discount code please check out the Members' Area benefits page.

Gazeley have completed their specially designed apiary at the Waitrose distribution depot at the Milton Keynes site. I am pleased to report that North Bucks BKA have visited the site and will be transferring bees there this Spring, so look out for updates and information on this new scheme.

Long-term relationships have also been built withPlanetBee Wines, which will be available in a further 200 outlets this Spring. PlanetBee cider will remain available from all Oddbins branches. The cider is made by Tom Oliver, in Herefordshire, who scooped Best in Show at the Three Counties Cider Show. 'It has been bottled specially for Oddbins. It is a rich, cider made in a traditional style from fantastic quality fruit producing a cider a great intensity and depth.'

Be Mighty Fine is a new partner of the BBKA via Friends of the Honey Bee. As a chocolatier with a difference, Be Mighty Fine is partnering with BBKA on the sale of the Dipped Honey Comb, soon to be available via the BBKA Shop, The Pollen Basket. So why not sweeten up someone's day – or your own – and give it a whirl? It is truly delicious.

Joules clothing company has partnered with us again for 2015 due to the popularity of their bee wellies in 2014. A donation of profit from the sale of their specially designed Bee Wellies comes to the BBKA via Friends of the Honey Bee. 

We welcome National Grid as a Corporate Member. National Grid has been offering members secure sites for hives since August 2013, and we are pleased to announce that owing to the success of this activity the company is now a BBKA Corporate Member. And because the scheme was introduced so successfully, National Grid will be releasing more sites throughout 2015. We will share more information with you soon. In the meantime, if you are interested in an out apiary and you know of a National Grid site in your area, bbka [at] (subject: National%20Grid%20Site) (please email us)

 with your contact information and the site location.

Suttons Seeds continue to support the BBKA, making a donation via its Wildlife Sanctuary Seed collection. We thank them for their continued support.
Broomley Bees

The project began when a small group of enthusiastic bee keeping and bee loving parents initially came together to encourage understanding, participation and ultimately appreciation of the importance of honeybees. Our initial aim was to give children, teachers and parents at our local school the chance to get to know the exciting world of bees through interacting with a real hive. We fundraised, begged and borrowed and soon had our own hive of bees, sited at a nearby National Trust property, mini-suits for the children and were starting our first trips to explore first-hand what the bees were up to.
Before long, the project was blossoming and new members were able to transform an abandoned corner of the school yard into a blooming bee forage garden. At the same time, the project funded the training of four teachers on a local beekeeping course to ensure the sustainability of the project. In between hive visits we held bee art and activity days at the school where children dressed in black and yellow bee costumes, learnt a special variation of the waggle dance, and made beeswax candles and honey hand cream, amongst other things. The links to the National Curriculum, important to enabling the project a viable place in the school day, proved numerous.
Alongside the chance to weigh and measure their own honey, children could write stories and poems and make models of bees and their hives. We ended the school year with a bee festival to celebrate our project and the fact that bees at Broomley are certainly loved by many!
Honeybee health initiatives award launched by Vita

Beekeeping associations across the world are invited to enter a new Vita award for honeybee health initiatives.
The Vita Bee Initiative Awards will highlight the vital work of voluntary beekeeping groups to combat the ongoing health threats to honeybees and publicise good practice for the benefit of other beekeepers.
Winners of the Award will receive trophies and equipment such as microscopes to a value of €250 to help them in maintaining healthy honeybee colonies. Entrants will also receive a limited edition booklet highlighting the best projects. Many projects will also be publicised online for the benefit of beekeeping communities across the world.
For more details, please see the website.

Opportunity Knocks - Course in a Case (CiC)

There is an opportunity to acquire Yellow, Red & Green CiC content at a greatly reduced price - £40!
For information on content, availability & to arrange collection at the Spring Convention, please contact: 
Julie.Slegg [at] (subject: CiC%20-%20Reduced%20Price) (Julie Slegg)

 Last Orders 2nd April 2015. 



The story in the last issue of the Worker Bee linking the Yorkshire Beekeepers with a Beekeeping Centre on the Great Yorkshire Showground was incorrect. The building in question is a Hives and Honey Show Pavilion. The YBKA made no contribution to this Pavilion, which was erected and is owned by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
Share Your Bee Photographs on the BBKA Website in the Online Gallery

and finally, everyone is talking about....
The Flow Hive
Another hive invention with a difference, designed by Stuart and Cedar Anderson, a father-and-son beekeeper team in Australia. Their Flow Hive lets beekeepers harvest honey from their hives without disturbing the bees inside.

The clever invention works by providing the bees with a partially-completed wall of honeycomb cells that they then complete with their own wax. After they fill these cells with honey and cap them with wax, the beekeeper can open the other end, allowing the honey to flow out into a tap, without ever disturbing the bees. The bees simply reopen the cells and fill them up again.
Whether or not this would be any good in the UK climate who knows. Find out more at

N.B. - this editorial does not endorse the Flow Hive

Copyright © 2015 British Beekeepers Association*, All rights reserved.

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