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Quantock Division

President  Jack Fieldhouse

Chairman Elaine Falkingham, Clandon, Holford. TA5 1RY 01278 741711

Secretary  Ken Edwards, Bush Cottage, Bush Road, Spaxton. TA5 1BX          01278 671544

Treasurer  Mike Sealey, 72 Wembdon Hill, Bridgwater. TA6 7PZ 01278  445158

Membership Secretary  Trish Edwards

Newsletter Editor Jackie Sealey

Social Secretary

Rent-a-hive coordinator Sue Anderson

Librarian  Sarah Allen

Committee As above, David Bennett, Barry Hulatt, Fred Jones,  Mick Stenhouse, Derek Harrison, Brian Maskell, and Nick Wills.

Quantock Beekeepers Association was set up as a division within the Somerset Beekeepers Association nine years ago. Our aim is to share our enthusiasm in beekeeping within a friendly and supportive group. Our numbers have increased to 120 full and associate members.

If you are not a member, but someone interested in bees, nature and the countryside you would be welcome to come and join us at one of our meetings, it will not cost you anything! Give our secretary a call on 01278 671544 or email ken@bush-cottage.freeserve.co.uk. We will then ensure that a bee suit is ready for you to borrow and explain any details that you may need to know.

Beekeeping can be expensive. For this reason we have a strong focus on helping new beekeepers to set up their first hive properly but also at a budget rate. In all of our training programmes we use conventional hives so that new beekeepers can learn to understand their bees using equipment that is easy to buy and look after.  To help new beekeepers we have a full range of honey extraction equipment and wax handling appliances that can be borrowed.

We have negotiated a number of substantial grants to set up a new teaching (Sentinel) apiary on the outskirts of Bridgwater. It has many interesting features which include a wildlife pool, all weather demonstration hive, queen rearing equipment and state of the art microscopy.

Since 2013 we have been hosts to the BBC for some of the (bee related) filming and recording for Farming Today, Springwatch, Points West and Inside the Animal Mind (with Chris Packham and Prof Adam Hart). This year, Kate Quinlan (of Food Unwrapped) came to learn how to use icing sugar as a method of Varroa control

The British Beekeepers Association has also used our resources for training and assessment events. Children from Williton Primary School came in the Summer to learn about keeping bees..

.The Devon Apicultural Research Group (DARG), Bridgwater Agricultural Society, Gardening Clubs, Women’s Institute groups and a Trade Union group have also visited.  We also had our first Open Day.

n 2017 we will (again) be running an afternoon session so that you can make your own skep (there is half a lorry load of straw ready for use),

Every second Wednesday of the month (from March to October) at 7pm there will be a Drop in at the Apiary when you can join us in a cup of tea and ‘talk bees’.

With the news of confirmed sightings of the Asian Hornet just 16 miles from our apiary (as the Hornet flies) we are trying to respond to our members concerns about bee safety as follows:-

1. Our Apiary is one of the ‘Sentinel Apiaries’ which are used by the National Bee Unit  (NBU) to monitor pests and disease in our bees.

2. A half day updating about the Asian hornet on Saturday 26 November at the Spaxton road Apiary. This will include advice about the Hornet traps available to our beekeepers. Eleanor Burgess our Seasonal Bee Inspectors will give a briefing.

3.  A further updating in March 2017 to help beekeepers to construct effective Hornet traps, and guidance about reporting any sightings.

Our learning programme is extensive:-.

Beginners course Autumn 2016

Improvers course Winter 2017

Practical course Spring / Summer 2017

Rent-a-hive programme.

Beekeeping Microscopy (BBKA syllabus)

Brymore Academy Bee Club

For new beekeepers the programme is in 3 parts. Part 1 in the Autumn, Part 2 in the beginning of the year and Part 3 (the practical sessions) which are timed to match the beekeeping season. There is also the (usual) Rent-a-hive programme where new members can have a nucleus of bees at the Apiary and nurture the bees to become a full colony during the year. Mentors are always in attendance to help with the tricky bits. The programme of the meetings is negotiated with the rent-a-hive coordinator. In 2016 we had 11 beekeepers in this scheme.

Our intention is that new beekeepers can learn at their own pace timed to the beekeeping year. At the end of the Summer season, knowledge, practice and experience will lead to ownership of a colony of bees.

Information about these courses can be found in the ‘Knowledge Centre’  / courses on this website.

For the more experienced beekeeper there are sessions on

Queen raising. This follows on from the visit (in 2016) to Peter Little at Allerford to see his Queen raising facility. This also helps to provide the Queens that are needed for our learning programme.

Disease / Varroa Control/ Asian Hornet, making increase and swarm control.

Microscopy. A one year programme to prepare beekeepers for the BBKA Microscopy exam. Also sessions for the ‘non-microscopist’ about bringing your honey to the apiary and doing your own analysis of the pollen, or doing your own disease checks. It was popular last year.

Any members wishing to take the BBKA Basic Certificate or other BBKA modules and exams are welcome to join the study groups which will be organised according to need. Just get in touch with one of the officers.

We will be supporting Brymore Academy with their Open Day, and the National Trust at Fyne Court on a Wild Wednesday where children will Buzz with the Bees!

 Browse through our programme and if you like the sound of us please feel free to get in touch. New members are welcome at any of our meetings and if you have any suggestions please let us know.

It is an exciting time for us.

You can down load our programme HERE, and please keep an eye out for additions or changes which are likely to happen as we respond to circumstances. It is hard to plan a programme a year in advance.

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Logo design by Shirley Stenhouse

Our Library

All of the these titles are available to members of the QBKA. Book them and then arrange collection.

Programme for 2016

Full details of our programme for the year.

Find out what we are doing, where and when here

Equipment to Loan

We have the following items that can be loaned by members at no charge

Our Newsletters

Download a copy of the latest newsletter here

Membership Form 2017

Do you want to keep bees

And live in the Quantock area?

Download and print this tri-fold information leaflet

Revised programme 2016