©SBKA 2012 Affilliated to British Beekeeping Association Registered charity No. 277803 Contact the SBKA
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 Tina Matthews
Rent-a-hive coordinator Sue Anderson
Committee As above, plus Sarah Allen, David Bennett, Barry Hulatt, Fred Jones, Mick Stenhouse, Derek Harrison, Brian Maskell, and Nick Wills.
We are a new group of beekeepers (within the Somerset Beekeepers Association) that have just finished our eighth year. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 towards establishing a new teaching 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).
The British Beekeepers Association has also used our resources for Training and Assessment.
For the year 2016 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),
Ivan Chick will be doing an evening at the Apiary when he will be talking of his vast history of personal beekeeping – not to be missed.
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’.
Our beginners 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 2015 we had 15 beekeepers in this scheme.
Brymore Academy Bee Club will also be joining us at the Apiary to learn more about beekeeping. They also have a negotiated programme.
For the more experienced beekeeper there are sessions on
Queen raising. This will include a visit to Peter Little at Allerford to see his Queen raising facility.
Disease / Varroa Control, 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!
Spaxton Primary School is planning a day to focus on bees – including bee dances and ‘swarming with the Queen’.
There will also be our (first) Open Day.
The Devon Apicultural Research Group (DARG), Gardening Clubs, Women’s Institute groups and a Trade Union group will be visiting during the year.
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, 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.
Browse through our pages and if you like the sound of us please feel free to get in touch. New members are welcome to any of our meetings.
You can download a Quantock Division membership form here
Logo design by Shirley Stenhouse