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Quantock Division




















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. Wherever possible our learning programmes are free. 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 equipment.

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, and BBC One Spotlight came to film Asian Hornet traps.

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.















In 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’.

Our learning programme is extensive:-.

 Beginners Part 1 course Autumn 2017

 Beginners Part 2 course Winter 2018

 Practical course Spring / Summer 2017

 Rent-a-hive programme.

 Beekeeping Microscopy (BBKA syllabus)

 Brymore Academy Bee Club. With whom we have a special relationship. We teach the boys in their Bee Club, also teach subjects (such as pollination) in the Horticulture curriculum. In return we use their Science Laboratory on Winter evenings

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.


Asian Hornet

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. The Asian hornet – coming to a tree near you? A half day updating about the Asian hornet on Tue 7 March at 10 am at the Spaxton Road Apiary. This is on offer (f.o.c) to anyone interested in the countryside.  Book a place with the secretary or email ken@bush-cottage.freeserve.co.uk       

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


We will be supporting Brymore Academy with their Open Day. There will be a session on wax recovery and foundation making, searching for drone congregations, a BBQ, an Apiary visit and cider making with apples from an Apiary.

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.

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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.


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

Download 2017 programme View 2017 programme

President

David Bennett

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

Sentinel Hive Manager

Barry Hulatt

Committee

As above, Margaret Cavill, Graham Gould, Fred Jones, Adrian Keirle, Mick Stenhouse, Paul Trolley, Derek Harrison,  Nick Wills, Matthew Winwood