Beekeepers from all over the South West will be converging on a village hall near Taunton on Sunday, March 24 for an auction of beekeeping equipment.
The popular sale, run by Taunton Beekeepers at Ruishton Village Hall, is expected to be packed with second-hand equipment in good time for the coming season.
Bidders will be looking for bargains among a miscellany of second hand hives, smokers and honey extraction equipment.
Chris Harries, President of Taunton Beekeepers, will be wielding the gavel for the 35th year running and urged beekeepers to make sure they were well prepared for the coming season.
“Bees don’t wait for anybody!” said Chris who has hundreds of hives. “This is the last opportunity in the season to get ahead of the bees and beekeepers should have their equipment ready to go if they’re going to be able to cope once the bees ‘wake up’.”
Beekeeping involves a considerable amount of equipment: each honeybee colony requires a complete hive which is made up of a roof, crown board, up to three or more (honey) super boxes, a queen excluder (so the queen doesn’t lay eggs in the honey), a brood box and floor.
In addition a beekeeper needs protective clothing, hive tools, a smoker, a feeder to provide bees with sugar syrup if needed in the winter, a good reference book, honey extraction equipment and among many other items of paraphernalia.
Chris, who runs Sedgemoor Honey, added: “We always get a good selection of equipment and someone just taking up the craft could quite easily get started and save money. A new national hive costs around £300 but most years there are some quite reasonable second-hand ones which fetch £100 or less. Bidders need to remember to thoroughly clean any equipment to prevent the spread of diseases.”
Items for the auction will be received at the village hall from 10am to 1.30pm and the sale gets underway at 2pm.
Proceeds from the auction will support Taunton Beekeepers’ packed programme of educational courses and lectures held at its teaching apiary near Bradford-on-Tone, Taunton.