Welcome to South Staffordshire and District Beekeepers Association website
If you have come to this site looking for help with swarms or identifying bees follow this link
If you are here to find out about courses and having an introduction to beekeeping click here.
If you are interested in joining us click here
Hopefully you will find what you are looking for but if not please contact us by clicking here
Coming up this Month.
- Week beginning 11th November. (Day to be confirmed) 10 am Shugborough,
- Assessment of stores
- Thursday 7th November. 8:00 County Club, Stafford.
- Stafford Bee Group Winter Lecture. Ian Jobson – ‘Who is in charge and who does what?’
- Thursday 28th November. 19:30 Shareshill Village Hall.
- SSDBKA Winter lecture. Dan Basterfield – ‘The Drone and its contribution to hive life‘
Apiary access back!
The contractors working on the walled garden at Shugborough have left the site, consequently, access to the apiary is returned to normal. There is now more space to park as all the temporary buildings and barriers have been removed.
Winter Lectures 2019/2020
Stafford Bee Group
All events at the “County Club” Stafford
Thursday 3rd October 2019
Celia Davis – ‘Honey Bee biology, with a focus on the differences between the queen, workers and drones’
Thursday 7th November 2019
Ian Jobson – ‘Who is in charge and who does what?’
Thursday 5th December 2019
Stephen Laycock – Stafford photographic club ‘How to take a winning picture’
Thursday 9th January 2020
Steven Falk – ‘Bees of the British Isles’
Thursday 6th February 2020
Lynfa Davies – ‘How to get drawn comb and what to do with your old comb’
Thursday 5th March 2020
Marin Anastasov ‘My System of Beekeeping’
Thursday 2nd April 2020
Peter Bell ‘Bee keepers question time’
All events at Shareshill Village Hall.
Thursday 24th October 2019
Clive de Bruyn – ‘The Queen; adaptations for species/colony survival’
Thursday 28th November 2019
Dan Basterfield – ‘The Drone and its contribution to hive life’
Thursday 23rd January 2020
Stuart Roberts – ‘What happens to the queen after mating’
Thursday 27th February 2020
Graham Royal – ‘The mating process: what actually happen
Thursday 26th March 2020
Have your say! Survey now closed.
How well do you think we are doing? SSDBKA exists to support its members, so we committee needs to know how well we doing in meeting the needs of the membership. To that end we have launched a survey which will be emailed to all members and is also available here and at the remaining meetings at Shugborough.
It has been felt for some time that the old pattern of Teaching & Learning that the association offered was falling short, this year we tried something new, and in retrospect very ambitious. However we now need to review what we did and decide how to make it work better in future, so if you have been involved please let us know how it was for you.
We would greatly appreciate you spending the time to give consideration to these questions and responding.
Returns to Alan Greenman. If you wish to email them please use this address: Alan Greenman firstname.lastname@example.org
To Complete the questionnaire online please click here
So you Want to be a beekeeper?
2020 Beekeeper training opportunities here
Beginning Beekeeping Course 2020 Applications now open.
Images from the 2019 course at last the beginners course members got to delve into to mysteries of a colony of bees.
Shugborough apiary hits the News!
Follow the link above to find out what the Shropshire has to say about beekeeping thanks to our chair Alan Greenman.
Congratulations to the successful Basic and Honey Bee Health certificate candidates…..Well done!
Top Bar Hive going well…
The top bar hive at Shugborough followed the pattern of many other colonies this season by having a early summer break having made an apparently good start. It may have swarmed but certainly seems to have re-queened. However things are now back on track and combs being created and filled further and further from the main nest which is in the centre of the hive. Below Keith is demonstrating one comb filling nicely with honey.
For any one interested in Top Bar Hives, this one has a centrally placed entrance, the colony was created by shook swarming from a National Brood box in 2018. The bees chose to build from the centre out, though we used the follower boards to restrict the initial space available. As can be seen from the picture above they are moving further out building new comb and the bars beyond the one being held.
Second Bee safari – A select group!
A select band turned out to experience Phil and Keiths out apiary. Nice position at the corner of a field. Notice that the apiary is fenced off, just as well, the other inhabitants were an inquisitive bunch determined to re arrange the mirrors on our cars. Fortunately David used another part of his skill set, ineptly aided by us, to move the cattle into the next field, the grass was greener on the other side! Keith and Phil inspected a number of hives including several WBC’s, most were from swarms. One nucleus was re-hived, another colony thrown out as it was down to handful of bees.
Phil almost put his back out lifting two full supers off a WBC with a colony only housed in May, Summer honey is rolling in.
There was of course tea, cake and cheesy scones to finish, and although huddled under the rear car door we were not disheartened. They say its good to talk and when six beekeepers get together its difficult to stop them. I think we all learned something and it was a very pleasant day.
Thanks to Phil and Keith for hosting, Penny for catering and to those who came along,
The best bit! tea, cake and chat!
The Inspectors Called!
First Bee safari – A Great Success!
Our first Bee Safari for a while was held Lapley Wood Farm, where our host Dave Rawsthorne showed us how he operates the site.
Dave has 12 hives on this site and all were inspected by the 18 or so members attending. The sun shone, the bees were generally well behaved, and through up a number of issues for Dave and his willing helpers to sort out.
Best of all there was cake and plenty of hot water for tea. Thanks Margaret and others who supplied cake.
2019-20 Committee Elected
The SSDBKA AGM was held on Thursday 28th of March and the following were elected to form the new committee:
- President: Stuart Roberts
- Chair: Alan Greenman
- Treasurer: Claire George
- Secretary: Lynne Lacey
Additional Committee members
- Keith Thompson
- Paul Twibill
- Clive Stewart
- Phil Atkin
- Trevor Smith
- Wendy Woodward
- Dayna White
There are currently spaces on the committee which can be filled by coopting additional members if required.
Committee meets up to 10 times a year as required.
For more information click here