Welcome to South Staffordshire and District Beekeepers Association website
If you have come to this site looking for help with a swarm or identifying bees please 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.
At the Apiaries:
- Checking stores and feeding where required about every 2 weeks
- Treating for Varroa with apibioxal at the end of December or early January, after an extended cold period which should slow or stop the queen laying and ensure the bees are tightly clustered.
Winter Lectures 2019/2020
Stafford Bee Group
All events at the “County Club” Stafford
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 27th February 2020
Graham Royal – ‘The mating process: what actually happen
Thursday 26th March 2020
Membership Renewal underway
All members of SSDBKA should by now have received an email from eReturns inviting them to renew their membership for 2020. So far this appears to have been progressing smoothly, the new system appears to be working well and takes very little time to complete.
Be aware this is not an online payment system, SSDBKA at the momment can only take payment by BACS or Cheque as before.
More details can be found on the Join Us page
If you have not received any emails from either Ereturns or SSBDKA regarding renewal please contact us on:
Just a reminder that the AGM is at the end of March. Shortly all members will be receiving details of the meeting and a list of Committee members some will be standing down so we need new recruits.
Committee are hoping to make some changes as a result of the “Towards 2020” workshop (see below), details will follow shortly. If you are interested in being involved with the running of the club in anyway please contact us. Also keep an eye out here and on your emails for further information.
New for 2020 AGM – Volunteer Awards.
SSDBKA Member acknowledgements
This year at the AGM, we want to celebrate and say thank you to the amazing volunteers that have supported the bees, club members and the association during 2019. This will be an opportunity for the association to say thank you to its members, but also give individual members the opportunity to say thank you to beekeepers who have given their time, support and expertise during last season to help them.
1. Do you know someone who has supported you with your bees or learning over the last season? This could be someone who has for example:
• Helped you with inspections
• Given you advice and guidance
• Helped you out with equipment
• Supported you in a difficult situation
2. Do you know someone who you feel has supported the association over the last season? This could be someone who has for example:
• Helped as a member of the associationfor many years
• Been passionate about bees and shares with many members
• Gone out of their way to support the association
How to nominate.
• Association members may nominate category 1 and 2 once.
You can nominate the same person for both categories.
• Download and complete the nomination form below and put it in the nomination box at the SS&DBKA Winter lecture at Shareshill on the 27th February or at Stafford Bee Group on the 6th February or 5th March
• Complete the online nomination form below:
How are the winners selected?
• The association member with the highest number of nominations will receive the award at the AGM. Where more than one member has the same number of nominations, the President and the Chairman of the association will make the final decision.
Towards 2020 Workshop.
Saturday 7th December found a mixed group of club members meeting up with committee members to take a fresh look at all things ‘club’ at a planned workshop meeting in Stafford.
Alan introduced the workshop saying that the future success of the club depended on the full commitment of all the members. He said that the purpose of the workshop was to identify what was needed to fully satisfy the requirements of the association in 2020 and beyond.
Stuart outlined the tasks for the day saying that looking at the constitution there were four priorities that come together to meet the stated aim of the association: Association, Members, Education and Apiary.
It was agreed that by reviewing the tasks and the organisation of the tasks associated with these priorities a clearer picture of what needed to happen would emerge.
The further identification of the roles needed to carry out the tasks would then produce a committee structure to make it happen.
It was a busy four hours of thought, discussion and writing on post-it notes and flip charts. There was plenty of tea and coffee and cake ‘on tap’ to keep everyone going.
The outcomes from the workshop will be made known to club members in the new year.
The future is looking bright for the Shugborough apiary
On the 16th December, we met with the National Trust at Shugborough. The meeting was very positive, with the NT viewing the club as a valued stakeholder and clearly wanting the bees to remain on site.
Thanks to all the members that took part and to Wendy and Kate for organising the event.
We talked about the need to improve the apiary, have better storage facilities, the possibility of having a more permanent building and how we could work closer together.
The NT also have ideas about the future and over the next 12 months we have agreed to work together exploring options to see how we can integrate further. We will meet again in the Spring.
Apiary Winter Clean Up.
Big thanks to those stalwarts who turned out on Saturday 23rd of November for the winter apiary clean up. We were lucky with the weather, dull and over cast but no rain to speak of. Strimming, scorching, sorting and a bonfire as well.
SSDBKA Social Winter 2019!
Honey Bees and Hornets
Great hilarity was had by all at the recent club social event. We were playing ‘Honey bees and Hornets’, and yes, as you say very topical.
Designed and made by Dayna, this great game gets you, the beekeeper, to throw three bee shaped bean bags at the flower target to score points whilst making sure you miss the hornets.
Of course, hitting a hornet loses you points!
It is quite adictive once you get your eye in and the teams of 4 beekeepers were well up for the challenge so it all got very competitive.
At half time we enjoyed baked potatoes with a delicious range of fillings followed by fruit crumble and custard cooked and served up by Lynne, Claire and Zoe.
Thank you to Dayna and the event organisers for their hard work and to all the members who turned up on a cold night for some good old fashioned fun.
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.
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.
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