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
Coronavirus – Action
Hive inspections at Shugborough and Hilton Green will take place for the time being using teams of people already spending time together in order to reduce the risks of spreading the virus.
All planned education events are now cancelled until further notice.
BBKA Statement on Coronavirus Pandemic
19th March 2020
A Statement from the BBKA chair, Anne Rowberry on Training Courses and Tending Bees in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19)
The impact of the Coronavirus could not have been foreseen but the BBKA is working hard to support members. We regret that all the BBKA training courses at Stoneleigh have been cancelled, this includes the Healthy Hive training, General Husbandry and Advanced husbandry training. The Exam Board have cancelled the Module Exams, the Assessor Training and will be publishing information on the Healthy Hive and Basic Exams.
We are suggesting that Beginners courses and other Branch or Association organised training courses are postponed. It is important to keep the health of members at the front of our minds. It may be possible to deliver some aspects of these courses online. I would welcome suggestions as to the best way this could be achieved ; possibly some Associations have information that they would be prepared to share. We can post some ideas on our website so please share any that you think may help.
I am sure younger members of groups will support older members or those confined through association with family etc who have the virus by offering to check hives in out apiaries, making sure they are upright, have food and the bees are flying could be very helpful. Please follow the Government guidelines, we are asked to avoid social contact and unnecessary travel. This will mean considering carefully the swarm collection service and applying appropriate safeguards.
I have contacted Defra for advice on the position of beekeepers visiting their bees if the country moves into a more intensive ‘lock down’. At the moment bees will be considered as livestock and can be tended accordingly but we are following Government advice and need to address possible future directions. I have also been in contact with Alpha and the All Party Parliamentary Group and I am writing to the Minister of Environment asking about the position of beekeepers visiting bees I have also suggested that should there be a sugar shortage beekeepers have an allowance ( as I believe they had in the war). This may seem extreme but we need to be thinking now, just in case.
There are actions that the beekeeper can take to give their bees the best chance of survival and the most important is to feed them. Ensure they have plenty of food for any inclement weather, we can have snow in May and cold wet weather at any time may mean they starve. If you are concerned about visiting your bees put fondant above your supers, the bees will use it if they need it. If you do not have fondant then use syrup even if you have one or two supers on. They may move it to the supers which would mean you can’t sell it as honey but you will still have your bees and also food for the Autumn/Winter. We do not know how long this severe situation will last.
We will endeavour to give more information through our website and BBKA social media. Beebase will also be posting information.
I hope this situation passes quickly and is not as severe as is now being portrayed.
Tending Hives during Covid-19
National Bee Unit Beebase advice about COVID-19 and Beekeeping
It is suggested you print out and carry a copy when going to tend your bees at your BeeBase registered apiaries.
Updated version with Logos
As well as social distancing and apiary hygiene advice please note the following paragraph
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, you should be self-isolating at home and should not be visiting other premises. Ideally, another beekeeper should take on this duty wherever possible. We are suggesting that local associations consider how they can support those confined or unable to attend their bees at this difficult time for all of us.
If you are not registered with Beebase, or have apiaries that are not registered then please visit http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/
24 March 2020
BBKA Chair Anne Rowberry says: “Bees are livestock and should be tended.
“You may visit your bees for welfare purposes such as for checking feed or queen cell preparation.
“You must take into account social distancing and safe access. Also swarming, please do not go into houses, roofs etc, or go through houses to reach swarms.
“We are working with DEFRA. NBU inspectors will still inspect if you have disease concerns.”
Please check the BBKA website regularly for further updates.
Coming up this Month.
At the Apiaries:
- Checking stores and feeding where required about every 2 weeks
- Week beginning Saturday March 21st. Weather permitting, the first inspections are due to take place:
- Monday 23rd – Group 1
- Wednesday 25th Group 2
- Saturday 28th Group 3
Things to do in isolation!
Though the Spring convention, due this weekend has been cancelled it is still possible to watch Tom Seeley give his lectures. They are on YouTube, either follow this link to the BBKA website page: https://www.bbka.org.uk/spring-convention-videos
or go to either a computer, phone or smart TV which has YouTube and search for Tom Seeley. The videos posted last week are ones for the convention.
- New and recycled frame assembly & waxing
- Box Assembly
- Old box cleaning and refurbishment
- Queen excluder and crown board cleaning
- Hive tool sharpening
- Checking all bee keeping tools
- Produce your cunning plan for the rest of the season
Any other suggestions gratefully received!
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.
So you Want to be a beekeeper?
Currently all courses are cancelled until the Corvid 19 situation is clarified. We hope to resume our programme of training next year.
2020/21 Beekeeper training opportunities here
Beginning Beekeeping Course 2020 (Currently Cancelled)
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.
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: Barry Crossley
- Secretary: Ed Bennett
Additional Committee members
- Claire George – (Membership)
- Clive Stewart – (AHAT)
- Trevor Smith – (Apiary Coordinator)
- Wendy Woodward – (Events Coordinator)
- Dayna White – (Quatermaster)
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.