Apiary Refreshments ~ Volunteers Needed

Dear Members,

As our Saturday morning meetings at Shugborough are now taking place we are looking for volunteers to oversee the refreshments on a rota basis. Nothing complicated, just ensuring tea, coffee, juice and biscuits are ready to serve after inspections have finished and everything is washed up and put away afterwards.

There is a rota up in the members marquee, we will need a couple of names per meeting, so if you could add your name against a convenient date it would be most appreciated.

As always, any members who would like to bring along a sample of their home baking for us to taste would be most welcome.


Alan & Chris Brewin

Apiary Coordinators

Your Invitation to the Grand Opening on Saturday 23rd April

Dear Members,

We are planning to erect our new marquee on Saturday 23rd April followed by the official grand opening of our relocated apiary at The Kennels Paddock on the Shugborough Estate.

Please come and join us from 10am onwards to help and celebrate with your beekeeping friends. Hot dogs, beverages and cakes will be provided for your enjoyment.

We look forward to seeing you.


Alan & Chris Brewin

(Apiary Coordinators)

Caroline Beacall – our friend and contact at Shugborough

“I moved to Shugborough five years ago from Hanbury Hall where I joined the National Trust in 2004 first as an apprentice, then as a Gardener and a Senior Gardener.”

Caroline busy mowing for us in the apiary

In 2019 I became Shugborough’s first female Head Gardener. I lead a fantastic team and we care for, and manage the Walled Garden and Pleasure Grounds – consisting of Arboretum and formal garden.

Over the next few years Shugborough is going to see lots of changes that will help us conserve the estate whilst opening long dormant areas for our visitors.

I echo Hayley’s comment that this is complex and very varied project (see p2 – January 2022 Newsletter).

Everything at Shugborough is being considered. Saying that, it’s also incredibly exciting, especially with the developments in the Walled Garden where there are already several projects underway.

We’re also working closely with yourselves, SS&DBKA, to ensure that your future apiary is set up with everything you need, and in the interim, providing meeting room spaces, along with facilities at The Kennels apiary (water, electric and toilet facilities) and I will be joining you at your AGM in March with Hayley Mival, our General Manager.

Finally, I’d like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped move the apiary from the Walled Garden to the paddock at The Kennels last year. It is amazing what was achieved.

Best wishes


A Huge Thank You!

Dear Members

A huge thank you to those who managed to join us last Saturday 26th February at the Shugborough Apiary for our first maintenance day of the year. We appreciate all the hard work it took to get our equipment and apiary grounds ready for the new season and we hope you enjoyed being able to catch up with your beekeeping friends.

Our next event will be frame making and box building which will be held at our Hilton Green Apiary on Saturday the 19th March. More details to follow.

Thank you once again

Best regards

Alan & Chris Brewin

(Apiary Co-ordinators)

Training, Education and support for beekeepers in 2022

Following the successful move to the new apiary location at Shugborough ‘The Kennels Paddock’, we look forward to all members joining us on Saturday mornings and Thursday nights, commencing in May.  

On a Saturday morning, members are invited to support the apiary working group to undertake weekly inspections.  

Thursday nights will be a mix of social and educational, Covid and weather permitting, where all members will have an opportunity to share their experiences and catch up socially.  

The apiary and education teams will work closely to identify practical demonstrations deemed appropriate or necessary on our colonies and we will arrange subjects for discussion throughout the season.

If you have any suggestions on topics you would like to see covered or you would like to share your experience with other members, please get in touch with us.

Our education offer will continue with ….

Basic Assessment in Beekeeping
open to all who have managed at least one colony of bees for a minimum of 12 months – 6 study group sessions, followed by at least 2 sessions in the apiary before the assessment in July.

Anyone interested, please let us know before the end of January 2022.

Honeybee Health Certificate: open to those who have passed the Basic Certificate and kept bees for at least 3 years – 6 study group sessions followed by at least 2 sessions in the apiary before the assessment in July.

Anyone interested, please let us know before the 28th of February 2022.

General Certificate in Beekeeping Husbandry:  
Are there any members who have passed the Basic Certificate and have at least 5 years of beekeeping experience?  If so, why don’t you consider joining our Beekeeping General Husbandry study group which will run during 2022, for assessment in 2023. 

Study Groups
We will be running BBKA module study groups throughout 2022 based on the demand from members.  Study groups are a really good way of increasing your beekeeping knowledge and you don’t have to undertake the examination at the end.

We are currently running module 1 Honeybee Management, which takes place on the first Monday of the month via Zoom.  If you would like to join this study group or undertake any of education opportunities above, please email Trevor on Trevorsmith_13@yahoo.com

If you would like any more information about ways in which you can get more experience of handling bees at the apiary, take part in any of the education offers, or if you would just like to help, please email us at ssbka-mail@southstaffsbeekeepers.com

Stay well and safe 

Alan Greenman