Apiary Meetings & Study Groups

South Staffordshire & District Beekeepers Association are committed to encouraging, supporting and developing beekeeping education for our members.

From May to August the Shugborough Training Apiary is open to Members to meet for a number of opportunities:

  • Thursday night Bee Chats to discuss current beekeeping issues and topic discuss during the Apiary year.
  • Hive inspections, where Novice and Improver beekeepers can work together to improve their beekeeping knowledge and skills.
  • The association also supports “self-study groups” for those Members who are preparing for written exams.

Useful Resources

Bee Safaris

Colony Record Card (PDF) (Excel)

Veterinary Medicine Administration Record (PDF)

Fact Sheets

Equipment Care (Poly Hive & Nucleus)

Product Reviews

BBKA Beekeeping Year Planner

National Bee Unit

It is encouraged that all beekeepers register their bees on BeeBase.

BeeBase is the Animal and Plant Health Agency’s (APHA) National Bee Unit website. It is designed for beekeepers and supports Defra, Welsh Government and Scotland’s Bee Health Programmes. BeeBase supports the aims of Healthy Bees Plan 2030, which focus on protecting and sustaining our valuable national bee stocks.

You can find out more and register your bee hives and apiaries here:

Queen Rearing

To assist beekeepers in caring for their colonies, the National Bee Unit have also produced advisory leaflets and training manuals. Like the Queen Rearing Workbook below:

Queen Rearing Workbook – The Miller Method (The National Bee Unit)

As part of Stafford Bee Group’s winter lecture programme (22/23), Trevor Smith, Jan Horstink and Dave Rawsthorne gave a wonderful talk about their experience and methods into queen rearing.

You can find Trevor and Jan’s presentations on queen rearing and the cloak board method below.

You can also find out more on the Dave Cushman website: Queen Rearing (also known as Queen Raising) (

Hive Cleaning & Sterilisation

Beekeeping tools and equipment can be cleaned using a solution of washing soda crystals (Sodium Carbonate).

Dave Cushman

The Dave Cushman’s website is a huge resource that is considered by many to be the world’s most comprehensive and authoritative beekeeping website. Dave was disabled in his latter years, with limited physical ability. He spent much of his time finding or writing material for this facility. He was rightly proud of it. Dave passed away on 22nd February 2011 and Roger Patterson is continuing to maintain it according to his wishes.