The SSDBKA currently has two apiaries, Shugborough and Hilton Green.

Shugborough has been the home of SSDBKA for many years in three locations on the estate. This is our main teaching apiary where we maintain up to 20 hives and a number of nucleus colonies.  Here we run the beginning beekeeping course and maintain hives for use in basic assessment and for our “improvers group” to work on and practice more advanced techniques of swarm control and colony increase. We aim to demonstrate shook swarm, horizontal and vertical splitting and bailey comb change every season.

For the past couple of seasons we have aimed to produce nucleus hives for all those on the beginning beekeeping course or new beekeepers who require them.

The Hilton Green site is a Forest of Mercia development intended to be a public access facility. SSDBKA have be granted an area for an apiary intended initially as an isolation site for splits and swarms.  However, two hives were placed here for the “Healthy bee day”, and they have been so successfully integrated the have produced a good quantity of honey which has been extracted, bottled and labelled with a special label and is now on sale.

Shugborough Satelite image
Shugborough Estate SSDBKA Apiary

Hive Layout

East Wing (2019)


West Wing (2019)



The East wing under construction 2016

In 2016 the East Wing, formerly know as the “improvers end” was given a makeover. The area was leveled, there had been a slight hump planted with willows, weeded and dug over by hand. Initially a path was laid out down the centre of the area which was marked out with boards and then covered with weed control fabric and chippings. Later the area to the right of the path was similarly covered with fabric and chippings. The hive stands were set out with beautifully leveled slabs, guess who!

The nucleus stands were created and the area cleared. As you can see it looked wonderful. With regular maintenance it was kept in good order for about a year and a half, then the work in the walled garden was begun and maintenance became a problem.

The Shugborough  Honey Label

Shugborough Honey Image

Hive Types Currently in use:

The majority of the hives we run are British National Standard hives constructed from timber, most are cedar. As a teaching and learning apiary there are also a number of British National Deep hives also know as 14″ by 12″ hives. Recently there has been the addition of a KTB style Top bar hive to the Shugborough setup.

Hilton Green

Hilton Green

We’re on google maps, just search for Hilton Green or click the button “To Google Maps” on our website: https://www.forestofmercia.com/

If you are using a Sat Nav you may need to use the postcode WV11 2BD, which brings you to our neighbours at Hilton Hall. With the Hall on your right, go over the motorway bridge and we are on your left hand side.