Club Apiary

The club apiary is primarily a teaching resource to support training and development of our members, either hands-on at the apiary or via courses etc.
Honey production is not a high priority but welcome if we get it!

We currently have 7 colonies going into winter plus 2 from the 2016 apprentice scheme, the top bar hive(TBH) and the skep hive!

In spring, after assessing the colonies, we would hope to expand to 10 colonies in national hives (including 2 for the apprentice scheme).  We will also maintain the TBH,  skep and an observation hive through the 2017 season.

If you have not visited the apiary before, please read the Apiary Rules.

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Apiary Programme 2017

The apiary will be open to club members on the  following dates:

 Date & Time  Open to…  Time  Further Information
 Sat 8 April  All Members 11:00  Weather Dependant (Over 16 degrees).
General Tasks: Apiary Spring Clean – varroa monitoring
 Sat 22 April  All Members 11:00  Weather Dependant (Over 16 degrees).
General Tasks: Disease inspections
 Sat 6 May  Introduction class only 10:00
 Sat 13 May  Introduction class only 10:00
 Sat 21 May  Swarm Control course only TBA Robert and Richard swarm control course
 Sat 27 May  Introduction class only 10:00
 Sat 10 June  All Members 10:00 Shook swarm demo & Bailey comb change
 Sat 24 June  All Members 10:00 General tasks
 Sat 8 July  All Members 10:00 General tasks & queen finding
 Sat 16 July  Varroa Management course only TBA Robert: varroa management techniques
 Fri 28 July  ‘A’-Team only 10:00 General tasks: Clearers on half the colonies with Honey
 Sat 29 July  All Members 10:00 Honey Harvest demonstration
General tasks: Clearers on remaining hives with honey
 Sun 30 July  All Members 10:00 General tasks: Take the rest of the honey harvest
– start apiguard treatment, comb treatment
 Sat 12 August  All Members 10:00  General tasks: including second treatment
 Sat 2 September  All Members 15:00  General tasks: including starting the feeding

*All inspections as directed by Apiary Manager
**Apiary visits are subject to change due to weather


If you have a question about anything you see or that is done at the club Apiary, please email the Apiary Manager (See Contacts page)

Q: Will I need to bring my own bee suit / veil?
Please bring your own suit/veil if you have one. We do have some spare jackets available for guests but these can not be guaranteed.
Long-sleeved shirt, trousers(not skin-tight), wellies and a pair of clean washing up gloves are also advisable.

Q: What is in the bucket you put the hive tools in during and at the end of the Apiary inspections?
A: To limit the risk of infection, all hive tools and gloves are rinsed in a disinfecting solution before, after and between each hive.
This solution is :
  • 500g Washing Soda Crystals
  • 1 gallon of water
  • a squirt of washing-up liquid
This is replaced every month.


Q: Why are the frames always held over the hives?
A: There is always the risk that the queen is on the frame you are holding. If she drops off into the hive, then no damage done. If she drops off the frame outside the hive, and manages to avoid your feet, she will probably not make it back to the hive. (She may never have flown from the hive, possibly she was introduced to that hive or the hive has been moved).


Q: What can I do about wasps around the hive?
A: A strong hive can defend itself against wasps, but at a cost. A bee that stings will die, a wasp won’t. So while a wasp may get killed trying to rob the hive, you will lose a few bees along the way. Two simple lines of defence are to reduce the size of the entrance, giving the bees a smaller space to defend, and install a wasp trap in the apiary. Download instructions for a wasp trap here


Q: How do I test for queenlessness?
A: Get a donation of a frame of eggs/very young larvae and see if the bees draw out a queen cell.


Q: How do I get a Booker’s card?
A: Booker’s is a chain of Cash and Carry stores for trade only, but thanks to negotiations by Peter McFadden of Conway BKA members of the BBKA can shop at any Booker’s store. Each member should register individually with their local store by presenting their current BBKA membership card. You will be asked to fill in a registration form and will be able to shop straightaway with your Booker membership card being posted to you in the next 14-21 days.In particular, sugar can usually be purchased at Booker’s cheaper than other sources, which is useful if you need to buy it in any volume, as well as other items useful to beekeeping – gloves, icing sugar, etc.


Q: What is Apiguard? How do I use it?
A: Follow this link:


Q: Who is an ‘A’ Team member?

Apiary Member Name Team Member Role Other Info
 David Brown Apiary Manager
 Stephen Izatt Apiary groundsman
 Malcolm Anley Apiary team member
 Sophie Butcher Apiary team member
 Edith Chansigaud Apiary team member
 Janet Dodd Apiary team member
 John Hooper Apiary team member
 David Penfold Apiary team member
 Martin Phipps Apiary team member
 Andrew Reed Apiary team member
 Katriona Richardson Apiary team member
 Antonia Robb Apiary team member
 Pauline Smith Apiary team member
 Peter Stoneham Apiary team member