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!

The club currently has two apiary sites with colonies in national hives, top bar hive (TBH) and poly hives.

We support some members with hands on experience and offer apprentice schemes enabling those enrolled to learn how to look after a hive over a full beekeepers year.

An observation hive will be made up as required through the 2020 season.

Any new beekeeper either without bees or just starting who wants to get some experience of handling bees, is welcome to come along to the apiary and perhaps join the A-team.  If you are interested get in touch with the Horton Apiary managers ,  Mark Fife or Patrick Randall.
If you have not visited the apiary before, please read the Apiary Rules.

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Apiary Programme 2020

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

 Date & Time  Open to…  Time  Further Information
 Sat 29 Feb  All Members 11:00 Open Apiary – Tidy apiary
 Sat 4 Apr  All Members 11:00 Open Apiary – Tidy apiary – make up soda solution – first inspections if already not carried out
 Sat 18 Apr  All Members 11:00 Open Apiary – General Apiary tasks – disease inspection if warm
 Sat 2 May All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – General Apiary tasks – disease inspection if warm
 Sat 23 May  All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – Seasonal tasks
 Sat 6 Jun All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – Seasonal tasks
 Sat 20 Jun All Members 11:00 Open Apiary – Seasonal tasks
 Sat 4 Jul All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – Seasonal tasks
 Sat 18 Jul All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – Disease inspection – Plan the harvest
 Sat 25 Jul All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – Take honey off cleared colonies and put clearers on remaining colonies
 Sun 26 Jul All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – Take honey off cleared colonies and put clearers on remaining colonies
 Sat 1 Aug All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – No general inspections – demo comb sterilisation – cleaning of supers by bees, cleaning of
cappings by bees.
 Sat 8 Aug All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – 2nd apiguard – storing comb for the winter – apiary tidy up.
 Sat 29 Aug All Members 10:00 Open Apiary – Start feeding.
 TBC – End of December  All Members 11:00 Winter Oxalic and mince pies party

*All inspections as directed by Horton Apiary Manager(s)
**Apiary visits are subject to change due to weather

Arnia Monitoring

Arnia 2020 09 09
Arnia 2020 09 09


If you have a question about anything you see or that is done at the club Apiary, please email the Horton Apiary Manager(s) (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  Caen Hill
 Mark Fife Apiary Manager  Horton
 Patrick Randall Apiary Manager  Horton
Apiary team member
Apiary team member
Apiary team member
Apiary team member
Apiary team member
Apiary team member