Rugby Bee Keepers Association maintain an apiary with a view to assisting the members, particularly new ones, with developing their bee keeping skills.

The apiary needs weekly checks through the swarm season, and regular visits to monitor health, space, stores, health etc. through the rest of the year.

Experienced bee keepers are the providers of these inspections and in doing so they create a location where less experienced keepers can learn by observation, discussion and gain practical experience.

In 2016, there were 2 hives in the Spring, which expanded to 4 hives during the swarm season. After the strong start to the season, the bees did not behave as anticipated, 2 of the hives were combined, so there are 3 strong colonies going into the winter.

The intention is to maintain an apiary in the immediate locality which will provide beginners with a teaching facility. Where they can learn amongst other things:

• Whether they are comfortable around bees prior to becoming owners.

• Find out what equipment RBKA use to see if it suits them.

• See a colony other than their own in the locality.

• What space is needed for an apiary.

• Using a smoker.

• Assess the health of a hive.

• Gain from the experience of others.

• Get an idea of the weight and size of boxes that will need to be moved.

• Handle frames of bees.

• Problems and the treatments.

Members of RBKA will be informed of when inspections are being carried out and are welcome to come along and help or hinder. Please let me know if there is anything particular that you would like to have discussed.


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  • Social science study on how best to support beekeepers and bee farmers through education, information and advice
    20 January 2021
    Understanding how turnover (“churn”) among beekeepers can be managed and review information sources, learning methods and use of social media, to develop resources to support the beekeeping sector.

    Defra and Welsh Government have commissioned a social science study to gather information about different aspects of education and training. This includes getting a better understanding of how the turnover of beekeepers can be managed. It will also review information sources, learning methods and use of social media. The third part of the project will evaluate current continuous professional development schemes and resources to support bee farmers. The study which has just begun, has been contracted to ICF Consulting who have carried out a number of research projects in other areas for Defra. We are hoping that many beekeepers will participate in the project which will include a survey and further details will be announced soon.

    This work links into the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, working together to improve honey bee health and husbandry in England & Wales.
  • COVID-19 and Beekeeping update
    11 January 2021
    This is a re-issue of the guidance provided in October 2020:

    Please find the latest Covid-19 beekeeping guidance. The update includes separate links to the current Public Health Guidance for England, Wales and Scotland.

    Covid-19_and_Beekeeping_Update_v3

    COVID-19_and_Beekeeping_-_Welsh_Language_Version v3

    If you have any queries please contact:

    For England: BeeHealth.Info@defra.gov.uk
    For Wales: HoneyBeeHealth@gov.wales / GwenynMelIach@llyw.cymru
    For Scotland: Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot