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The Portsmouth Beekeepers’ Association exists to promote the craft of beekeeping and increase public awareness of bees and their contribution to the ecology around Portsmouth in Hampshire, UK.
PDBKA is pleased to announce that our Vice President Geoff Piper has agreed to become the new Out Apiary Manager at the Meon Valley Sustainability Centre with immediate effect.
Geoff has been an active member of PDBKA for many years , has over 40 year’s beekeeping experience and currently runs approximately 25 hives of his own. Geoff will also be conducting practical hands-on training sessions, and act as our liaison with the Management Team of the Sustainability Centre.
As a direct response to the results of the recent member’s survey, Geoff has agreed to hold Apiary Meetings at a more convenient time for a trial period on
Tuesday Evenings starting at 7pm, meeting at the Sustainability Centre main reception commencing the 4th July. All PDBKA members are cordially invited to
attend, regardless of experience, as this is a great opportunity to share experiences and learn from one another to the benefit of all.
Apiary meetings are a natural progression from the winter beekeeping course and are suitable for not only new Beekeepers who are expecting the arrival of their
first colony but for those who may have only just started looking after their own hives, to those wishing to develop their skills further or maybe to take the BBKA
It is also an opportunity for people looking to become new Beekeepers who would like the opportunity to understand what’s involved and to handle Bees for the
first time. If you know of anyone you fits this criteria please feel free to invite them along, we have several bee suits available, it would be advisable to
let Geoff know in advance, just in case.
Geoff offers a warm welcome to anyone wishing to attend and hopes that many members will take up this learning experience.
The Apiary has a variety of hives and is intended that beekeepers new and old have the opportunity to review the relative merits of these hive types, gain experience of handling bees, and exchange opinions in an informal setting.
The Out-Apiary at the Sustainability Centre near East Meon is open on Tuesday evenings. Meet in the car park at 7pm if the weather is suitable. Check with Geoff Piper Telephone 02392 593760 if unsure.
Attendees are expected to wear clean bees suits. A limited number of suits are available for loan to new members for the session. All sessions are of course totally dependent on the weather and may be cancelled at short notice. Please contact the Apiary Manager on the day to check.
Click image below for a google map.
The Denmead show is on 19 August and we hope many of you will enter the classes. Schedules are available from Parkers hardware store in Denmead, and a few
will be available at the barbecue. The entry form is in the schedule and you need to send this in to the show by 15 August. The entry fee for each class is 25 pence.
You do not have to live in Denmead to enter.
In the Home Craft section there are several classes of interest to beekeepers including a set recipe for a honey cake, a class for 6 honey biscuits and dry and sweet mead classes.
In photography one of the classes is for a close up of an insect. Maybe you have a great shot of one of your girls.
Beekeeping classes are as follows:
The entry rules and requirements are set out in the schedule.
Hope to see lots of entries at the show, and even if you don't enter your honey there are lost of other fun classes.
Portsmouth & District Beekeepers Association - Honey Bee Swarms
Portsmouth Beekeepers operate a swarm collection service to assist members of the public and to safeguard the valuable honey bee. If you get a swarm of Bees in your garden what can you do?
Swarms usually happen during the late morning or afternoon from April to August. If the Beekeeper can get to the swarm quickly the bees can usually be collected safely. Although a swarm of bees is normally harmless, they do frighten some people and it is best to leave them alone and keep your distance. When the bees arrive they will quickly form a cluster on a bush or tree. They will normally stay like that for the rest of the day.
Bees usually swarm when a colony is strong enough to divide. At that time half the bees and one queen will fly off to make a new home. This is just their way of reproduction and before they go they will gorge themselves on honey, taking enough food to survive for a little while. Do not be alarmed, just walk away and leave them to settle.
If you contact us we will try to arrange for a Beekeeper to come ASAP and the swarm to be collected in the early evening. Please be aware that bees should not be harmed or sprayed with pesticide.
Before calling please ensure they are Honey Bees and not Bumble Bees, Masonary Bees or Wasps. Please see our Know your Bees page to assist you with identification. We are very sorry but we cannot do anything about bumble bees, wasps or masonary bees. For wasps you will need a pest controller. For bumble bees and masonary bees its best to just leave them alone. Please see the pictures below for a typical swarm of Honey Bees. If bees are in the cavity of your house, chimney or roof then there is not much we can do without dismantling your house, something we are not insured to do.
If you see a swarm then please call one of the Beekeepers below and they will arrange for the nearest beekeeper to you to attend:
Mick Stallard - home 01329 849394 and Mob: 07792 974649
Swarm collectors will require you to sign a disclaimer and it is polite to offer £20 towards expeneses, as usually it can be time consuming to collect swarms and will require several trips to your house and then a trip to where they will eventually be homed. As we all know fuel is expensive these days.
The area covered is about a 20 mile radius of Portsmouth. This will cover the whole of Portsmouth. Hayling Island, Havant, Waterlooville, Portchester, Wickham, Locks Heath, Fareham, Whiteley, Titchfield and Gosport.
The shop manager is Cliff McGaughey. The address is "The Skep", The Bastion, Portsmouth.
Please note, that for the winter period (October to March) the shop will not be routinely opened, but goods can be obtained by contacting Cliff as below.
No money is ever left in the shop and the premisis are alarmed.
The shop will be opening every Saturday from 1st April 2017 between 10.00 and 11.00 a.m. There are good supplies of wax, jars etc. etc. so please do make use of this Club facility. The shop is for the benefit of all members, hopefully saving them long journeys to other suppliers or having to pay postage (as well as money on your purchases). Every effort will be made to keep prices as low as possible by making bulk purchases, so it’s up to you to let us know your requirements. At present the stock of some items is limited, but we do have plenty of frames and foundation in anticipation of the spring honey flow. So, the success of this venture is really up to you – your patronage is all that is needed, so I look forward to your orders.
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The P&DBKA newletters are published on this website and they contain lots of up to the minute information. Please read them!
"The majority of beekeepers do not give sufficient insulation and no beekeeper ever gave too much " Everertt Phillips Franklin
September to April meetings will be held in the larger room, at the Porchester Parish Hall, on the fourth TUESDAY of each month.