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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.
One of our members is taking orders for 2019 reared National nucs. They are F1 Buckfast and locally reared queens all from treated hives. The bees are bred for calmness and production. They will be £180 per Nuc with £20 deposit. They will be available for collection from mid June onwards.
I am relaying this message mainly to newer beekeepers as there was a shortage of swarms last year. That may not be the case this year.
I am in no way recommending Ross and his bees as I have not had bees from him. Any questions should be directed to him.
Kind Regards Rita Perry
Membership Sec. PDBKA
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 July. 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. (Click 'Read More' below to see some photos of swarms, does your swarm look like this?)
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:
02392593760 or 07305496088
01329833011 or 07976539760
Swarm collectors may require you to sign a disclaimer. 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.
All new beekeepers, who are on the swarm list, please be aware that if your hive is not fully ready with frames and foundation in the brood box. then your name sadly will go to the end of the list. If you have any concerns as to how to build your frames or put in the foundation there will be help available at the shop.
Captured swarms are usually healthy, but are not quarantined and are subjected to only a rudimentary visual inspection. They are consequently provided to member beekeepers with no guarantees as to health, temperament or parasitic load. Members looking for bees of assured quality should consider purchasing a nucleus or negotiating with an existing beekeeper for a “split” from a known colony.
Preference will be given to new beekeepers in the allocation of swarms. If you wish to be added / removed from the list please contact:
Geoff Piper - 02392593760 or 07305496088
Peter Wilkinson -01329833011 or 07976539760
Please note - if you are on the list you maybe called at any time to assist with collecting the swarm so please be ready. This will be a good experience for you. Please make sure you have suitable equipment ready to house your swarm. You must have a decent hive with nice fresh comb. It would help if you could bring your hive with you to assist in the homing of your new colony. Its also worth-while bringing your suit, gloves, straps, duct tape, hive tools, smoker, breeze bocks or a stand. The hive will have to be collected and moved at dusk to your prepared site (you do have a prepared site dont you?) If you do not have equipment ready or you are away on holiday or too busy then please ask to be removed from the list. As you can imagine it can be hectic for the swarm collectors trying to find someone to take the swarm, and who is ready and available to take them.
The swarm collectors can be called at any time and it can be time consuming therefore your assistance is appreciated. This Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May one swarm collector was called to 6 swarms, some were false alarms and some absconded however as you can imagine this is hard work. It can also be time consuming and costly as you generally have to go out and capture the swarm and then later on move them after dusk. (2 trips per swarm).
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 24th February until end of September 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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PDBKA currently has around 149 Members.
"The majority of beekeepers do not give sufficient insulation and no beekeeper ever gave too much " Everertt Phillips Franklin
September to June meetings will be held in the larger room, at the Porchester Parish Hall, on the fourth TUESDAY of each month.