AHAT – Asian Hornet Action Team

It is assumed that the Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) will again appear in Gloucestershire.  The role of the county AHAT is to coordinate the efforts to share any reports  and confirm any Asian hornet sightings including the collection of photographs or samples.

Asian hornet (Vespa velutina)

Once the National Bee Unit (NBU) of DEFRA has been informed, they will then take charge of the operation to find and destroy the nest.  Under their direction AHATs may be invited to help find it. 

Mike Forster is the County AHAT Coordinator and each GBKA branch has an AHAT lead indicated below :

Cheltenham & GloucesterMike Forster
Cirencester & DistrictDenis Flavel
Dean ForestGraham Pugh
NewentJohn Whitaker
North CotswoldsSarah Foulkes
StroudPeter Lead
South CotswoldsTBC

Click here for more information

Royal Three Counties Show – 2019

The Heart of England’s premiere celebration of the countryside and rural life

Malvern, Friday 14th to Sunday 16th of June.

The Bees and Honey show is organised by the three county beekeeping associations of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Schedules and entry forms for the event are now available.

Come with family and friends and help us celebrate the countryside at Royal Three Counties Show being held at Three Counties Showground – it’s a great summer’s day out.

Lots of activities for all the family ensure that there is never a dull moment. Try your hand at lots of different activities, or get up close with the friendly animals in Fur, Feather & Farm. In our theatre, show ambassador Adam Henson delivers fascinating talks and insights and over in the Main Arena nonstop entertainment culminates in the Grand Parade of Livestock.

This year Herefordshire is organising the main display for the Bees and Honey Show with the theme of ‘beehive designs’ including skep building.

Honey bee health day – 3rd August, 2019

Gloucestershire Beekeepers Association (GBKA) will be hosting a Honey Bee Health Day with the support from Colin Pavey (Regional Bee Inspector on behalf of APHA) and his team of Seasonal Bee Inspectors.

The day includes presentations and workshops delivered by Colin and his team, on topics related to honey bee pests and disease recognition, pest and disease management, apiary hygiene, apiary inspections and a rare opportunity to examine combs with notifiable disease (EFB and AFB).

Please bring clean bee suit, clean footwear and non-leather gloves.

Tea, coffee and light lunch will be provided.

Event fee: £8.00 per person (non-refundable)

Location: Rural Innovation Centre, Harnhill, GL7 5PU

Date and Time: Saturday, 3rd August, 2019. 09:00 – 17:00.

For more information contact: Marin Anastasov, NDB – manastassov@aol.com

To book, click on the link below:


George Knight’s Memorial Award

Gloucestershire BeeKeepers Association (GBKA) received the George Knight’s Memorial Award in 2018 as the British BeeKeeping Association making the most progress in examinations and assessments beyond the Basic Certificate.

In 2018, from the 75 Associations around the country, Gloucestershire BeeKeepers Association (GBKA) had the most Modules, General Husbandry, Honey Bee Health and Microscopy certificates gained, and Deputy Chairman Chris Strudwick, accepted the award on behalf of GBKA at the recent Annual Delegate’s Meeting in Warwick. The BBKA examination system provides the stepping stones for constructive development and learning and the success of many GBKA members in passing the exams speaks for the efforts put by all in this respect.

Exams 2018PassCreditDistinction
Module 181
Module 21
Module 353
Module 5113
Module 6
Module 732
Module 81
Bee Health3
Bee Breeding1
Gen. Husbandry3
Adv. Husbandry
Int. theory111
Adv. theory1
Qualified beekeeper3
Master beekeeper

2019 AGM and Honey Show

Our 2019 AGM and Honey Show will be held on Saturday 23rd February. This year it is being hosted by the Stroud Branch and will be in St Dominic’s School Hall. St Mary’s Hill, Inchbrook, Stroud at 10:00 am. 

This year’s guest speaker is Willian Steynor who will give a talk on ‘Time saving interventions for the practical beekeeper’

It will be a great opportunity to catch up with news across the county, experience our county level honey show and also meet others outside our own Branches to chat and exchange information.  Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

We will very much look forward to welcoming you and hope that you will be able to attend.

2019 GBKA Honey Show Programme & AGM Agenda

GBKA Honey Show Schedule and Entry Form 2019  

Notice to enter the Honey Show must reach Michael Hunt by 21st  February 2018 (see form for details) giving your name, branch and the classes you are entering.  Entries should be dropped off between 9.00 and 10 am on the day.


2018 NBU Western Region Annual Report

2018 Western Region Annual Report

Prepared by our Regional Bee Inspector Colin Pavey.

A few highlights

  • Gloucestershire has 833 beekeepers, 1235 apiaries and 4944 colonies – almost double the number of colonies compared with our neighbouring counties in the Western region.
  • The level of European Foulbrood (EFB) reported has halved in 2018 (9 colonies) compared with last year.
  • There were no reports of American Foulbrood (AFB) and the area has been AFB free since 2015.
  • There were no reports of Asian Hornet in the Gloucestershire area this year, although there were nine confirmed sightings in England. Two nests were located and destroyed in Cornwall (primary and secondary nests) and two in Hampshire. The others were isolated sightings. All beekeepers are urged to remain vigilant with the possibility of new sightings next Spring. Details of how to report a sighting are included in Colin’s report.
  • The UK remains free of Small Hive Beetle. In Europe, it remains restricted to Southern Italy where it was originally found in 2014.
  • The report includes links on the legal requirements to import or export bees.

Defra Queen Rearing Survey

Queen Rearing Survey

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have now published their survey of queen rearing practices in the UK.

A copy of the survey can be downloaded here

The working group that put this survey together are very much encouraged by the level of interest and engagement in this topic.

Defra are continuing to work with beekeeping organisations on the analysis of these results and also looking at options for ways to improve our ability to rear queens in the UK.

The Queen Rearing Working Group is chaired by Defra with representatives from the National Bee Unit (NBU), the Bee Farmers’ Association (BFA), the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA), the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA) and the National Diploma in Beekeeping (NDB).

BIBBA Conference 2018 – Cirencester

BIBBA conference 2018
The Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA)
will hold its biennial conference during 6-9 September 2018 at
the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, Gloucestershire.All beekeepers are welcome

The programme contains a wide variety of topics, with three
simultaneous lectures, together with seminars and workshops.
There is something for everyone, whatever your interest or
experience. The three lecture streams are themed as follows:

  • Bee lmprovement  Queen rearing, bee breeding,
    genetics, queen mating, mini-nucs and their
    management, overwintering queens, etc.
  • General beekeeping  Management techniques,
    treatment-free beekeeping, overwintering nucs, comb
    honey, marketing, bee communication, etc.
  • Beginner and beyond  Forage and feeding, wintering,
    swarming, bee space, nutrition, mystery of mating, colony
    cycle, simple management techniques, colony health,
    and more. The three days in this stream will be at a level
    that can help you understand and care for your bees.
There are over 50 presentations from more than 30 top
presenters; many have over 30 years of beekeeping
experience, so they are telling participants what the bees have
told them, not something straight out of books.There is a variety of scientific and practical topics and this
conference is about as good as you will get. You can
attend on whichever days you wish and choose the
presentation you want to see.

There is accommodation onsite plus plenty in the locality.
Check the programme, tell your local beekeeping friends and
why not fill a car for an enjoyable break?


only £30 per day including lunch
evening meal and accommodation also available

More details at bibba-conference-2018

Apimondia 2019

First announcement – Apimondia 2019

Montreal – September 8-12, 2019

APIMONDIA is the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations. Its major objective is to facilitate the exchange of information and discussions by organizing Congresses and Symposia where beekeepers, scientists, honey-traders, agents for development, technicians and legislators meet to listen, discuss and learn from one another. Apimondia meetings are fabulous events that offer great opportunities to learn about all the aspects of the beekeeping world. During these meetings, from morning until late evening, participants explore various exhibits and learn about cutting edge research from all parts of the world.

Topics will include:

Apitherapy: Reflection, promotion, and deployment of Apitherapy in the world

Bee Biology: Current state of research on bee biology

Beekeeping Economy: Development of beehive products, and commercial activities linked to bees

Bee Health: Study of all aspects that affect honey bee health

Pollination and bee flora: Study of the role of bees as necessary pollinators for agricultural crops and natural flora

Beekeeping Technology and Quality: Information relating to the technologies and equipment used for apiary activities

Beekeeping for Rural Development: Information on how apiculture contributes to the development of sustainable livelihoods, world-wide

Further details can be found here – Apimondia 2019