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

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


Avon Beekeepers – Spring Day School

 Avon Beekeepers Association Spring Day School

Saturday April 21st 2018

9.45am – 4.30 pm with breaks for refreshments & lunch


Lectures from very knowledgeable beekeepers and researchers

Gerry Collins – What’s going on in my hive? What can I do about this (Problems in beekeeping and some of their solutions)

Richard Ball – Vespa velutina and other wasp species

Lynne Ingram – Dance like nobody’s watching….The role of honey bee communication in colony well being

THERE IS A SMALL CHARGE FOR THIS EVENT OF £12 in advance or £15 payable on the door

All visitors are welcome subject to booking but please note we are expecting a very high attendance and it is important that you book your place to avoid disappointment.

BOOKING is ESSENTIAL – If you wish to attend the Spring Day School please

Send a cheque for £12 payable to Avon Beekeepers + a stamped addressed envelope to: Anne Rowberry 4 Flatwoods Crescent, Bath BA2 7AH  You can book a place via email at annerowberry@gmail.com or by telephone on 07802425929 and pay on arrival (£15)

Please ensure you send the following information: Names of attendees; Branch; email address or telephone number and send a stamped addressed envelope if you require a postal acknowledgement for your cheque.

REFRESHMENTS – A light lunch will be provided and tea, coffee & biscuits will be available during breaks.

A raffle will be held on the day to raise funds towards the cost of the event.

Diane Sleigh (Thorne’s agent) will be bringing bee equipment/ hive parts etc. for sale.

Claire Barker from ‘Hive Original’   will be bringing her wonderful creams and bath oils etc. for sale.

In Remembrance of Sylvia Croke

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Sylvia, a valued member of the Cheltenham and Gloucester branch of the GBKA. The funeral has been arranged for Friday, 9th March at 2.30 pm at the Cheltenham Crematorium. with the wake in Alderton Village Hall.
Sylvia joined the C&G branch in 2005 where she signed up to the two year hands on training course. Sylvia had a very organised mind, it was the former teacher in her coming out and everything had to be cross recorded including where it was stored. Sylvia never did things by half, she took on an allotment in her village of Alderton where she joined the allotment committee and, as with her beekeeping, she threw herself 100% into it.
In beekeeping Sylvia liked the idea of the twelve inch deep brood boxes and every frame was marked with the start date and hive number. She ran up to about a dozen colonies in her out apiary, when the club asked members to open up their apiary for a summer visit Sylvia would step forward to help by allowing others to visit her site.
After completing her two year training Sylvia wanted to give something back to our branch, Sylvia suggested she could keep the club apiary tidy, cut the grass, trim the bushes and do whatever was needed to be done. Sylvia would often visit the apiary on a Friday evening assist me in tidying up, she knew how she could help and was the support worker in the apiary that nobody ever saw, it just always looked perfect.
Sylvia will be missed a great deal especially by Mike Hunt the branch apiary manager with whom she struck up a good friendship, in his words “I never had to nag Sylvia as the tasks were always done and she was my right hand in the apiary”.
Mike Hunt