for further information click the images on the left.
Welcome to Avon Beekeepers Association (“ABKA”)
"The Association is established to advance the science of Apiculture and to promote and foster the education of the public therein. The Association may co-operate with bodies with kindred interests and make appropriate affiliations in order to achieve this”.
There are five branches in Avon Beekeepers Associations that serve beekeepers in Bath and Bristol and their surrounding districts and the local authority areas of BANES and N. Somerset.
The Association is a registered charity that is affiliated to the British Beekeepers Association (“BBKA”) as an Area member. Members of ABKA with bees are automatically registered with BBKA.
This site is work in progress and will eventually be fully populated. Press this button to contact the webmaster.
A Registered Charity - No. 271717
We take your privacy seriously: for any privacy concerns contact the webmaster
BS21-26, BS29, and BS49
To obtain an idea of the postal districts each branch serves press the button below the branch label to get postal districts of many members of each branch here:
Each branch is a thriving local community of beekeepers complete with their own apiaries and website.
For branch websites click the branch labels.
BS1 to 6, BS10 to 16, BS20, BS27, BS32, and BS34 to 37
BA2, BS3 to 4, BS14-16, BS30, BS31, BS37, and BS39
Even though you may not live in the postal districts mentioned you may join any of the branches.
BA1 to 3, BA11-15, BS30, BS31, BS37, BS39, SN13, and SN14
BS20-21, BS24-28, BS34, BS40, BS48, and BS49
Each Hive gives the location of the meeting place used by a branch during the winter months.
The Map of ABKA
Avon Beekeepers includes the administrative areas of North Somerset, Bristol, and Bath & North East Somerset
Here is a map of the area covered by Avon Beekeepers.
Bees swarm and then form a temporary cluster while scout bees look for a permanent home. This can take from a couple of hours to a few days, but typically takes 1-2 days. Bees tend to swarm late morning or early afternoon on sunny days. Ideally the beekeeper will collect the swarm and place it into a temporary hive, leaving it until dusk to ensure bees have returned before removing it.
How long have they been there?
Welcome to Avon Beekeepers Association
Swarm Collection Facility
Can the beekeeper access the bees?
local swarm collection managers
Can the beekeeper contact you ?
check list to help in swarm collection
This may seem strange but beekeepers can only collect honeybees. They will not normally deal with anything else. A large cluster of insects about the size of a football hanging or surrounding something say a branch, is likely to be a colony of such bees, especially if you have earlier seen a large cloud of flying insects.
Insects going in and out from the eves of a roof are more likely to be wasps.
Large furry insects coming from a hole or cluster in a tree are likely to be bumblebees.
This is important to the person collecting the bees; In this state they are often easy to collect. Once they have found an enclosed place like an empty disused chimney they are difficult to extract alive, especially if they have been there for more than a few hours.
How to identify the Asian Hornet
We have some dedicated swarm collection managers that have a list of local beekeepers available for collecting swarms. If you have a swarm, please click the image on the left to contact the swarm manager on duty. A useful option
is the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) interactive map of swarm collectors.
Remember to describe where the bees are and how the beekeeper can access the bees.
Are they Honeybees?
but remember to return to continue !
Give the swarm manager a phone number to contact you to let you know of any updates and for the swarm collector to contact you while collecting the bees.
Are they in a visible cluster?
BBKA bee identification tips
01934 518 014 07847 015 155
Swarm Managers List
use BBKA MAP
(Tree Bumble Bee)
07788 497 996
BBKA swarm collectors
<== A swarm of bees not to be confused with:
07720 321 627
Dec. Issue 3
More on the 20018 Agenda and talk in News Letter….
More on the 2019 talks and directions….
July Issue 2
Each branch runs own local programs of events
As is customary the AGM has a topical talk on some important aspect of beekeeping followed by the administrative meeting where members have a chance to have their say and vote on any changes to the society. The five branches take turns to host the event.
This is a new news letter that covers interesting items for the ABKA group. click on news issue to read:
Spring Day School
Each year the association puts on a day of talks, usually on a Saturday, for beekeepers and anybody interested in beekeeping. You can spend a whole day learning about recent developments in beekeeping and other beekeeping subjects.
March Issue 1
Saturdays 16th, 23rd & 30th March, 2019
Our Introduction to Beekeeping course provides the skills and husbandry required for basic beekeeping. The course is delivered in just three sessions over 3 consecutive weekends concluding with a Practical Session. It follows the syllabus developed by the British Beekeeping Association (BBKA).
Introduction to Beekeeping – 3 Day Course
Bath Beekeepers Teaching Apiary Park Farm Colliers Lane Newton St Loe Bath, BA2 9JA
Sundays 17th, 24th & 31st March, 2019
Prior booking is essential so please contact our Apiary Secretaries:
Pete & Monica Davis
Telephone: 01225 852159
email Pete & Monica
<= or get an application form from the Bristol site
26th January, 2nd and 9th February: 10.00 am - 5.30 pm
Venue: Little Stoke Social Club
Braydon Ave, Little Stoke, Bristol, BS34 6DN
Course fee £100
This course is for those who are seriously interested in taking up beekeeping. It aims to provide sufficient information about bees and beekeeping for the beginner in readiness to work with bees. The course addresses how best to care for the bees, the equipment needed, the year's tasks in the apiary, extracting and preparation of honey products and responsibility to the public. There will be no live bees on the course.
Later in the year participants will have the opportunity to visit an apiary to look into hives with an experienced beekeeper and gain some hands-on experience with bees.
2019 “Introduction to Beekeeping”
A Course over 3 Saturdays –
course now fully booked
Several pubs and cafes nearby serve food if you do not wish to bring your own packed lunch (tea, coffee & biscuits provided).
For details of the course and an application form please contact Penny Thorne,
Introduction to beekeeping
N Somerset Course
Each year we run a course called Introduction to Beekeeping. Over 10 weeks from January to March we explain the life cycle of the honey bee and cover the basics of beekeeping. This is just the start however as once the course is completed, we invite the class to our teaching apiary. Here they can get hands-on experience of managing honey bees under the guidance of our experienced beekeepers.
Should you then choose to join our branch we can help you find a suitable hive and source a colony of honey bees. During your first season we expect you to keep the bees at the teaching apiary where, every Sunday between 10.00 am and 12.00 noon, a group of experienced beekeepers will be on hand to help you manage your bees and learn the basic techniques of beekeeping. In your second year you will move your colony to a site of your choosing and we will help you by assigning an experienced mentor from the group to guide and assist you.
The courses aim to provide the beginner with the information required to start keeping honey bees. Students who attend will then be ready to start on the practical side of the craft of beekeeping with an understanding the work needed over the year.
All courses are technical courses for those seriously interested in taking up beekeeping as a hobby. They are not suitable for those with a more casual interest. Places are strictly limited. The lecturers are all experienced beekeepers.
N Somerset Branch
Some details of finnished introductory courses for this year have been left on the site as a guide to probable courses next year.
Introduction to Beekeeping
The advantages of being a member
Members of the executive
click on text in image for further information….
Government & Beekeeping
Here you have links to the more official agencies for beekeeping.
A brief description of beekeeping activities throughout the year for you to see what is involved.
Localised Interest Groups
Here you have links to other groups interested in bees.
Beekeeping Equipment Suppliers
where you can go to browse, buy and borrow things for beekeeping your own bees.
links to people that talk about bee things
Here you have recommended books on beekeeping and where to get them.
Here you can find ponters to and advice on matters to do with keeping bees.
Caddon Hives located in the Scottish Borders, are a father and son team, and have been selling WBC and National hives now for nearly 5 years. Their hives are made to the BBKA standard from Cedar sourced from selected sustainable forest management (SFM).
Bee Hive Supplies is based in Cornwall and supplies British National poly hives.
The major supplier of beekeeping equipment in our area is E.H.Thorne (Beehives) Ltd. They supply a large range of products through online shopping. You can browse the catalogue and see all the gadgets and equipment on offer for beekeepers.
An alternative supplier of quality beekeeping equipment is Maismore Apiaries Ltd. in Gloucester that sell on the website www.bees-online.co.uk.
Beekeeping Clothing & Accessories
You can buy a Sherriff protective garment direct from Brian Sherriff's site. He also sells a range of bee gifts that may interest you.
Digital edition of The Beekeepers Quarterly available at beekeepers.peacockmagazines.com/
Northern Bee Books claims to have the largest range of new and second-hand beekeeping books in the English speaking world, the catalogue of new books is listed here .
Asian hornet’s nest in FranceCourtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright
The National Bee Unit delivers the Bee Health Programmes on behalf of Food and Environment Research Agency and Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) in England & Wales. ABKA recommends all its members to register online as a Beekeeper on the NBU website to gain access to more helpful information and then you may request a free apiary visit from your local inspector who will provide any help and advice you need should be concerned that your bees have a disease problem. The NBU website also provides information on the functional activities of the NBU, legislation, pests and diseases including their recognition and control, interactive maps, current research areas, publications, advisory leaflets and key contacts.
Here is a recommendation given by the Chairman of ABKA on how the member branches should organise themselves.
Identifying the Asian Hornet
Read more to get advice on keeping bees for allotment pollination written by a well qualified beekeeper with many years experience in the Weston branch of Avon Beekeepers.
N Somerset: AGM with talk by Prof. Ratneiks
31st August 2019
We are hoping you can all keep 16th March free to participate in the Avon AGM it is being held in Keynsham and will be a good time to meet up with friends.
BIBBA: Sustainable Bees & Queens
Time: 10am-4PM Date: 24th March 2019
Location:The Drill Hall
Lower Church Street
Chepstow, NP16 5HJ
6th May 2019
9th February 2019
Booking & Details
Drill Hall Website
Bath and West Show: Honey Tent Display
Bristol: Honey Show for 2 days
29 May - 1 June
N Somerset: Branch Honey Show at Tickenham Hall
12 - 14 April 2019
Bees and Honey Stall
manned by north somerset beekeepers
You are invited to enter your honey products
be judged and win a prize.
Any beekeeper can enter.
30th March 2019
BIBBA: Sustainable Bees & Queens - at Chepstow
14th March 2019
Avon Spring Day School.
16th November 2019
Harper Adams University: Spring Convention
honey show 2018 application form
24th March 2019
N Somerset Agricultural Show:Bees and Honey Stand
Bristol: LL Langstroth, a Historical View -Chris Crocker