A little bee film

At this time of year it is always exciting when we can have a proper look inside the hives to see what our colonies have been up to. While we wait for the weather to warm up and dry out click on the link to the Guardian website below to see Carole and Ken in action in Spring 2011.

They were “volunteered” to take part in a short film about beekeeping. The opportunity came about when a friend of David Smith was talking with the filmmaker, Edwin Hasler of Soft City Films, about bees and the enthusiasm and dedication of beekeepers.  Inspired by the idea he approached the Guardian and was commissioned to make this short film .

Boil up!

A number of WDBKA members took the opportunity to have their frames sterilised in preparation for the new season. Many thanks to Geoffrey for organising the meeting … lighting the fire and getting the tank up to temperature. It took all morning to give everything a thorough boil … leaving plenty of time between each load for a general catch up with bee related chat.


It is always good to have a fresh supply of clean frames ready for use … helping to keep our bees healthy. By the time all the frames were sorted and stacked to dry it was easy to see why it had taken so long …. there were an awful lot of them!


Honey soap with Dr Sara Robb

In February members of WDBKA gathered to welcome Dr Sara Robb of ‘Bath Potions’, to our programme of monthly winter lectures.

Sara started the evening by explaining how her studies as a chemist in America and subsequent move to the UK to continue her research, eventually led to the establishment of her own honey soaps and beeswax creams company. She has become well known to Beekeepers through the promotion of her books, talks and demonstrations at the National Honey Show and the BBKA Spring Convention. She is well qualified to have developed her popular range of products and explained the chemistry behind the process of soap making in a clear and entertaining manner.

The audience were interested to learn how to make use of their own honey and wax to create products. Sara gave a demonstration of soap making which required surprisingly few ingredients. .

Sara also told us how to make cerate ointment and told the audience that she had written an article for the Bees for Development Journal in March 2016 … which is easy to find on line. The curative properties of the mix of beeswax, honey and olive oil have been known for centuries. Sara referred to a record she had found in the 1809 edition of the Royal College of Physicians Pharmacopeia.

By the end of the evening many folk were keen to have a go at creating their own soaps … Sara reminded us that in order to sell to the general public each product required a safety assessment in order to comply with EU regulations… although there is nothing to stop us from making gifts for family and friends!


2018 Course for new Beekeepers is underway!

The latest course for prospective Beekeepers has now started. We have already enjoyed two weeks of presentations from a variety of tutor volunteers from within the Association. Course participants have started to learn about different types of hive and the basic needs of a colony.

Last week everyone had a go at building their first frame to take home with them … another important step on the road towards managing their own colonies.

WDBKA supports Apple Day at Groves Nursery

Members from WDBKA had an enjoyable time at the Apple Day at Groves Nursery. The information stand was visited by many folk who were interested to chat about bees and taste the variety of honey samples on offer. Thank you to everyone who gave time to help out on the day, baked cakes and biscuits for sale, donated honey and pollen for people to try … and generally all worked together to promote our Association and enthusiasm for Beekeeping!

Melplash 2017

Very many thanks to everyone who came along to help before, during and after the show. We hope our visitors to the Bee Marquee had as much fun as we did!

We had a lovely display of honey and frames ready for extraction. There was a lot to see and do in the tent. The cakes sold quickly and there were very few pots of honey left by the end of the afternoon.

The observation hives were as popular as ever and the information post was kept busy answering questions and promoting the next course for new beekeepers in Jan 2018.

David Lyall, WDBKA Vice President, awarded the various cups and sponsored prizes at the end of the afternoon.


The Bee Marquee is ready for the Melplash Show!

Many thanks to everyone who came along this evening to make light work of preparing our Marquee for the show. Everything is in place … most things have been found from last year (white painted display stand for honey sales still missing!) … and all we need now are the exhibits for the show and lots of lovely cakes and honey to sell on Thursday.

Thank you to all those who turned up to lend a hand … let the show commence!

Honey for sale at Melplash

Preparations are well underway for the annual WDBKA Honey Show and sales at the Melplash Show.

The honey from the Association Apiary is now bottled and ready for sale … we are delighted that our bees have been so busy!

WDBKA honey from the Netherbury Apiary ready for sale.

WDBKA Apiary Outing

On the 6th August members of the Association enjoyed a visit to Annabelle Jackman.

There was plenty of time for a leisurely inspection of her very calm and friendly bees before we all sat down to share a delicious array of teatime treats.

The skep cake was amazing … another entry for Melplash?!

WDBKA honey extraction workshop

Many thanks to the small team of willing volunteers who helped to extract the honey crop from our Netherbury Apiary. We had five heavy supers to process and used two, six-frame tangential extractors to complete the job in good time. Several buckets of honey have been emptied into the settling tank, the empty supers are back on the hives, and a power washer made short work of cleaning up the equipment! A good job done.

We just need to bottle and label the honey so it will be ready to sell at the Melplash Show.

Dont forget to make time to prepare your entries!