HBA Winter and Spring Talks, 2021

HBA has arranged a series of 3 excellent talks to be delivered on Zoom while we wait for the pandemic to go away and the beekeeping season to start:

  • Tuesday 19th January at 7 p.m. – Marin Anastasov, BSc, MSc, NDB gave an excellent talk about the “Father of the Drone”
  • Tuesday 16th February at 7.30pm – Dr Peter Kennedy (University of Exeter) will talk on telemetry work on Asian Hornet
  • Wednesday 10th March – Margaret Murdin NDB will talk about “Selecting the right qualities in your bees”

All HBA members should have received a link to the January talk by email, sent on 1st January. If you missed it, please email the HBA honorary secretary. Links to the February and March talks will follow in due course.

HBA Web-Vention, Saturday 14 November 2020

On a wet and windy day, we welcomed beekeepers from Hampshire and beyond to our “Web-Vention” on the morning of Saturday 14 November.
Renowned experts Celia Davis and Bob Smith talked about “Queens” and “Forage”. There were prizes to be won and other features.
Please click on the links below to navigate around the highlights quickly!
Read about our speakers and their topics
The programme
Suppliers’ Lucky Dips
The HBA Draw
Our aim to have a second event in spring

The Speakers

Celia Davis – “The world of the honey bee Queen”

Bob Smith – “Forage for Honey Bees”

Celia covered the structure and life of the honey bee Queen; practical ways to ensure that colonies are headed by fertile, productive Queens Bob talked about forage for honey bees including how far they go, what they forage on, what is best for them, etc
Celia Davis BSc, NDB
Celia started beekeeping in 1980 and now runs two colonies having recently moved house. She has been actively involved with beekeeping education since the early 1990s, serving for six years on the BBKA Examinations Board and continuing to act as a tutor for the Correspondence Course and an examiner at all levels.
Celia holds the NDB, lectures widely and has served her County Association as both Secretary, Chairman and President. She has authored two books, The Honey Bee Inside Out and The Honey Bee Around and About, both of which are very popular.
Bob Smith, NDB
Bob has been keeping bees since the late 70’s, currently managing 9 colonies in 14×12 WBC’s, in 4 quite different apiaries in North Kent.
He was a Seasonal Bee Inspector for 6 years, is a holder of the NDB and the person with responsibility for leading the busy and committed Education Team within the Medway Beekeepers Association. He is also current Chairman of the Central Association of Beekeepers (CABK) whose aim is to “bring science to the beekeeper”

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The Programme

The morning began at 09:30 with a welcome from our Chair, John Lauwerys.
Celia Davis and Bob Smith were the key speakers, with plenty time allowed to answer several questions.
Woven through the programme were short suppliers’ videos, each followed by a “lucky dip” to award a prize (see below) to anyone attending this Web-Vention.
There was also an HBA members-only free draw, the prizes (see below) for which had been donated by local Hampshire associations and HBA.
Our HBA library presented a short informative video to remind us of the rich resource that we have.
The Web-Vention closed at 12:45.
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The Suppliers’ Lucky Dips

We invited some of your favourite suppliers of bee-related goods to attend by way of a short video. In return, each donated an excellent prize that was awarded by a free lucky dip. Everyone who attended this Web-Vention was automatically eligible.

Thornes of Stockbridge
Lin at Thornes gives a warm welcome to beekeepers and browsers.
You will find a wide range of beekeeping equipment downstairs and an Aladdin’s cave of wax working and candle-making supplies upstairs.
Thornes of Stockbridge gave £20-worth of foundation of choice to one lucky person attending our Web-Vention.
Compak South
Compak’s online shop offers a wide range of bottles and containers.
They also provide and association price-list giving reductions of up to 40% for bulk orders. An order for a complete pallet (35 boxes) qualifies for free delivery but they are willing to relax rules and split between 2 addresses by arrangement.
Compak gave 72 1lb honey or 108 8oz hex or 84 12oz hex or 128 8oz round or 72 12oz round honey jars with lids to one lucky person who attended our Web-Vention.
Bee Craft
Bee Craft is the UK’s best selling monthly beekeeping magazine with the largest paid circulation. It is known as ‘The Independent Voice of British Beekeeping’ and is published by Bee Craft Ltd which also publishes a wide range of beekeeping books and booklets.
Bee Craft gave a 12 month hard copy subscription with complimentary digital access and two further prizes of digital subscriptions to lucky people who attended our Web-Vention.

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The HBA Draw

As well as the suppliers’ lucky dips (to which all were eligible) every Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association member who attended this Web-Vention had automatic free entry to the HBA Draw.

HBA donated a £50 Thornes’ voucher as first prize. Other generous donations from local Hampshire associations included Thornes vouchers worth £20, £10 and £5, 2 boxes of nitrile gloves, a smoker, 12 ‘Marigold’ type pairs of gloves, and a Thornes candle mould TS43 with wick.

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Next spring

We are considering a second Web-Vention (or convention, depending on that virus) in early spring 2021.
This page will be updated frequently as soon as information is confirmed, so please come back soon!
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Gallery – Honey Show 2019

HBA Honey Show 2019 – Report

Congratulations to all who contributed to making this year’s Hampshire Beekeepers Honey Show a happy success.

On Friday afternoon Mike Barrie from Andover Beekeepers Association arrived with signage, benches and fresh white tablecloths. With a little assistance (or as he had me there, a little assistant) and much jollity and banter- probably made the job longer – we placed them in position ready for the exhibits. I might not have helped had I known he’d beat me to First in the Soft Set Honey class – well done Mike.

He then drove off in the early evening light which was fading rapidly to the entrance and the roundabout to hammer in the signage, a safe distance from the road, pointing the way into the Hampshire Beekeepers Honey Show.

It was fun meeting and chatting to beekeepers from all over the county, exchanging ideas as well as contact details and, as always at such gatherings, making new friendships.

The weather was kind, the motorway on Saturday morning created a little excitement with trying to get some entries in on time but we managed with the help of the volunteer stewards, who, dressed in crisp white coats, hairnets and hats helped to stage the last few items (pots of honey, mead and wax blocks) ready for the similarly attired judges.

A steady stream of notes was stewarded from the show bench to Gillian’s laptop to be recorded and then on to the desk for certificates to be filled out and placed next to the exhibitors’ winning samples.

The purifying scent of beeswax filled the room as the judges watched the steady flame of moulded, non-moulded, decorative and plain candles burn with a golden glow.

Photographs; fun, interesting and educational were critically appraised with helpful notes scribed for the winners.

Cakes, scones, biscuits, sweets and preserves were all tasted and tantalisingly left visible for the visitors to be inspired to bake more with honey.

Crystal clear mead, all in traditional tall bottles with matching corks, gleamed in the sunlight and finally the cosmetics and furniture polish, which added a pertinent perfume of past times when furniture and chopping boards were made of natural wood.

Opposite the encased frames for extraction were the shining silver and gleaming glass trophies which this year were presented to the winners by The Rt. Hon. The Countess of Mountbatten of Burma. Honey show exhibits

The Countess showed great enthusiasm for the need for good forage and the craft of beekeeping, visiting Meon Valley’s spectacular display, including a treasure trail for children, an observation hive, the Asian Hornet tableau, Winchester’s honey extraction equipment including a heather press, Romsey’s candle rolling bench with wax of many colours, Portsmouth’s historic artefacts, the library and Southampton’s sunny sales table.

Having the show in the grounds of Hilliers, with ample parking, its café, shop and arboretum made it a great day out for all the family, educating the general public about the importance of pollinators and providing members of HBA with an easy sales outlet for their hive products.

Best in show Checking the extractor

On Sunday evening the marquee and showrooms were derigged, and the cloths removed for more laundering. Jim Stuart from Andover Association manfully took away the props to be stored.

People wandered in and out of the room over the weekend oblivious of what was involved in setting up a honey show.

Packing up was much quicker than setting up. With the rooms and marquee empty we strolled back beside the parkland tapestry of autumnal colours to our cars and headed home to a welcome cup of tea. Together everyone achieves more. It was that teamwork which made the weekend work so well. This is what HBA stands for and next time even more associations will be showcased and promoting pollinator protection and products from our hives.

Thank you all for your time, efforts and participation.

(You can see some photos taken at the Show if you click here)

HBA Honey Shows

Hampshire is fortunate in having a mild climate and a wide range of forage for our bees ranging from urban gardens to New Forest heather, oilseed rape to wildflower meadow, and more. This means that our bees collect a wide range of nectars making beautiful honeys from the palest (borage) to the darkest (chestnut).
Bees also produce beeswax and our skilled beekeepers use this to make candles, blocks, polishes and cosmetics.

We display our products with pride, and our Honey Shows are open to the public when judging is complete, and experienced beekeepers are always on hand to answer questions. There are many awards to be won across all classes.

Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association held a Honey Show on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October 2019 at Hilliers Arboretum, Romsey.

We also had several displays and attractions including beekeeping history, honey extraction, books, candle rolling; and of course tables with lots of delicious honey to buy, direct from the bees and beekeepers of Hampshire. We were delighted to welcome The Countess Mountbatten of Burma to present our awards.

Please click here for the printable A4 2019 Schedule, which includes a list of prizes, the classes, the recipes, and the rules and regulations. The same schedule is also available in A5 booklet form. (To print, download the schedule then open it in Adobe Reader. Click “File” then “Print”. Under “Page size and handling” click the button labelled “Booklet”. It will print on 4 double-sided sheets of paper, the pages in correct order for folding in half.)

County Events

Hampshire Beekeepers organise county-level events such as honey shows and beekeeping conventions. You may see some listed in the “New on this website” and “Upcoming events” panels to the right of this page.

For locally-organised events and training, please click the ‘Local associations’ link under ‘Contacts’ above.