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 Committee Meetings

Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association’s customary venue for its regular meetings is Itchen Abbas Village Hall – http://www.iaavillagehall.co.uk. Directions and Post Code: SO21 1BQ

There are normally 5 meetings each year.

Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association also a aims to hold a Convention and a Honey Show each year, which relies on support and involvement from members of our 14 local associations.

2020 was an unusual year. Not only were we unable to meet in person, but as so many events had to be cancelled there was little to discuss. However, HBA organised a well-attended “Web-Vention” on 14 November 2020 that incorporated free draws, trader presentations and 2 excellent talks. Subsequently, we organised a series of 3 winter-to-spring talks for our members, featuring renowned, expert speakers on subjects of interest to all.

The 2021 Annual General Meeting was conducted on Zoom on 2nd March. The next Executive meeting (on Zoom) will be held on Thursday 29th April 2021. Please email  the HBA Hon. Secretary at secretaryhampshirebeekeepers@gmail.com for more information or to add items to the agenda.

Beekeeping Items For Sale

In a normal year, Meon Valley Beekeeping Association organises a popular Beekeeping Auction. This could not happen in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic so it has been suggested that this website could include a ‘For Sale’ page.
The following links will take you to Hampshire local association web pages that list members’ items for sale:

  • (No links provided yet – please come back later)

NOTE: When buying secondhand hives or parts, you MUST assume the worst and sterilise them thoroughly to destroy all pathogens. Please read the National Bee Unit Fact Sheet about Hive Cleaning and Sterilisation

HBA Special General Meeting and Annual Council Meeting 2020

Both meetings were held on Monday 9th March 2020 at Badger Farm Community Centre, Winchester SO22 4QB.

The Special General Meeting regarding our new Constitution began at 19:00, chaired by John Lauwerys.   Representation was good, with 10 out of the 14 Hampshire associations present.   John explained that provided 2/3rds of the attendees present agreed to this constitution it could be passed in accordance with the terms of the current HBA constitution for enacting constitutional amendments.

After a short discussion about specialist groups’ rights and partner members’ capitation fee to HBA, John recommended that the meeting adopt this constitution, and if refinements needed to be made they could be implemented at the next ACM.

The meeting voted unanimously to adopt the new constitution.
Thus the new constitution, based on the Charity Commission model constitution,  replaces the HBA constitution previously adopted on 3rd October 2007.

The Special General Meeting was then followed by the Annual Council Meeting summarised as follows:

  • In his address, the Chair (John Lauwerys) stated that the approval of the new constitution will significantly streamline the running of HBA. He thanked individuals who had helped to run HBA and its events throughout the year. He was pleased with the 2019 Honey Show and he, with HBA Hon.Sec. Janelle Quitman, has visited a potential venue for the 2020 Honey Show. John and Janelle had also visited the Principal of Sparsholt College and secured premises to hold the HBA Convention on 14th November, 2020. Janelle is working on Asian Hornet control with the 14 HBA associations, 9 of which now have an Asian Hornet Action Team.
  • Mike Lloyd-Owen (Hon. Treasurer) reported that with no income in 2019 the accounts showed a significant deficit. In light of the planned activities of HBA in 2020 the ACM supported his recommendation for the reintroduction of a capitation fee, to come into effect in 2021. The report and accounts were formally adopted.
  • Janelle Quitman (Hon. Secretary) stated that a paper had been circulated to the membership regarding monitoring for the Asian Hornet, the Honey Show, and the forthcoming Convention in November.
  • Jean Frost (Education secretary) stated that for 2020 15 applications had been submitted for the Bee Health Certificate assessment. All Basic Assessment applications must be submitted to Jean before the end of April.
  • Gillian Bird (website manager) stated that a paper had been circulated to the membership, encouraging all associations to submit information about their events to which others are invited, and changes to contact details.
  • Avril Tillman (Librarian) stated that a paper had been circulated to the membership. The library has moved into another building on the same site. Avril is considering offering weekend access to the library once security issues have been agreed. Avril asked local associations to encourage new beekeepers to visit and make use of the library.
  • Jim Stuart (heather permit facilitator) had circulated a paper. He will retire from this position after 2020. John Lauwerys thanked Jim for his work over many years, covering paperwork, liaison with beekeepers, park rangers, forestry commission and the general public, complaints and advice, as well as being keyholder and manager, and organising fees and maps.
  • Janelle Quitman (AHAT – Asian Hornet Action Team – co-ordinator) explained the cost benefit of placing a bulk order of Suterra/Trappit (the most effective bait) in 5-litre containers that could be distributed among the associations. Monitoring for Asian Hornets daily from a convenient location such as a kitchen window is effective. Once the bait is found, the hornet will make repeat visits to the bait, making tracking easier.
  • Elections – all members of the executive committee are willing to continue. John Lauwerys explained that under the new constitution we do not need to elect any additional members this year. Janelle Quitman was formally elected as Hon. Secretary for a three year term from March 2020; nominated by John Lauwerys and seconded by Jean Frost, carried unanimously.
  • A paper was circulated prior to the meeting on BBKA Annual Delegate Meeting.
  • Insurance will be extended for AHAT teams on a similar basis to swarm collection insurance.
  • The 2021 ACM will be held at Itchen Abbas Village Hall
  • Christine Coulsting (Chair, Romsey) had held a meeting in January for all education officers with a view to improving association training.

John Lauwerys thanked members for their attendance at the ACM and invited everyone to remain for an opportunity of a social gathering with refreshments.

The meeting ended 8.25pm

Covid-19 update 30 July 2020

You will be aware that most events and meetings in the UK have been cancelled as from 16 March 2020 to prevent the spread of this virus. If you plan to attend any beekeeping event, please check with the organisers for up-to-date information.

BBKA have published some helpful advice which can be accessed by clicking here

Please also read Government guidelines and the BeeBase bulletin and advice pages

In a nutshell, we must continue to tend our bees within the constraints of social distancing; alone, or with another member of the same household.

If this means that you cannot care for your bees please let your association know how they can help.

Swarm collection continues but within the constraints of social distancing. If you cannot take the swarm without keeping the safe 2 meter distance, you must let the swarm go.

HBA Honey Show 2020 has had to be postponed for a year. For latest news about our 2020 Convention please click here

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”

Back to top of page

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.
Back to top of page

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.

Back to top of page

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.

Back to top of page

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!
Back to top of page

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 Show 2019

Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association will hold a Honey Show on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October 2019 at Hilliers Arboretum, Romsey https://www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/hilliergardens/visitus.

Our bees have had a busy summer and we have harvested their surplus honey and wax. The wonderful display is open to the public after 13:30 on Saturday and experienced beekeepers will be on hand to answer questions.

We will also have several displays and attractions including beekeeping history, books, candle rolling, and of course honey sales.

Please click here for the printable A4 2019 Schedule, which includes a list of prizes, the classes, the recipes, and the rules and regulations. (An A5 booklet-form version will be available soon.)

Please click here for a printable Show entry form. All entries must be received by Saturday 6 October. Please note that entries must be submitted by post.