Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association Posts

HBA Autumn Convention 2022

HBA has now agreed on a date and location for the Autumn Convention. The event will be held on the 19th of November 2022 from 09:00 – 16:00 at Sparsholt College near Winchester. A subgroup of the trustees has been set up to make this another fun-filled and informative day for all.

So please save the date and we will update you all on the speakers, vendors, and activities as they are confirmed.

BBKA Online Exam Entry for March 2022 – register by 7 February

Module exams will be sat in the morning of 19th March 2022 and will be available in person and online. 80% of candidates now take the exams online.

Please note that the online registration process is compulsory prior to the online exam. The process of registering online is designed to make sure that candidates have the software they need installed and their computer is suitable and to give BBKA time to help candidates who are experiencing problems.

Some candidates had failed to register online in advance in previous module exams and this has caused a great deal of stress for candidates who often had technical problems and required extra support in the hours leading up to the exams and during the exam itself.

The Examinations Board has decided that the online registration process is compulsory and candidates who do not complete it before the deadline will not be allowed to proceed to take the exam.

The deadline for Module exams applications for March 19th is 7th Feb 2022

Hampshire Beekeepers Association Convention 2021

The Hampshire Beekeepers Association Committee is pleased to welcome its members to its 2021 Convention to be held on Saturday 20th November 2021 from 09:00 to 16:30.

This year’s event will be held in Westley Court at Sparsholt College in Winchester.

General Admission Tickets cost only £20 per guest which includes refreshments and a buffet style lunch. Tickets are limited to 100 to allow spacious and safe seating for the size of the venue, and are expected to sell out fast!
You can book yours now at

For our members who are still having to shield or are unable to travel, the convention will also be streamed via Microsoft Teams at an Online Ticket price of £10. We have limited these tickets to 50 in order that a good quality connection can be maintained via our partners at Sparsholt.

Both tickets can be purchased through a dedicated link that has been provided to all Hampshire Associations via the Secretaries.

There is a wonderful line-up of guest speakers this year including:
David Evans (“The Apiarist”) will discuss “The importance of bait hives”: the natural and effortless way of taking a swarm, whether the bees are your own or just passing
Andrew Durham (Cambridgeshire Beekeepers) who will be updating us on the threat to the UK from the Asian Hornet, and the French Experience (the arrival and spread of Asian hornet, its impact on beekeepers and options for defence against the hornet)
Ed Straw will talk about his fascinating research on pesticides: the formulation and effects of the weedkiller/herbicide glyphosate, and how its co-formulants and additional ingredients affect bee health.

These will be hosted by your colleagues within the Hampshire Beekeeping Associations:
Janet McKenzie will be taking us through the various uses of the Snelgrove Board including swarm prevention and making increase.

We welcome representatives from Beecraft, Vita Bee Health and Hampshire Beekeepers Library.

Prize Raffle
A number of organisations – Thornes, Northern Bee Books, Vita Bee Health and BeeCraft – have donated prizes for the raffle, so don’t forget to purchase your raffle tickets on arrival.


09:30 – 09:50 Arrival and Refreshments
09.50 – 09:55 Welcome by HBA Chair John Lauwerys
09:55 – 11.00 David Evans – Bait Hives
11:00 – 11.20 Refreshments & Comfort Break
11:25 – 13.00 Andrew Durham – The Asian Hornet
13:00 – 14.00 Buffet Lunch & Get Together
14:00 – 14.30 Workshops – Snelgrove Board
14:30 – 14:50 Refreshments & Comfort Break
14:55 – 15:40 Edward Straw – Insecticides and Bees
15:40 – 16:00 Raffle & Prize Presentation
16:00 – 16:30 Convention Closure HBA Chair John Lauwerys

COVID Precautions & Restrictions
Under current guidelines, all members are able to meet for the purposes of this event. If this changes, the HBA Committee will notify attendees of any changes.
Hand gels and sanitisers will be provided by the college and will be available to all.
Face Coverings – we ask all members attending to wear face coverings in both the communal areas and whilst talks are taking place in the hall.
Covid Flow Test – members are reminded that the NHS provides free lateral flow tests which you can order from www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. A test can be used on the day before attending the event and will produce a result within 20 minutes. This is a recommendation only.

Refunds: These will be based on a case-by-case basis by the organising committee.

Hives to the Heather – 2022

Registered members of HBA have the privilege of taking a combined maximum of 350 colonies onto the New Forest, spread across several designated areas and enclosures.

Forestry England will allow beekeepers who have been granted permits to place their agreed number of hives on sites allocated to them, between 01 July and 31 October 2022.

The honey bees and beekeepers often benefit from the heather if it produces a good flow. In 2021, bees in a total of 350 hives enjoyed a working holiday. The 28 beekeepers who owned those hives enjoyed the challenge of dealing with a different type of honey; heather honey is thixotropic.

Please start to plan now. This will allow time for equipment preparation and reconnaissance because access may require a 4-wheel drive vehicle if the rain starts before you get your honey bees home. The sites available in the New Forest have varying ease of access. Forestry England will notify HBA of the sites that are available for this coming year.

Conditions apply:

  • As a registered member of HBA (which all full members of Hampshire’s 14 local beekeeping associations are) you are automatically a member of BBKA, and as such are covered by a public liability insurance policy which provides coverage of up to £10 million for any one claim. Having such insurance cover is a Forestry England condition for beekeepers who are seeking to bring their hives to the heather.
  • You MUST ensure that your honey bees are free from American Foulbrood and European Foulbrood before bringing bees to the heather.

How to obtain a New Forest Heather Permit:

  • If this is your first application for a permit, contact me (see below) as soon as possible. The deadline is 1st June 2022.
  • If you took bees to the New Forest last year you will automatically be sent an application form in May 2022
  • If you took bees last year but do not intend to do so this year, please let me know immediately so I can reallocate to other beekeepers; thank you.

Forestry England reviewed their charges for 2022 and have imposed an increase. Discussions are still in progress; the following charges are to be confirmed.
NOTE: All the following charges apply PER COLONY

No. of colonies Fee to Forestry England Fee to HBA (*) Total PER COLONY
Up to 9 £4.20 +VAT £1 £6.04
10 or more £7.00 +VAT £1 £9.40

(*) HBA’s additional charge offsets the permit charge levied by Forestry England and other direct expenses arising from managing ‘Bees to the Heather’.

Enclosure key deposit: £30.00 which will be refunded on return of the key at the end of the season.

Peter Grimes: aabees321@gmail.com

Reporting Varroa in your Apiary from April 2021

The following was announced by the National Bee Unit on 12th April 2021:

On 21st April, 2021 an amendment to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006 and the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2021 comes into force requiring beekeepers and/or officials to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. Reporting will be for each apiary site. This amendment will allow England and Wales to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union. Similar arrangements are being made in Scotland.

To make this simple, a tick box will be introduced to BeeBase, the voluntary register for beekeepers managed by the National Bee Unit. This will allow beekeepers and inspectors to report the presence or absence of Varroa. This will be the easiest way to report Varroa. We are currently working on an alternative mechanism for those who do not wish to register on the BeeBase system and aim to share this before 21st April.

You will see from the screen shot below that it is easy to comply.  Simply edit your apiary details and click on “Yes” if Varroa mites are present in at least one colony in your apiary.

A screenshot of NBU Beebase showing the tick-box for Varroa mites in the apiary

If you have not registered on Beebase we strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible.  As well as providing invaluable statistics for lobbying government and supporting research, it will send you an automated warning if any notifiable disease or pest is found in close proximity to your bees.  It is safe and secure; your personal details and apiary location  are neither shared nor specifically used.

Importation of honey bees, spring 2021

Until 31st December 2020, packages of bees could be imported into the UK as long as they were accompanied by a bee health certificate. The bees were made available to experienced inspectors at the National Bee Unit. This process was our safeguard against imported pests such as the Small Hive Beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida.
That process no longer exists now that the UK is not an EU member state. Importers can, however, ship packaged bees using a loophole: transit through Northern Ireland.
“Packaged bees” are shipped in a box with no comb and are notoriously difficult to inspect. Inspectors in Northern Ireland cannot – and cannot be expected to – deal with such imports. The majority of such shipments come from southern parts of Italy where SHB has necessitated the destruction of some 3,500 hives since 2014.
British, Welsh, Ulster and Scottish Beekeepers’ Associations and Bee Disease Insurance Ltd have jointly issued a briefing note to Westminster and the devolved governments to warn them of the real and serious risk to the honey bee population in the UK while this loophole exists.
Please read the BBKA statement. This is an important issue that affects all beekeepers.
Note: A nucleus colony is a small colony with all stages of life: eggs, larvae and pupae, house bees and foragers, and a young queen on clean, drawn comb. Nucleus colonies are occasionally advertised as package bees on new foundation; such colonies require extra care and attention and are not recommended for inexperienced beekeepers.

Additional information:

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

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)

Hampshire Beekeepers’ Honey Show 2019

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

Our bees have had a busy summer and we have harvested their surplus honey and wax. The wonderful display of more than 250 items was open to the public after 13:30 on Saturday and experienced beekeepers were on hand to answer questions.

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 on Sunday, 20th October at Hillier’s Arboretum circa 15:30 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. (* see below)

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.)

(*) If clicking the links above returns a schedule or forms that are not 2019, please clear your browser cache/history and try again. If you are unable to download the schedule or forms, please contact us and we will email a copy to you.