Hives to the New Forest Heather 2021

HBA 2021 Registered members only have the privilege of taking a combined maximum of 350 colonies, spread across several areas and enclosures, on to the New Forest.

Forestry England (formerly the Forestry Commission) will allow permitted beekeepers to place their allotted number of hives on the designated sites between 01 July and 31 October 2021.

The honeybees and beekeepers often benefit from the heather if it produces a good flow. In 2020 a total of 337 hives from 27 beekeepers enjoyed taking their bees for a working holiday with the challenge of dealing with a different type of honey. It is thixotropic.

Please start to plan now. This will allow time for equipment preparation and reconnaissance as access will require a 4×4 wheeled vehicle avoiding a last minute panic if the rain starts before you get your honeybees home. The sites available in the New Forest have variable ease of access: Forestry England will notify me of the sites that are available for this coming year.

You MUST ensure that you have PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE, which as a fully paid up Registered BBKA member you will have as a benefit.

You MUST ensure that your honeybees are free from American Foul brood and European Foul brood.

What to do next to obtain a New Forest Heather Permit:

  • If this is your first application for a permit, email me at– deadline 1 June 2021
  • If you took bees to the Forest last year you will automatically be sent an application form in May
  • If you took bees last year but do not intend doing so this year, please let me know

COSTS IN 2020 were £4.08 per hive (set by Forestry England, probably a tad higher in 2021) plus an HBA administration fee of £3.00. You will also need to pay £30.00 as a refundable enclosure key deposit.
One last point: if you wish to take under 10 hives I may have to ask you to share a key.

Peter Grimes