We would strongly recommend if you are purchasing bees to buy them locally - within Sussex or the South East - and to ensure they are of UK origin rather than imported queens or bees. This helps prevent the spread of pests and diseases and local bees are best suited to our conditions and climate. Please ask a member of the Committee if you need advice.
If you have never handled bees before and/or wish to learn more about beekeeping, why not come along to one of our apiary meetings during the summer or one of our monthly evening meeting during the winter months (EBKA EVENTS) to see what beekeeping is all about?
Even if you are not a member but wish to come along to a meeting, please contact one of our friendly committee members for further details, so we know that you are attending.
COURSES AND WORKSHOPS
We run training and workshops for all levels of beekeeping experience, from those just curious to know what's involved, to complete beginners, through to experienced beekeepers who want to take their interest in bees to the highest level.
Beginning Beekeeping Course
Wednesday 23 February 2022
Wednesday 2nd March 2022
What is it about? Learn about the origins of the honey bee, its life cycle and how we manage bees for honey production and our own enjoyment at sessions run by a friendly group of experienced beekeepers.
In addition to two evening sessions - covering a range of topics on bees and beekeeping - attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience during an aftenoon session with bees in one of our apiaries.
Email Jacky Eustace for further details or to book your place.
The Association owns a number of bee related books which are available for loan to members. The loan peroid is typically a calndar month. The books and terms of borrowing books can be found here.
We recommend that beginners start in May with a nucleus - a small colony of four to six combs with a mated queen, workers, possibly some drones, some brood and some stores.
The number of bees involved is limited and easy to handle. The nucleus will grow during the course of the year and may even produce a little honey.
A complete colony may be purchased, but this could be quite a daunting prospect for newcomers to beekeeping. This consists of ten, eleven or twelve combs and is a complete "going concern" with mated queen, workers, drones, stores of food and broood at all stages. This colony should produce a surplus of honey in the first year it is obtained.
The value of a natural swarm (a free living colony without combs) from a reliable source depends on its size and whether it is headed by a queen of a previous season or an un-mated queen of the current year.
Early swarms will develop well but late swarms and casts (second or third swarms produced in the current year) will need lots of feeding if they are to survive the winter.
NEED A SITE FOR YOUR BEES?
The Association can offer you a plot for your bees on their Crossways Apiary which is available on a rent basis. We currently have a number of members looking after their bees there.
This is a delightful spacious piece of land in the beautiful Sussex countryside, kindly let to us by a local land owner.
If you are interested and would like to rent a plot for your bees please contact Jean Piper on 07766 572 940.