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Welcome to the 'Beekeepers' area which contains restricted content specifically for our beekeeping community. 
Here you will find a wide range of resources and information to support existing BBKA members and Associations.
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If you aren't already a BBKA member then you can explore your options to 'Become a Member'

Please check our Events page for details of upcoming talks.

Recorded talks 

These talks are free but we would welcome a donation to one of our appeals.

Save the Bees or Apiary and Education

Genetics - A talk by Margaret Murdin,

Margaret Murdin, past president of the BBKA, gives her talk on why Bees have smelly feet

This first set of three talks was given by Pam Hunter.  Pam has been keeping bees for over 25 years and is a Master Beekeeper.  She is also a member of BIBBA and the Central Association of Bee-Keepers.

Pam's background is in biological sciences. She was employed in microbiological research in the pharmaceutical industry for 30 years before becoming a freelance consultant and writer.  Until recently Pam was Chair of the BBKA Examinations Board and is currently Chair of Research, Technical and Environmental matters.

Pam is particularly interested in scientific aspects of bees and their interaction with the environment and plants. Also the neglected area of historical aspects of bees, the environment and beekeeping. Pam gives talks on these topics around the country.

Viruses – What are they and what impact do they have on bees and human life?

Discusses how viruses were first discovered in plants (Tobacco Mosaic virus) long before they could be visualised.  Early days of discovering infective organisms and using microscopes.  Mentions  Robert Hooke, Van Leeuwenhoek and Pasteur.  How viruses such as smallpox, polio, yellow fever, foot and mouth, flu and now Corona SARS 2 have impacted the history of the world.  Are viruses really alive and how do they get into cells?  The impact of viruses on honey bees, including DWV and CBPV.  Is there any treatment for viruses and if not why not?

Oil Seed rape – a blessing or a curse?

Discusses the fascinating history of this ubiquitous crop and how it has evolved.  Its value to bees and the beekeeper.  The value of rape seed oil worldwide, its nutritional value and how modifications have been made are all included.  How to manage colonies to get the best out of rape.  The problems with it, especially for the beginner.  The undoubted benefits if the colony is managed well.

Evolution of Plants and Insects

Discusses how flowering plants and insects evolved together and the modifications they have made; the plants to ensure cross pollination and attract insects; the insects to collect pollen. Includes a variety of interesting relationships between different insects and plants – figs and wasps, moths and yuccas, moths and orchids, figs and hellebores, even midges and their effect on chocolate, the Brazil nut, the Euglossa bee and the Agouti!. Structure of bees and the pollen collecting apparatus. Shows pollination. Discusses why are bees such good pollinators.

Joyce Nisbet Waxing Lyrical talk

Joyce will describe some of the techniques that can be used to produce candles and other attractive beeswax items, whether for showing or as gifts.

About Joyce Nisbet: Having started beekeeping in 1990, Joyce is now a Master Beekeeper, BBKA Honey Judge, BBKA Trustee and Chair of the BBKA Spring Convention Committee. After being impressed by high-quality wax exhibits in Honey Shows, Joyce improved her wax preparation skills by attending lectures and workshops on the topic. This then led to her being involved in creating wax items for displays by North Shropshire Beekeepers at the National Honey Show.

BBKA Christmas lecture December 2020 With Margaret Murdin, Past President
Why do bees buzz

Margaret is a Master Beekeeper, holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping and is a Past President of the BBKA but describes herself as an ordinary, practical beekeeper, currently with twenty colonies across three apiaries. Margaret began as a member of Ormskirk and Croston Branch in Lancashire where she learnt her beekeeping over the years before moving to North Oxfordshire.  

Margaret's background is in education, so she is naturally interested in furthering the education and training opportunities available to our BBKA members. 'We have a duty to our bees and to the public to be as good as we can as beekeepers. We all need to update our skills from time to time and to learn about how to deal with new threats and diseases'. So, Margaret actively encourages members to keep up-to-date with training and take the Basic Assessment if they have not already done so.