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Dear Members, 
I have taken the liberty of attaching to this newsletter another letter which could be used to send to your local council asking them to plant wildflowers in the central reservations on the roads.  The letter is self explanatory and if you would like to use it you may find a difference in the roads surrounding the area in which you live. 

We can only live in hope!

With best wishes
— Margaret Wilson, Chair of BBKA


World Bee Day

In New York, the United Nations declared 'World Bee Day' to be the 20th May each year, this was proposed by Slovenia and accepted across the board. We have been looking at how to celebrate World Bee Day. Ideas have included a Honey Cake tea party at the branches and photographs of honey bees to be used as posters at the new hall at Stoneleigh.  Any further suggestions are welcome.


The Shows Committee have two shows organised for this year
And there was a suggestion that if anyone from the Associations wanted to take part for the experience they would be made very welcome, the first one is at Chatsworth 6th to the 9th June 2018. I went as a volunteer last year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The visitors are not beekeepers but as you will all know, bees are very interesting and with all the displays, no one was disappointed.  The second one is at Blenheim Palace and is on the 2nd to the 5th August 2018.  Again, this was well attended last year. The footfall through the doors is counted at each show and averages 5000 people through the marquee. It is so good to spread the word of honey bees and I am sure if you visit you will enjoy the day, not even mentioning the other events of those days.

The arrangements for the CIO

Which is the conversion from a Charity to a Charity Incorporated Organisation. It is on track and Stephen Barnes is steering it and up to now everything seems to be orderly and on target.

 BBKA Spring Convention tickets are selling briskly.  With a full wristband there is no further charge for lectures or the extensive Tradeshow.  This year, the many workshops at no extra charge (other than the wristband cost) are proving very popular.  Extra workshops have been opened to help meet demand. 

Please see for the programme and details of how to book a remaining place at the premier BBKA educational event of the year!  

Shows Trailer 

At the committee meeting on the 19th February 2018, there was quite a lot of debate regarding the shows trailer which we hope to make available to hire. We had to decide what weight it was going to be, as that would reflect the vehicle able to tow it and what we should put inside. The original thought was to make three sides open so that once in situ it would have everything it needed for the Associations to use at shows, but what would you want inside it eg. posters with information, equipment, hives etc., a theme of Microscopy, Candle rolling, aimed at Children or Adults, beekeepers or non beekeepers.  The list seems to be endless, so we are asking you,  before we spend any of your money, if we get a trailer so you can use it, what would you want it to portray?  This project is on hold until we are sure that it is something that you want and if it is, what do you want inside of the trailer.  You can e-mail me here to give me your choices. Do you think a trailer would be useful to the associations and branches? What would you like the trailer to portray?

International Meeting of Young Beekeepers (IMYB)
As you may have seen elsewhere, this years' International Meeting of Young Beekeepers (IMYB) takes place near Bordeaux on the 2nd-6th of July 2018. Our BBKA team will be trained and organised by Simon Cavill.

As usual we are holding an open selection day at the BBKA HQ in Stoneleigh on Sat the 24th March starting at 10am to select our three team members plus a reserve.  Any attendee must be aged between 12 and 16 years old on January 1st 2018 and affiliated to a BBKA Association. However, this year we are also welcoming anyone over the age of 10 who would like to learn more about the IMYB and might want to put themselves forward in future years. Attendees to the selection day will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian and bring a packed lunch.  Please let either the BBKA office or Simon Cavill know at [email protected] if you wish to attend or have any more questions about the IMYB or the selection day.


The Office Staff

After the problems that the staff had last year and the results of the ADM voting, we have arranged for a recording system to be installed at the Offices at Stoneleigh.  This will record each and every telephone conversation that takes place.  The recording will stay on record for two weeks after which time they will self-erase.   If the staff receive an abusive telephone call, then that call can be lifted and saved on the server system as evidence.  

We have installed this because of the past events of telephone harassment and for the phone calls that the staff still receive from members and others who think that they can and do swear at the staff.   This is unacceptable and something that we will not tolerate.  I would say that 99.9% of our members are very courteous on the phone and a pleasure to deal with, it is only the minority that feel that they can swear and shout at our staff members.   I do hope that you can see this as a positive move in the protection of your staff, after all each and every member pays their salaries.


As you will know we have employed a Project Worker, Howard Towl to look at the possible uses of our hall at Stoneleigh. You may recall that this is now smaller because the office has been expanded. 
Howard has spoken to over 200 schools and community groups to see if they would be interested in using our apiary and hall for educational purposes. It would mean altering the hall and completely revamping the apiary and we did think that this would be a possible use of some legacy money we were left a few years ago. 

The schools are overwhelmingly enthusiastic. They would like to either have bees themselves with the support of their local Association, or bring children to Stoneleigh to experience bees here. 
Howard is still working on the project and George Brown, our Relationship Manager, is working up a fundraising proposal. I am sure that either Howard or George would be delighted to speak with members if anyone would be interested. George can be contacted on [email protected] 

Packaging of BBKA News

The BBKA News team are looking at the packaging of BBKA News. It is not as straight forward as just swapping to a paper envelope, there are a number of things to consider, i.e.  the weight of BBKA News, the Royal Mail postage rates, the current stock of poly wrap, the production of the paper envelope and the cost.  We would hope to see some changes later this year, but all these things will have to be considered first.

-Sharon Blake, BBKA News