Swarm Collection during Covid-19

You can find info on swarms and our map of collectors here: 


Barkston Ash Beekeeper Association info for general public.

It’s that time of year again, swarms of honey bees setting up home in bushes and trees. A lot of people think they have a colony of honey bees, but in fact they could be bumble bees or wasps etc.Some information that might help you if you find yourself in this situation.

Bumble bees are robust, large in girth, have more hairs on their body and are coloured with yellow, orange and black. Their wings can be easily seen since they are darkish in colour & the tip of their abdomen is rounded.
Honey bees are more slender in body appearance, have fewer body hairs and wings that are more translucent. The tip of their abdomen is more pointed.

In general, honey bees and bumble bees are not overly aggressive when protecting their nest. However, both will readily sting to defend themselves or their colony. The primary difference in their stinging behaviour relates to the greater number of honey bees that sting when compared to bumble bees. Whilst a honey bee only stings once, a bumblebee is capable of stinging multiple times. 

The bumble bee Queen lives for one year and over winters at the nest site. Other members live for only a few months.The honey bee Queen and her off spring live in the hive year round. The Queen may survive for three or more years.

Bumble bees typically make their nest underground, but some species will nest above ground.Honey bees typically make their nest above ground in sheltered locations.

Bumble bee colonies are much smaller with a normal population of less than a few hundred individuals.Honey bee nests may number into the tens of thousands.

Corona Virus Situation

BBKA Statement on Coronavirus Pandemic

Follow this link

In light of  government announcement, and with regret, the BABKA committee have taken the decision to postpone the remaining sessions of the Beginners course. 

As a responsible organisation and with the welfare of our members this is in respect of the measures put in place to protect vulnerable people within our association and our community.

We do hope you understand and accept our decision. We are very sorry to have to postpone these meetings, but given the current situation there is no alternative.Please do not hesitate to contact us directly by email if you have any queries

Please find the following links to training webinars on offer during the current constraints on face to face meetings.

Holders of the National Diploma in Beekeeping, Ken and Dan Basterfield are offering a series of talks on topics as varied as  Queen Raising; Vertical Splits; Drones; Wax Processing and Preparing for a Better Season etc. Registration for each talk and the question and answer session that follows, costs £2.50. Subscribers receive a download of the session afterwards that can be replayed at leisure. You book for each session separately and can book missed sessions retrospectively. The content is aimed at more experienced beekeepers.  https://www.advancedbeekeeping.org.uk/page/webinar/

BIBBA is offering a series of talks by Roger Patterson, again with a question and answer section. There is no charge and the talks can be replayed from the BIBBA website. Subjects include: Keep your swarms; Queen Cells; 2-framed nucs and Colony Increase. Some content is suitable for the less experienced beekeeper and some for those more experienced.  https://bibba.com/bibba-webinars/

Meanwhile, for those already pining for this year's cancelled Great Yorkshire Show, you can make a virtual visit, free of charge, on any/all of the three days of the event, 14/15/16 July. Don't forget to check out the bee handling demonstrations performed by our very own Josh Lapworth and Dr John Canning!


A strange time to begin

The outbreak of the 2020 corona virus and subsequent lock down has been unfortunate for new beekeepers this year or even some who started last year but wished to study the now cancelled theory course. For those who already have a colony (or more than one) but felt more comfortable if someone else could be on hand to give moral support the social distancing rules have created a difficult situation. The difficulty is compounded by additional restrictions being placed on people classified as at extra risk or elderly. (You're as young as you feel but the numbers are set).

Let's use this website Forum as a contact point for assistance and guidance plus it should be possible to maintain social distancing and still mentor some new keepers if geography permits. I'm aware of at least one novice with a volunteer keeper mentoring from a couple of metres away.

BABKA Forum is for members that have questions and for new beekeepers.

Help and advice will be available.

You will have to sign up to gain access to this forum to stop spammers posting.


The Forum Link.

 Practical apiary sessions which are planned to start 2nd May have been cancelled.

Sherburn Craft & Food Festival on the 29th, 30th and 31st August 2020 has been cancelled.

© 2017 by Barkston Ash Beekeepers (BABKA)

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