Queen rearing course

Gregynog, Newtown. 10th and 11th August 2019 .

 The queen rearing course that is being held in Gregynog, Newtown on the 10th and 11th August. This is the information that is on the BBKA website:

‘The course is focused on the General Husbandry standard with the objective of each attendee being able to go home able to run their own queen rearing matched to their needs. It will not be prescriptive and will enable the attendees to make up their own mind about the method they would like to employ. It will not focus on grafting although it is a method that everyone should at least have tried at some point.

The course will be theory plus time in the apiary when different methods of queen rearing will be discussed and demonstrated.  There will also be several queen related manipulations again to the General Husbandry standard.

There will be a maximum of twelve on each course with two tutors. The lead tutor will be Sean Stephenson who has a lot of experience in queen raising and delivering courses.

The cost of the course will be £75, this will cover coffee, tea and biscuits and light lunch on the Saturday and Sunday. The timings for the course will be confirmed later but will start on Saturday morning and finish on Sunday afternoon.’

I have attached the booking form as it will not be possible for non-members of the BBKA to access this via the BBKA website. Please can this go out to all associations in Wales and encourage them to sign up as soon as possible if they are interested

Application form

NDB Short course – Seasonal Management – Swansea

Swansea 12th & 13th October – Margaret Murdin & Marin Anastasov

Winter colony losses are regarded as a critical measurement of beekeeper success and broader honeybee survival. We view winter preparations as part of the natural seasonal cycle of beekeeping activity, and look to understand how the aims for our beekeeping and the management decisions we take at different times of the year may affect wintering readiness and success. We look in detail at the balance between objectives, aspirations, options, and unplanned events during the active seasons, and how these accommodate or disrupt a colony’s inherent seasonal cycle.

The NDB Short Courses can provide valuable discussion, learning, and hands-on experience for those planning to take the BBKA Assessments above Basic level. The Short Courses are aimed at those beekeepers with some experience of the craft; they are not aimed at novices. We can provide guidance to applicants as to the appropriateness of our Short Courses to their stage of beekeeping. We do ask that students respect this policy.

Early Bird Tickets are on sale now at £88.


The course will be held at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School, SA4 8PD, just 10 mins from junction 47 or 48 off M4.

NBU Wales Bee Health Days 2019

The National Bee Unit (NBU) Wales will be running four Bee Health Days in June with presentations for beekeepers looking at bee health and good practice, and at Henfaes and the National Botanic Gardens beekeepers will have an opportunity to join in an inspection at the apiary, where we will demonstrate inspecting hives the NBU way.

Indoors you will have the chance to see diseased combs, displayed under special licence, to give attendees first hand experience of brood disease.  We will also be providing stalls of information covering a wider range of pests and diseases and relevant good beekeeping practice, from varroa control to biosecurity and exotic pests.

These breakout workshops will provide an opportunity for beekeepers to meet some of the NBU team in Wales, to get an understanding of the purpose and value of the Inspectorate’s work and, most importantly, to develop their knowledge and diagnosis of the key pest and disease threats to their bees.

Date & Time Host Venue
Saturday 8th June

2pm – 5pm

Montgomery BKA Plas Dolerw
Milford Road
SY16 2EH
Saturday 15th June

10am – 4pm

Conwy BKA Henfaes Research Centre
LL33 0LB
Saturday 22nd June

10am – 5pm

National Botanic Garden of Wales NBGW                        Middleton Hall
SA32 8HN
Sunday 23rd June

10am – 5pm

National Botanic Garden of Wales NBGW                        Middleton Hall
SA32 8HN

Attendance with Montgomery BKA and Conwy BKA is open to all beekeepers, further details from the association.

The event is now on the National Botanic Garden of Wales’ website at – https://botanicgarden.wales/visit/whats-on/bee-health-event-in-partnership-with-the-national-bee-unit-wales/   The programme runs 10am –– 5pm with a break for lunch 12pm – 2pm and is the same for each day Saturday and Sunday June 22nd/23rd 2019.

Spaces are available to book via the Garden’s Eventbrite page – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bee-health-event-digwyddiad-iechyd-gwenyn-tickets-60573523038

Entrance to the Botanic Gardens is £10.45 or £7.50 each for groups of 10 or more, you book on 01558 667148. The NBU Bee Health event is no extra charge, the gardens have a lot to offer if you make a day of it, they are well worth supporting.

COLOSS – Press Release

Institute of Bee Health,
Vetsuisse Faculty,
University of Bern,
Schwarzenburgstrasse 161
3003 Bern, Switzerland.
PRESS RELEASE from COLOSS [Immediate:11/2/19]

“More knowledge is required to stop invasive honey bee pest” say scientists

Today, scientists of the honey bee research association COLOSS (10 have published an article(20 in the peer reviewed journal Biological Invasions which provides an action plan on how to deal with new introductions of small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) into regions free of this honey bee pest. Their proposed course of action will help stakeholders all over the world to slow down the spread of this invasive species. But it’s not all good news. Large knowledge gaps were identified, signalling the urgent need for more research to stop this invasive species from becoming an even more severe global problem for beekeepers and pollination.
Small hive beetles are parasites and scavengers of social bee colonies endemic to sub-Saharan Africa but have become a widespread global invasive species, causing damage to apiculture and possibly also to wild bees. Although further spread seems inevitable, eradication of new introductions and containment of established ones is urgently required to slow down the invasion speed. The authors therefore propose a feasible plan involving all stakeholders. “Early detection is most important. Only if an introduction is detected before the beetles manage to spread into wild honey bee colonies will it be possible to eradicate,” says Norman Carreck, from the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects at the University of Sussex, UK. “To achieve this, we need to raise awareness and have to educate all stakeholders about the beetle’s biology and how to recognize it”.

For early detection and successful eradication, it seems fundamental to ensure an adequate border control and to install sentinel apiary sites. After small hive beetles are officially detected, the competent authorities must implement epidemiological investigations to determine the population status to be able to decide between eradication or containment. Furthermore, a surveillance system should be activated and maintained. Sentinel colonies have to be installed at outbreak apiaries to lure free-flying SHBs that might have escaped eradication. However, the authors strongly suggest further scientific research to support their plan of action. “Much about the biology of the small hive beetle is still unknown” says Prof. Peter Neumann, co-author and president of COLOSS. “We urgently need to address fundamental research questions to enable adequate solutions for this invasive pest” he adds.
The authors suggest a combination of measures to decrease the chances of small hive beetles becoming established beyond their current distribution. These best practices should be adopted by competent authorities until further scientific insights are available to improve the plan of action suggested by the authors.

Dr Marc Schäfer: Tel: +49 38351 7 1246/1297 Email: Marc.Schaefer@fli.de

1. The paper: “How to slow the global spread of small hive beetles, Aethina tumida” by Marc Schäfer, Ilaria Cardaio, Giovanni Cilia, Bram Cornelissen, Karl Crailsheim, Giovanni Formato, Akinwande Lawrence, Yves Le Conte, Franco Mutinelli, Antonio Nanetti, Jorge Rivera-Gomis, Anneke Teepe and Peter Neumann can be found here:-

2. COLOSS is a honey bee research association formerly funded by the European Union COST
Programme (Action FA0803) and currently by the Ricola Foundation – Nature & Culture, Veto
Pharma, the University of Bern and the Eva Crane Trust which aims to explain and prevent massive honey bee colony losses. COLOSS does not directly support science, but aims to coordinate international research activities across Europe and worldwide, promoting cooperative approaches and a research programme with a strong focus on the transfer of science into beekeeping practice. COLOSS has more than 1,200 members drawn from 95 countries worldwide. Its President is Prof. Peter Neumann of the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Website: http://www.coloss.org/

3. Press release written by:-
Dr Marc Schäfer, Institut für Infektionsmedizin, Greifswald, Germany.
Email: Marc.Schaefer@fli.de
Dr Bram Cornelissen, Wageningen Plant Research, Netherlands.
Email: bram.cornelissen@wur.nl
Prof. Peter Neumann: President of COLOSS, University of Bern, Switzerland.
Email: peter.neumann@vetsuisse.unibe.ch

Norman Carreck: COLOSS Press Officer, University of Sussex, BN1 9QG,


How to join the WBKA

WBKA is a support organisation
for the beekeepers in Wales

 How to join the WBKA

If you are a Beekeeper and a member of one of the nineteen member associations which form the Welsh Beekeepers Association. Then you will already be a member and able to take advantage of the Insurance offered and liability cover, be in receipt of either a printed or electronic version of the quarterly Welsh Beekeeper.

In addition of free access to the membership area on this website. Membership have technical support from the WBKA Technical officer on beekeeping matters. Additional Officers and Trustees representing Welsh Beekeeping  interests on various National and international Committes. Information is reported back to the member association representatives and deligate, and the  association member. Overall a dedicated team of trustees and officers of the wbka, working tirelessly for its membership.

If you are a Beekeeper and not a member of one of the regional member associations then why not become an individual member of the WBKA, and receive all of the above benefits. Individual applications forms can be downloaded in a pdf format.


Last Page update 01/12/2018

Beekeeping Conventions 2019

WBKA is a support organisation for Welsh Beekeepers.

Beekeeping Conventions 2019




Saturday 16th February

2nd Conference for Sustainable Beekeeping,

A Future Without Imports


Core Building, The Eden Project, St Austell, Cornwall, PL24 2SG.

UBKA 15th & 16th February 2019 Ulster Beekeepers Association Annual Conference 2019 CAFRE Greenmount Camus, Antrim, BT41 4PS
9th March 2019 Bee Tradex Hall H3, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG
WBKA 30th March 2019 Welsh Beekeepers Spring Convention

Early Bird Tickets.

Old Food Hall, Royal Welsh Agricultural Showground, Builth Wells, Powys, LD2 3SY
BBKA 12th, 13th and 14th April 2019 Spring Convention 2019 Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB
FIBKA Sunday 11th – Friday 16th August 2019 GORMANSTON 2019
Annual Beekeeping Summer Course
Franciscan College, Gormanston, County Meath,Ireland.
September  Conwy Honey Fair Conwy, Gwynedd
SBA 14th September 2019  Scottish Autumn Convention Hallmark Hotel, Aberdeen
National Honey Show Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey