Courses for Beginners for 2018

Our annual courses for people interested in learning about beekeeping are provisionally booked for the following dates:

- 7th April, 2018, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Taster Day (£15 per person): a one day introduction to beekeeping

- 22nd April, 2018, 2 - 4 p.m. Beginners' Course, first class (£75 per person for the full course of five theory classes plus practical sessions at our apiary)

 

Click here for more information about the Taster Day.

Click here for more information about the Beginners' Course.

 

If you do not live in the Lampeter area, details of courses run by other associations in Wales can be found on the Welsh Beekeepers' Association website.

Launch of BeeConnected Website

The Welsh Beekeepers' Association has confirmed its support for the BeeConnected website. The Crop Protection Association developed the website with the NFU, BBKA and other interested parties to assist farmers with their obligation of informing beekeepers when they are spraying certain insecticides. The website was piloted in Hertfordshire and a nationwide launch in September 2016 is planned and the Crop Protection Association wishes to work with the Welsh Beekeepers' Association to promote it in Wales.

The website will be available at this URL: https://www.beeconnected.org.uk/

At present there is a holding page only, but beekeepers and farmers can enter their details on the page to register to be notified of the launch.

Further information is available in the BeeConnected leaflet.

Making Increase

The booklet entitled "Simple Methods of Making Increase" by Wally Shaw, member of Anglesey Beekeepers' Association and Technical Officer for the Welsh Beekeepers' Association, is now available for download from the WBKA website.

Charity Book Auction

 One of our members, David Lucas, sadly passed away last year and his wife, Ann, who is also a member, has kindly donated his collection of bee and beekeeping related books to the Association. Our Committee decided to auction the books as a means of raising funds for Bees Abroad in memory of our Honorary Member Pam Gregory, who also passed away last year after a long illness. Pam was one of the charity's founders and was an active member of our Association who was instrumental in the setting up of our current Beginners' Course. Bees Abroad is a non-profit organisation giving help to beekeepers and families in developing countries by providing education and technical advice in beekeeping and suitable business skills. 


A list of all the books to be auctioned is available here. They will be available to view prior to the auction start. We have set a minimum price of £2 for each, except for three more valuable books which have specific higher reserve prices. We hope to have some fun and raise money for a good cause in the process, so do please come along and bid for a book, or two, or three.....

If you would like to bid for a book but are unable to attend the meeting, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The auction will be held after our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 8th March 2016, which starts at 8 p.m. and is held at the Millennium Hall in Cellan.

Spring Update 2014

This time last year, we were all still shivering from one of the coldest springs on record with a biting easterly wind keeping even daytime temperatures well down in single figures.

Any queens that had started to lay in late February had promptly stopped leaving the hives broodless and with a rapidly ageing population of winter bees. Even in late April many colonies only had two to three frames of brood and many colonies did not survive at all.

 

Well, it could not be any more different this year. Indications are that colony survival rates are very good, with advanced brood nests and with the mild spring taking early advantage of willow, blackthorn and dandelion. As long as spring does not have a sting in the tail (no pun intended) things really do look set fair for a good season.

 

Drones are already appearing in the hives and so swarm preparations will soon follow, so be prepared and know what to do when queen cells start appearing. Swarm control will be taught in week four of the beginners course which any member can attend; an Artificial Swarm Guide is on the Information Guides pages of our website.

 

With a few exceptions varroa levels were low last year, one theory being that the extended broodless period in spring 2013 also knocked the varroa back (which of course needs brood to reproduce), every cloud has a silver lining. But I would advise caution and be on guard and keep a close eye on the varroa levels in your hives and treat accordingly. Regulations require beekeepers to keep a record of the purchase and treatment of any medicines applied to your hives, a medicines record form can be downloaded here.

 

If you are going to the Pembrokeshire or Teifiside auctions (3rd and 10th May), remember to sterilise any secondhand equipment, there are bargains to be had if you know what you are looking for!

 

Please call or email me if you have any doubts about the health of your bees either through the association website or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Good luck for the season and may all of your swarms be lowdown!

 

Mike Davies. Training Officer.

Training Courses 2016

Dates for Lampeter & District Beekeepers' Association's programme of training courses for 2016 for beginners and experienced beekeepers have now been finalised.

The programme starts with the "Bee Improvement For All" course on 21st February, which is run by the Bee Improvement & Bee Breeders' Association.

Our first course for beginners is the Taster Day on 9th April, which is a full day course that we recommend to anyone who is considering taking up beekeeping. Following on from the Taster Day, our Beginners Course starts on 24th April, which is a series of theory and practical classes held on Sunday afternoons from April and right through the summer.

Our final training date for 2016 is the Disease Comb Recognition Workshop on the afternoon of 18th June, run by the National Bee Unit.

All our courses are held at the Millenium Hall in Cellan. Further information on all our courses can be found in the Events list. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or wish to book a place on any of the courses.

Successful grant project comes to an end

Last year the Association received Cynnal Y Cardi grant funding for its "Bees Are Beautiful" project through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The aim of the project was to encourage people of all ages to take an interest in beekeeping or possibly take up keeping bees. With the help of the Cynnal Y Cardi team and funding, we transformed the image of the Association, purchased equipment to grow our apiary and enable us to use it as a training resource, and built up a "roadshow" kit to enable us to visit local schools and community groups, and attend local fairs and other events, and spread the word about bees and beekeeping. More information on the project and what we achieved with the funding is available in the full project report.

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