Welcome to the Andover and District Beekeepers Association (ABKA) website.


ABKA is a thriving association of amateur beekeepers looking after the interests of existing members and newcomers to beekeeping in the Andover area (Map of Andover and District territory).

We are one of the many associations that make up the larger body of the British Beekeepers Association (www.bbka.org.uk) and our association is one of the many that make up the Hampshire Beekeepers Association (www.beetalk.org.uk)

We meet regularly to exchange information and keep abreast of issues relating to beekeeping as well as simply to socialise. Topics we cover include bee health, beekeeping techniques and theories, bee products, advice and access to BBKA training modules as well as practical apiary visits.

We look forward to meeting you or helping with your enquiry as an Andover resident, with an interest in bees!

 

The following has been received from DEFRA and HBA.

Below please find advice from DEFRA & HBA

The link below leads to a letter that you may wish to print and carry with you

 Letter of intent 2020.03.31 during COVID-19.pdf

The commercial beekeepers, bee farmers responsible for pollination purposes and those of us who are hobby beekeepers, for the moment, are permitted to travel to our apiaries to tend to our livestock.

 From HBA

In the event of you being stopped by police who may ask "is your journey for essential travel?"

I am attaching a letter from our Chairman of HBA.  You may like to print it out and keep it with your bee equipment in your car.  It may also be advisable to have your current BBKA Membership Certificate printed out and kept with you for proof that you are registered and indeed responsible for the colonies you are visiting.  

Rules are being updated all the time so please keep in touch for information on the following websites:-

HBA - Hampshire Beekeepers Association

NBU - National Bee Unit

BBKA - British Beekeepers Association

From DEFRA

COVID-19 and Beekeeping – National Bee Unit.

As beekeepers, please be aware of the following guidance when looking after your honeybees. Updates to this will be provided where necessary. You should keep informed with the latest guidance issued by the Government as it is subject to regular change. 

Defra, and the Government ask  beekeepers to be responsible and to ensure that we continue good beekeeping practices, effective stock management and health checks whilst observing the Government’s guidance on COVID-19. 

You should follow Public Health guidance on social distancing. Everyone, including beekeepers, should avoid gatherings of more than two people and this includes at your apiary. You should maintain 2 metres between yourself and others to limit the spread of COVID-19.

General advice for beekeepers is as follows:

· You should continue to work and care for your animals in the normal manner, as far as possible. You should not take measures that compromise the welfare of the animals in your care.

· You should maintain good biosecurity at your apiary.

· You should not share beekeeping equipment with other beekeepers, particularly hive tools and other handheld devices and protective clothing.

· In line with the general advice on COVID-19, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water before and after you come into contact with any animal. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.

· There are currently no restrictions on the movements of bee colonies – for example, moving bees to fulfil pollination contracts. However, you should observe the public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when carrying out these activities, including the guidance on social distancing. 

· If you are required to visit premises other than your own, you should familiarise yourself with the public health guidance on infection prevention and control and take measures to minimise the risks from contaminated surfaces. 

· If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are displaying symptoms of COVID19, however mild, you should be self-isolating at home and should not be visiting other premises. Ideally, another beekeeper should take on this duty wherever possible. We are suggesting that local associations consider how they can support those confined or unable to attend their bees at this difficult time for all of us.

· If your bees are due an inspection by a government inspector, you should be aware that this may be subject to a delay depending on available resources within the inspectorate. 

· If your bees are due an inspection by a government inspector, and you are in a high-risk group, or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you must let your inspector know ahead of the inspection. Arrangements will be made that will limit the chance of COVID-19 being spread. This may include the inspection proceeding without the beekeeper being present or delaying the inspection. 

· For all inspections, 2 metre social distancing will be considered the minimum and so the beekeeper will not be able to stand at the hive side with the inspector while the inspection takes place.

· Imports of bees are still permitted. There is no evidence to support restrictions to international movement or trade in bees, and the UK has no additional rules for bee imports with respect to COVID-19.

· You should report any suspicion of notifiable diseases or pests to the authorities in the usual way – please see the bee health page on gov.uk for further information.

· You should use husbandry techniques to minimise swarming.  If you must respond to collect a swarm you need to ensure that you use the guidelines on social distancing when collecting the swarm. If that is not possible, then the swarm then should not be collected.

Therefore, trying to prevent swarms is the best practice.

 

The following advice has been sent from DEFRA

COVID-19 and Beekeeping – National Bee Unit.

 
As beekeepers, please be aware of the following guidance when looking after your honey bees.
Updates to this guidance will be provided where necessary.

You should keep up to date with the latest guidance issued by the Government as it is subject to regular change. 

Defra, Scottish Government and the Welsh Government ask you as beekeepers to be responsible and to ensure that you continue good beekeeping practices, effective stock management and health checks whilst observing the Government’s guidance on COVID-19. 
 

You should follow Public Health guidance on social distancing. Everyone, including beekeepers, should avoid gatherings of more than two people and this includes at your apiary. You should maintain a distance of 2 metres between yourself and others to limit the spread of COVID-19.
 
General advice for beekeepers is as follows:
 
You should continue to work and care for your animals in the normal manner, as far as possible. You should not take measures that compromise the welfare of the animals in your care.
 
You should maintain good biosecurity at your apiary.
 
You should not share beekeeping equipment with other beekeepers, particularly hive tools and other handheld devices and protective clothing.
 
In line with the general advice on COVID-19, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water before and after you come into contact with any animal. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
 
There are currently no restrictions on the movements of bee colonies – for example, moving bees to fulfil pollination contracts. However, you should observe the public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when carrying out these activities, including the guidance on social distancing. 
 
If you are required to visit premises other than your own, you should familiarise yourself with the public health guidance on infection prevention and control and take measures to minimise the risks from contaminated surfaces. 
 
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are displaying symptoms of COVID19, however mild, you should be self-isolating at home and should not be visiting other premises. Ideally, another beekeeper should take on this duty wherever possible. We are suggesting that local associations consider how they can support those confined or unable to attend their bees at this difficult time for all of us.

 

If your bees are due an inspection by a government inspector, you should be aware that this may be subject to a delay depending on available resources within the inspectorate. 
 
If your bees are due an inspection by a government inspector, and you are in a high-risk group, or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you must let your inspector know ahead of the inspection. Arrangements will be made that will limit the chance of COVID-19 being spread. This may include the inspection proceeding without the beekeeper being present or delaying the inspection. 
 
For all inspections, 2 metre social distancing will be considered the minimum and so the beekeeper will not be able to stand at the hive side with the inspector while the inspection takes place.
 
Imports of bees are still permitted. There is no evidence to support restrictions to international movement or trade in bees, and the UK has no additional rules for bee imports with respect to COVID-19.
 
You should report any suspicion of notifiable diseases or pests to the authorities in the usual way – please see the bee health page on gov.uk for further information.
 
You should use husbandry techniques to minimise swarming.  If you have to respond to collect a swarm you need to ensure that you use the guidelines on social distancing when collecting the swarm. If that is not possible, then the swarm then should not be collected. Therefore trying to prevent swarms is the best approach. 
 
 
 
 

Winter Lecture Programme and Beginners' Courses

Andover BKA Winter Meetings and Beginners' Course will be held at Picket Piece Village Hall, Walworth Road, Andover SP11 6LY starting at 7:30pm prompt. Anyone who would ike to learn more about beekeeping is most welcome to attend, but please contact the membership secretary beforehand if possible - details can be found on the Contacts page

 

Association Winter Meetings 2020/21

TBA

 

Practical Beekeeping Training at Cowdown Apiary 2020 - Saturdays 10.00 until 12.00 noon

Monthly Diary Guide - 

Introduction and Preparation - 17th and 25th April

Hands in hive - May 

Hands in hive - June

Main honey flow – super management - July 

Assessing bee temperament - August 

Uniting colonies - September

Preparing for Winter - October

See Side Menu for Directions to Cowdown and details of Activities 

Any meeting cancellations will be notified on this page 

 

Apiary meetings 2020

We plan to give beginners hands-on experience at Cowdown on Saturday mornings during the Summer and have afternoon gatherings at some members’ apiaries in May, June, and July. Details will be published nearer the time.

 

Beginners Course Dates and Content for Winter 2019/20

To be held at Picket Piece Village Hall at 7:30pm

Date                         Subject

Tuesday 19th Nov - Introduction and administration

Tuesday 10th Dec - Natural History of the honey bee

Tuesday 14th Jan -  Equipment and forage

Tuesday 28th Jan - Colony management

Tuesday 11th Feb - Diseases and colony health

Tuesday 18th Feb - Swarms, queens and mating flights

Tuesday 10th Mar - Natural beekeeping - introduction

Tuesday 17th Mar - Cancelled due to Covid 19 restrictions

Tuesday 31st Mar - Cancelled due to Covid 19 restrictions

Summer: Association Apiary meetings, and work with mentors to prepare you for keeping bees when you are ready to do so.

PLANNED CONTENT:
History and natural history of the honey bee
Equipment used in beekeeping, and Forage
Invertebrates generally; placing the honey bee into context
Colony management, inspections, neighbours and apiaries
Diseases, pests and problems
Queen bees, the management of swarms, managing apiaries
The beekeeping year including, honey processing -- extracting, filtering, storing, and eating your first jar!
Winter work and putting kit together

REQUIREMENTS. Notebook and pencil.

COST £60 - we will buy you the latest beekeeping book for homework plus a hive tool. Please do not buy anything yet as there is a lot of unnecessary and useless stuff out there waiting for the unwary.