Burton BKA has always aimed to have its own Training Apiary, to offer practical experience for both new and more experienced beekeepers, We also see it as especially important to raise local awareness of bees and their importance to the ecosystem, and eventually to breed our own bees - that are well-adapted to the local climate and conditions.
Thanks to the sustained efforts of a small group of dedicated Association members, and the support of local organisations, we have finally established our training apiary, based at Hillfield Lane, Stretton. We currently have 7 hives on site, but we are aiming for around 10, of various types, to allow Members considering an unfamiliar design, to "try before they buy". A high priority at present is our new building, which will provide space for courses, holding recreational events, and a safe observation area.
Three volunteer groups are working to maintain the apiary: the shop group, which look after and staff this when open; the apiary and hive group who look after the hives and equipment; and the groundworks group maintain the areas inside the compound. These are working well, but more volunteers are most welcome. Please contact Dave Coates (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you're interested.
We have already run a beginners course, and look forward to offering further courses for other beginners. These are for more experienced beekeepers looking to expand their skills e.g. in queen-rearing, and for those wishing to go on to formal assessment of these, by the British Beekeepers Association.
. . .the sustained effort of many of our members