Whether you are an experienced beekeeper, a recent starter, or are simply interested to find out more, you will find a warm welcome in Dean Forest Beekeepers.

Probably the most valuable aspect of membership of any beekeeping association is the opportunity to talk to other beekeepers. There is enormous benefit in being able to discuss your questions, problems, ideas and experiences with people who are dealing with the same issues.Through the monthly indoor meetings and weekly apiary sessions, Dean Forest Beekeepers gives its members plenty of time to meet and talk, and our Facebook page is also available for discussion of any beekeeping topic.

We have members of all ages and all levels of experience, so you are sure to find friends who share your particular interests. There are four classes of membership: Full, Partner (for a spouse or partner at the same address – this is without the BBKA newsletter), Junior (for those under 18) and Social (without BBKA membership). Full, Partner and Junior membership includes bee disease insurance and public liability insurance.  Our fees for 2017-18 are:

Bee Safari
One of our Bee Safaris
Full Membership £32.50
Partner Membership £23.00
Junior Membership £13.75
Social Membership £ 9.00
To download a Dean Forest Beekeepers Membership Form click here: DFB Membership form 2017-2018 with Gift Aid declaration
or for more information email jimvg45@gmail.com

GBKA and BBKA membership

Members of Dean Forest Beekeepers are automatically members of Gloucestershire Beekeepers Association , of which we are a Branch, and all except Social members are also members of the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA).

Members can attend meetings of any of the seven branches in the Gloucestershire Association.

The BBKA represent and support beekeepers in many ways, and organise a National Convention each spring.

GBKA produce a quarterly newsletter and the BBKA a bi-monthly one: both are sent free to members.

Full details of BBKA membership are available on the BBKA web site


BBKA

Insurance

Through the BBKA, your membership will give you the following two types of insurance:

Public Liability and Product Insurance

The Public Liability relates to beekeeping activities of members in the UK and has a £5million limit of liability. A notice of cover is available for members attending farmers markets etc, where proof of cover is required. In addition the insurance covers product liability up to £5 million.

Bee Disease Insurance

Membership includes insurance which will compensate you if your hives have to be destroyed because of American or European Foul Brood. Standard cover is for up to 3 hives: additional hives can be covered for an extra fee.

Full details are available in the Members section of the BBKA web site. (BBKA username and password required.)

The apiary

From April to September we have practical sessions at our Apiary. These sessions give new beekeepers the chance to see hives in virtually all conditions and stages of development, with experienced members on hand to explain and advise.
The Apiary moved to its present location, in an area of mixed farmland and woodland near Lydney, in 2007. There we have around 15 hives (the number varies through the year), mostly National hives but we have some other types.

Apiary sessions are arranged so that hive checks and any necessary changes or treatment are carried out by members in small teams. Each team has both recent and experienced members. Essential supplies are kept on site, so if we need to add supers or make up additional frames we can do that on the spot.

As well as helping to maintain and develop the apiary, the sessions offer an ideal way to learn by putting theory into practice and carrying out real tasks with help at hand.

( Our past Chairman, Val Vivian-Griffiths, has produced an illustrated history of the quest for an Association apiary: From Little Acorns )

Apiary
Our Lydney apiary

Beginners courses

For several years we have run a course for new beekeepers and those interested in starting.

Usually held from February to April, the course consists of six evening lectures and four weekend practical sessions.

The subjects covered are:

  • natural history of the honey bee
  • beekeeping principles and practice
  • equipment and clothing
  • disease poisoning and pests
  • manipulation of a honey bee colony

Our previous courses have been very popular and very successful. Those students who have decided to take the assessment have 100% pass record!


The course follows the syllabus defined by the British Beekeeping Association for their Basic Assessment in Beekeeping. The assessment can be taken after you have been keeping bees for 12 months. More details on the syllabus and the assessment can be found here: BBKA Examinations and Assessments.

Checking a frame
Checking a frame

Other benefits of membership

  • The Association arranges a varied programme which aims to covers most interests over the year.
    From September to March we have monthly indoor meetings where an invited speaker gives a talk or demonstration, followed by ample time for members to meet and talk.
    We also hold social events and arrange occasional trips.
  • We have a library with a selection of books and recordings available for members to borrow.
  • We have two stainless steel centrifugal honey extractors and a heated uncapping tray for members to hire.
  • Discounts on beekeeping equipment and supplies, bee suits and clothing are available. (Members can get more information from our Secretary.)

Honey extractor
Our honey extractor