Meetings & events



Dorchester Town Crier, Alistair Chisholm, presenting the Massey Trophy to Paul Watkins for scoring most points at Melplash and Dorset County Shows.  He chose the best day for it as the Saturday was warm and sunny, whereas Sunday was soggy.county Show 2017 041


Sunday 23rd July Apiary meeting at Oolite Farm,Osmington. This was at Nicky Payne and Rob Jefferies’ apiary and many thanks are due to them for hosting this visit.

19 members braved the very inclement weather to turn up at the meeting. It was still raining when we had all arrived so we dealt with the tea and cakes first in an adjoining polytunnel. 20 minutes later the rain had stopped and we were able to look at the hives.

We almost managed to look at all 7 hives but missed out the last one as the rain had started again so we decided not to bother those bees. Despite the weather not being brilliant the bees were very tolerant of us and we managed to have a good look through each hive. Most honey seemed ready for removal but several colonies were this year’s swarms so were still building up.  One had only 4 frames of bees but, although a queen was definitely in there, despite 19 pairs of eyes and three marker pens at the ready, she remained unseen and umarked.

The apiary is on a site owned by Heritage Seeds who supply wildflower mixes for Amenity and Agricultural biodiversity projects. These vary from back garden wild flower patches through pipeline restoration to the covering of closed landfill sites.

The numerous barns and polytunnels are used for drying and cleaning wild flower seed. Seeds are either grown on the adjoining fields or ‘harvested’ from various sites. These include the banks of the cutting through Ridgeway and flower meadows around Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge and as far north as Gloucestershire.

After we had finished looking at the bees the owner, Gerard, gave us a guided tour of the harvesting machines (including mini-combine) and cleaning equipment. He explained how the different flower seeds vary considerably in weight, size and shape so each needs a different cleaning process.

This was an added bonus to the apiary meeting and certainly something different to round up the event.

 Informal ‘get-together’ 
The next one will be on Wednesday 13th December at 7.00pm at the Colliton Club.  It will be a Christmas social with a buffet and (for those who wish) skittles.
 The most recent informal get-together was a drop-in session on Thursday 12th October at the Colliton Club, 7.00pm – 9.00pm. We had about a dozen of us there nattering over a beer or cuppa. These are ad-hoc meetings the Club arranges to give beekeepers a chance to meet and also for prospective beekeepers to learn more about our BKA.
Did you go to this? Dorset BKA Beekeeping Convention 15th October at Stratton Village Hall


9.00am Registration

9.15 -10.15 Kevin Pope SBI on Queen Raising

10.15-10.30 Tea

10.30-1130 Ken Basterfield varieties of methods used to raise queens

11.30-13.00 Lunch BRING YOUR OWN!

13.00-14.00 Ivor Davis on Winter Bees

14.00- 1430 Tea and cakes provided by Dorchester and Weymouth BKA

14.30 -15.30 Marin Anastasov How Bees learn

15.30-15.50 Questions and end of convention

Attendance at the convention is free for members of DBKA. and costs £10.00 for members of other associations. Tea and cakes will be provided but you must bring your own lunch.

Applications should be sent to Lesley Gasson email address: or phone 01258 861690

The Speakers

Kevin Pope

has been keeping bees for over 50 years and was the Regional Bee Inspector for the Southern Region. He has been raising queens for his own use and for limited sale in Dorset for many years. He mainly uses a grafting technique. He lives in Dorset and is well known to most Dorset keepers as a result of the many disease safaris he carries out throughout the county.

Ken Basterfield

is a member of the BBKA trustees and on the Education and Husbandry committee. He runs many modular courses at his apiary and small holding at Blackberry Farm in Devon. He has also been running NDB courses for many years He raises queens using a variety of methods mainly based on grafting larvae.

Ivor Davis

lives near Bristol and is a past President of the BBKA. He is interested in the International Bee Research Association and in Bees for Development. Ivor can speak on a wide range of topics but feels this is an important time us to think about winter bees.

Marin Anastasov

holds a BSc degree in Animal Science and MSc in Organic Farming. He is passionate about sustainable food production and his entire working career has been in organic food and farming. He has kept bees for over 20 years and currently manages 25 colonies in Gloucestershire. Marin is a Master Beekeeper, Trustee of Gloucestershire Beekeepers’ Association and serves on the BBKA Executive.

The Convention’s all over now but you can read all about it on chrissladesbeeblog