Beefest Poundbury

Well the weather could hardly be better for the first ever BeeFest on Poundbury’s Big Field – the correct address for which is “The Great Field, Poundbury (Peverell Avenue East DT1 3RH)” .

The aim of the Beefest is to show how important bees are to us, to the environment, the economy and so much more. This is the first time this event has been staged in Poundbury and the plan is to make it an annual event.

The local beekeepers have been putting in a lot of work and amongst things they will be showing are candle rolling, frame making, honey tasting  and of course there will be honey for sale. There will also be enthusiastic bee keepers – to be honest I have never met a beekeeper who is not enthusiastic – who will be able to offer advice if you are thinking of keeping bees.

There are more details on the facebook page  and a bit on the Visit Dorset website as well as their main site at


Swarm Collection

At a recent course for beginners I described a perfect swarm collection and I then pointed out that it is not like that – ever. And then we were called out to this swarm.SwarmColliton

These bees were at kneeling height and so docile we were able to get in very close without bee suits.

We kitted up and with a pair of secateurs  cut three small ivy branches and gently lifted the swarm into the skep.

The remaining bees were swept up with a bee brush onto a piece of cardboard and dropped into the skep.

Within half an hour we had every bee in the skep and none in the air! We put the skep into a sealed box (actually our recycle glass box) and took them off to their new hive. And I really do mean a new hive – new hive, new frames, new foundation – a complete new build.

Well a week has passed and I am pleased to say that they are settled in and doing what bees should be doing.

I have been called out to some very awkward swarm jobs but this was certainly not one of those.

A lot is going on!

Sunday 2nd June: Thomas Hardy Street Fair 11.00 – 4.00pm

If you weren’t there then you missed our demonstration of skep making  at the Thomas Hardy Street Fair. But here are some pictures from the day:


And for those of you wondering what is the connection between skep making and bee keeping – wonder no more.

When collecting a swarm of bees the skep is used to hold the bees. It has advantages in that it is light weight but substantial so when you have to climb up a ladder and hold out the skep into which you are going to drop the swarm then it is much easier to use than a cardboard box.

It also has the advantage that the internal surface is bee friendly so when you invert the skep over your collecting sheet the bees do not all fall out as they would if you collected them in a plastic box.

More details of the fair are shown here.

Sunday 9th June:Bee Safari
There was an all day bee safari on the 9th of June when the Seasonal Bee Inspector Kevin Pope guided us around several apiaries in the Tincleton and Bockhampton area.  A brief report and pictures are here.

Thursday 13th June:Bee Social at the Colliton Club at 7pm
The social evenings are open to members and prospective members. They are an ideal opportunity to chat bees over a pint. At this one we hope to discuss what we can do for the Beefest so if you want to help and enjoy a social make certain you are in the back bar of the Colliton Club on Thursday.

Saturday 29th June Beefest at Poundbury 11.00 – 4.00pm
This event is all about Bees and Pollinators but there will be a lot of other stalls and activities.
We hope to do candle-rolling; have an information stand plus Asian Hornet  information, the photo-board,  skep-making,  selling honey, and promoting bees and beekeeping generally.  The more volunteers who we have the more we can do.

Wednesday 10th July: Bee Social at the Colliton Club at 7pmThe social evenings are open to members and prospective members. They are an ideal opportunity to chat bees over a pint.

Thursday 11th July:Committee Meeting
This is when plan. If you have any suggestions about what you think we do right, what we do wrong or what we could do better then do let one of us know.

Saturday 27th July an Event in the Borough Gardens, Dorchester
Plastic Free Dorchester Team is running this will as showing how we can be plastic free. Other aspects of preserving and enhancing our environment will also be there so we will   focus on bees & pollinators.