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drex 

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As a new beekeeper this year I thought that I was being responsible joining up to the BBKA. Having read all of the posts today on the forum with regard to pesticide endorsement, I am now beginning to wonder.

I have not posted this under the "political" issues section as I do not intend to be political about bees. - yes I am that naive!

The benefits I gained were attending a course run by our local association, although I now realise I did not have to be a member for this. I obviously have their standard insurance cover - is this available through other sources.?

I want to do the best for my bees, through educating myself, and gaining support from more experienced beeks - my local BKA tutor is fantastic - a mine of information, and highly supportive - and says little about "politics".

I also wish to be responsible for bee welfare in general.

I am in a quandary.

Your views?

This has at least motivated me to go to see our local farmer, who I have been meaning to contact for months ( my allotment site borders onto farm land)
 
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keithgrimes 

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I joined my local asociation which, by default, gave me membership of the BBKA. The reasons I joined my local association --
Really good apiary with experienced beekeepers for tuition/guidance.
Lots of bee keepers happy to share their experience
Easy access to heather via the association
Good social network with emphaisis on bees
Nucs at a reasonable price
Discounts on hive bits etc via bulk buying
Winter meetings - largely good.
A great library of bee books
 

steve1958 

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Your BBKA Membership card will let you join Bookers cash and carry.
Bookers Cash and Carry give Beekeepers a good discount on bulk sugar purchases.
I saved enough on sugar to pay for my BBKA card

So financially its worth it for me.
 

BBG 

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I joined my local asociation which, by default, gave me membership of the BBKA. The reasons I joined my local association --
Really good apiary with experienced beekeepers for tuition/guidance.
Lots of bee keepers happy to share their experience
Easy access to heather via the association
Good social network with emphaisis on bees
Nucs at a reasonable price
Discounts on hive bits etc via bulk buying
Winter meetings - largely good.
A great library of bee books
"Ask not what your association can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your association"

Sounds like hell! ;)
 
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Bee-Key-Pur 

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I know how you feel, this is also our first you in beekeeping and I also thought the best thing we could do would be to join our local beekeeping assiocation, the whole family, aas we all wanted to be involved.
As soon as we became members we tried to sign up for the courses and week end trainings they where offering and low and behold, the where no places available.
I had bees arriving in a few weeks and I had a need to learn something that would teach me how to care for bees.
I ended up having to enrol on a bee course that was a 100 mile round trip ( found on the internet ) every week and I enjoyed every single minute of it.
But I will not be renewing my local beekeeping clubs membership, or the BBKA, they offered nothing to me at the time when I needed it....
 
T

Tom Bick 

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I know how you feel, this is also our first you in beekeeping and I also thought the best thing we could do would be to join our local beekeeping assiocation, the whole family, aas we all wanted to be involved.
As soon as we became members we tried to sign up for the courses and week end trainings they where offering and low and behold, the where no places available.
I had bees arriving in a few weeks and I had a need to learn something that would teach me how to care for bees.
I ended up having to enrol on a bee course that was a 100 mile round trip ( found on the internet ) every week and I enjoyed every single minute of it.
But I will not be renewing my local beekeeping clubs membership, or the BBKA, they offered nothing to me at the time when I needed it....
Just one bit of caution the 2nd year tends to bite you on the backside the first year is often the easiest.

Don’t give up on your local association you may well need them next year.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Just one bit of caution the 2nd year tends to bite you on the backside the first year is often the easiest.

Don’t give up on your local association you may well need them next year.
yep nothing like a second year to make you loose confidence ,it can be a nightmare from march to august especially with a standard brood box and an over sexed carnolion queen bee (which are the bees the big suppliers seem to favour, i wonder why :coolgleamA:)

we now have a waiting list of nearly two years for our bee keeping course, 2012 is almost full and now restrict it to locals only, why because we dont make money on the course and give our time free but in 2008 we trained 25 beeks and 15 were never seen again as the lived some miles away: :cuss: so now locals first with local mentors in the second year
 

BBG 

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Polystyrene & lots more next year again hopefully
yep nothing like a second year to make you loose confidence ,it can be a nightmare from march to august especially with a standard brood box and an over sexed carnolion queen bee (which are the bees the big suppliers seem to favour, i wonder why :coolgleamA:)

we now have a waiting list of nearly two years for our bee keeping course, 2012 is almost full and now restrict it to locals only, why because we dont make money on the course and give our time free but in 2008 we trained 25 beeks and 15 were never seen again as the lived some miles away: :cuss: so now locals first with local mentors in the second year
What ever happened to the easy-going, take it all in your stride bee-keeping of 20 years ago. Halcyon days of reading the book, looking at the hive, more reading, ringing up the person you bought them from and asking the question.

Warm afternoons of puzzling at frantic little fellahs storming around the frames and first sight of big lumps on the comb followed by the realisation of the discovery of queen cells followed by the rush for the book, the spare hive, etc. etc.

The calm, quiet drink and smirk of happy, nervous fulfilment at avoiding the loss.

All in black and white, simple and plain English too!
 

darren64 

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yep nothing like a second year to make you loose confidence ,it can be a nightmare from march to august especially with a standard brood box and an over sexed carnolion queen bee (which are the bees the big suppliers seem to favour, i wonder why :coolgleamA:)

we now have a waiting list of nearly two years for our bee keeping course, 2012 is almost full and now restrict it to locals only, why because we dont make money on the course and give our time free but in 2008 we trained 25 beeks and 15 were never seen again as the lived some miles away: :cuss: so now locals first with local mentors in the second year
why?
 

oliver90owner 

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I think MM is likely referring to the majority that start with a single 'pussycat' nuc which then turns into a roaring, feisty bunch of swarming bees in the second year, or they lose their quiet queen, by swarming or supercedure, and the next generation is a second cross 'demon'. Either way a bit of a change. Those with local mongrels will likely fare better.

Then there are those who try to expand their one colony into 5 and finish with one colony! It can happen, particularly in a bad year.

That was my downfall, in my second season - and I only wanted to double mine. Two steps forward and one back. Getting them through that winter was a real problem. But there was no internet then; mentor stepped back, etc etc.

Regards, RAB
 

peteinwilts 

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2010 had an 'interesting' spring. After hearing horror story's of people losing a large proportion of their hives and I was 'relatively' unscathed, I was full of confidence. (relatively - I lost a weak colony in early April)

The long long cold spring was appearing to come to an end as we had a two week blast of heat. The bees started laying like crazy and it was looking so good.
Then in turned very VERY cold. Too cold to look in the hive to see what they were doing. Then on the first warm day the hives swarmed leaving me nothing but small numbers of bees and unmated queens.
After a couple of failing queens, my hives did not really get themselves back on track until August which then turned out to be rubbish.

2010 was my second year... confidence bashing - yes! - realising how much of a newbie I still am - also yes!
 
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As many here know - I paid my £40 and received precisely nothing except an insurance document. Attended the Bee tent and entered classes at the local show, and was ignored by all but one member. Then when I really needed an experienced hand, none were available. This forum saved me and my bees, I shall donate my membership cost to the Forum next year - much better value for money!
 

admin 

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Your BBKA Membership card will let you join Bookers cash and carry.
Bookers Cash and Carry give Beekeepers a good discount on bulk sugar purchases.
I saved enough on sugar to pay for my BBKA card

So financially its worth it for me.
You dont need to be a member of the BBKA to get membership.
Just tell them you are a beekeeper.
A certain organisation have managed to jump on the issue and say "If you are a BBKA member" you can join Bookers.
 

Hombre 

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Bookers, beekeepers and sugar - Peter McFadden - Conwy BKA

My turn to do the fine tuning Admin:

Check out the details:
http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=5912

Peter did the negotiating on behalf of Conwy members and in the process beneitted all bee keepers.

Folks, if you have found this arrangement helpful to you personally, look up Peter on the Conwy BKA website and drop him an email to say thank you. We all appreciate being appreciated after all.
 

Hombre 

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yep nothing like a second year to make you loose confidence ,it can be a nightmare from march to august especially with a standard brood box and an over sexed carnolion queen bee (which are the bees the big suppliers seem to favour, i wonder why :coolgleamA:)
I think that MM probably refers to the rate of expansion, given that you can head off swarming by splitting and the fact that this year, 2010, queens attempted to swarm.

In effect 1 colony became 4 by the end of the season and if you had split your original 1 into three for expansion, then you might well have had 5 or 6 colonies going into winter unless you lost a swarm.

All requiring that you provide, sooner or later:
nucs, hives, stands etc
Varroa treatments
At least one out apiary
Lots of sugar from Booker for winter feeding​

Which is fine if that was what you wanted to do and are fully prepared and have the kit available when you need it.
 

psafloyd 

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What about the public liability insurance you ge as a part of your membership?

I also got all my bees with a queen, so I have done about two year's membership right there.

Then there is the opportunity to discuss problems with those who operate in the same area as you. For a novice like me, that is invaluable.
 

drstitson 

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Queens59

as i mentioned on a previous thread you may be unlucky and have a bad local association BUT the key to getting the most (anything) out of the BBKA/county association/local branch is to be active not passive about it.

the following is not directed at you personally but is a general note for newbies:

sitting at home, joining BBKA direct and expecting anything other than a monthly magazine to drop through letterbox is crazy. join local branch (and hence BBKA) go to the weekly meetings, roll up sleeves (not literally) and muck in at the apiary. First few meetings should be well worth the cost. they probably run 10 week introductory courses in late winter/spring.

The £40 is not simply to buy the services of an experienced beek 24/7 to do your dirty work.
 

Poly Hive 

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Well here is my take on them.

I am a member. An Individual Member so I pay my £40 and get pretty much nothing for it as I cannot vote. I raised this with them and got a very snotty letter back. Unfortunately I checked my standing orders this year to check nothing was going out but it was on the business account so blast it I am a member again, but I can assure you for the last year.

As for local associations they are not always local. I have three in my area, but I am not driving a 100 mile round trip for a local meeting, just not worth my time and money. They are all located as far from me as it is possible to be.

I am sure there are excellent associations out there, and no doubt some not so good ones either.


PH
 
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