With the BBKA you pay them some money...and your a member,thats it,with the beefarmers (unless its changed) you need to have a certain amount of colonys,at least two other beefarmers who know you, to sign a form as a reference, and have a visit to view certain aspects of your operation, to conform to there code of practice. You can get discounts on certain equipment and jars ect,sometimes,...and they may arrange some pollination contracts.
They also hold meetings ect,and the membership cost is a lot more than the bbka.
Surely that is just a glimpse into the personalities of the individuals concerned -not a trait ingrained in all members of the BFA? Let's be honest, we all interact with each other differently (even on this forum there seems to be similar behaviour; but of course, as someone else recently pointed out, it's easier for the written word to be misinterpreted).
Personally, if I'd felt that I was being slighted by the individuals you mention I'd have simply gone over and asked what their problem was -this direct approach is in my opinion the best because it leaves no confusion. They tell you why they think they're better or they explain that you've misunderstood at which point you apologize. But what if they lie through their teeth, saying that you misunderstood? Well I don't think that it matters, because they know that you're not going to put up with their behaviour and are already on the back foot.
A lot of BFA members are also BBKA members. One of the BBKA exec. is also a BFA member. There is overlap.
You can now join the BFA with 20 colonies but you have to progress to 40 within 2 years - a new policy introduced recently.
Yes there has been tension recently too, in part due to BBKA attempting to portray itself as the "senior" beekeeping organisation and sole representative on a certain government committee(s), and then filtering information and decisions down to the "junior" organisations like BFA and Scottish BKA et. al.
Needless to say this hasn't endeared the BBKA individuals at all well to their counterparts in the other groups.