Wisborough Green Beekeepers Association

a Division of West Sussex Beekeepers Association


New Members

We welcome everyone with an interest in the craft of beekeeping, whether new, existing beekeepers moving to the area or those who wish to find out about becoming a beekeeper.

In order to give the best service to all our members we have established a standard way of introducing newcomers and members returning to meetings after a long absence to our apiary. This is detailed below.

Throughout the practical beekeeping season (approximately late April to early August) we hold regular meetings especially for newcomers. These are called Preliminary meetings. They are held at various times depending on demand and places must be booked in advance.

At these sessions attendees will be shown how we inspect and handle bees. They will inspect colonies under the supervision of experienced demonstrators in small groups. This allows us to train you in our standardised method of inspecting bees, assess your level of ability (and where relevant, experience), and move you forward at the appropriate time into our scheduled apiary meetings.

This structured introduction to Wisborough Green BKA also allows you to get to know some of our demonstrators and them to get to know you, in much smaller and more personal groups than would be possible in the scheduled apiary meetings.

Please remember that our Association is run entirely by volunteers who give up a lot of their time to help others learn and enjoy the fascinating craft of keeping honey bees. We look forward to sharing that interest with you.

Preliminary

These will be those new to beekeeping, existing beekeepers who were not previously members or previous members who have returned after a long absence.

Those in this group will probably come to several meetings before being invited to attend the scheduled meetings. They will be in a small group, if possible with a different Demonstrator each visit and will handle a colony of bees on their own every time they attend. Protective clothing for the head and top part of the body will be provided. Please wear appropriate clothing, such as old trousers, socks they can be tucked into and stout footwear.

Preliminary sessions are arranged on an ad-hoc basis depending on demand and availability of Demonstrators. Dates will be sent by email and it is your responsibility to check regularly. As we have restrictions on the availability of Demonstrators and protective equipment and in order to make group sizes suitable for learning, places at each preliminary meeting must be booked in advance. Those in the Preliminary group will not be asked for a subscription unless they already have bees.

We do not recommend those with no previous beekeeping experience purchase any bees or equipment until they have been passed through the Preliminary group and speaking to a Demonstrator. Some equipment is poorly made and the buying of bees can result in them being headed by an imported queen that has a number of dangers that won't be obvious to a beginner. It is always recommended that bees should be sourced from stock that has survived in the locality for some time.

To help new beekeepers we have a Beginners pack that includes a hive and bees. Please ask your demonstrator.

Although most of those who attend Preliminary Sessions pass in a reasonable time, others may take longer. Beekeeping is a practical subject that needs a reasonable knowledge of the theory. A few struggle and we have had to advise them that beekeeping may not be for them. Attendance is no guarantee you will pass.

Please do not turn up to scheduled apiary meetings as we will be unable to accommodate you.


Booking in for Preliminary group only

It is only those in the Preliminary group who need to book into meetings.

This to be by email only to John Glover

In emergency call John on 01403 751 899 or mobile 07900 453 750. Make sure you have a reply.

If John is unavailable then try emailing Roger  01403 790 637 or mobile 07976 306 492.
This will allow us to put you in a group and allocate you a Demonstrator before the meeting.

You will be given one firm date and one pencilled in. If you do not wish to attend after the first session please inform us, if you do then confirm the pencilled in date.

We will not normally allow attendees to turn up without booking. If you are unable to attend after booking please phone to cancel as someone else may be waiting for a place. We would normally try to accommodate all those who wish to book in but there are limitations on protective equipment and availability of Demonstrators.