When you join the Winchester and District Beekeepers’ Association (WDBKA) you enjoy a number of benefits besides the good company of those with a shared interest. Set out below are a selection of the more tangible benefits of membership...
Membership of parent bodies
WDBKA is a member of the Hampshire Beekeeping Association and the British Beekeeping Association. As such, your membership in WDBKA also grants you membership in these organisations, and thereby a voice in the future of British beekeeping.
Hampshire BKA is one of the largest beekeeping associations in the UK. As a member you will receive a copy of their monthly newsletter “Bee Talk”, have access to their wider resources, and an invitation to the regional Beekeeping Convention and Honey Show.
The British Beekeepers’ Association has over 12,000 members and is the national representation for beekeepers and beekeeping in the UK. As a member you will receive a copy of “BBKA News” six times per year and access to a large library of reference and training materials.
WDBKA distributes information and news from our regional bee inspector, and if necessary will act as a liaison for any issues you or your bees may have that warrants the inspector’s attention.
Practical experience and formal education
Members of WDBKA are encouraged to further their beekeeping skills, and keep up to date with the current advice and research in apiculture.
Our continuing education is achieved through both group meetings and supported individual studies.
Throughout summer months WDBKA members meet at a variety of apiaries within a few miles of Winchester where experienced beekeepers explain and demonstrate seasonal skills such as hive inspection, disease control through integrated pest management (IPM) techniques, queen clipping / marking, uniting colonies and swarm control. These meetings are an excellent opportunity for new beekeepers to learn the craft, and for experienced beekeepers to discuss the relative merits of different techniques.
During winter months WDBKA members hold indoor meetings on a wide range of topics of interest to beekeepers, often with an engaging guest speaker invited for evening. There is plenty of time at these meetings for question and answer sessions, informal discussion, and socialising.
Members who are interested in having a more formal assessment of their beekeeping skills are supported in their preparation for the BBKA’s practical and theory exams. The WDBKA maintains a set of study guides for members’ use, and can arrange for entrance to the relevant assessments.
The association owns a number of resources that are made available for the use of its members. New resources are regularly added, and existing resources are maintained by members of the association. Requests for additional resources can be raised with the committee for consideration.
lending library : a good selection of published material, including general beekeeping books, study guides, periodicals, etc.
equipment rental : typical range of equipment for frame uncapping, honey extraction, etc. such as heated uncapping trays and motorised centrifugal extractors
association apiary : there are two locations within Winchester district where members can place their own hive. Each has different foraging characteristics for the colonies placed there.
parent bodies’ lending resources : through membership of the parent associations of HBKA and BBKA, members have access to a substantial range of material covering all aspects of apiculture, history, and technical information relating to the honeybee.
Though we hope you will never need it, as a full member of WDBKA you will enjoy public liability insurance cover of £5 million against claims arising out of an accident caused by your beekeeping activities that have damaged somebody else's person or property.
You will also benefit from product liability coverage of £5 million for any accidental injury or damage caused as a result of products such as honey you produce as part of your beekeeping activities.
Furthermore, the WDBKA is a member association of the bee diseases insurance (BDI) plan. This plan gives you a level of cover against losses caused by a range of bee diseases. As a full member of the WDBKA you are automatically covered for up to three colonies, with cover of additional colonies available by payment of an additional modest premium. To use this benefit all your colonies must be covered, so it is important to review your cover regularly as your beekeeping interests grow.
As a benefit of membership, you will be sent a copy of the WDBKA newsletter each month. Our newsletter contains a round up of local and national news, seasonal tips, and upcoming events in an easy to read format. The newsletter is also an important way to learn about local issues that may be affecting bees.
Members can choose to have the newsletter sent to them by post or electronically by e-mail.
Personalised e-mail address
All members are entitled to a custom “winchesterbeekeepers.org.uk” e-mail address alias for the duration of their membership.
The memorable alias redirects e-mails to your real address, so that if you change Internet Provider you can simply update your alias and all your e-mails will be sent to your new address.
Becoming a Member
To become a member of the Winchester and District Beekeepers’ Association, please complete the membership application form or contact the secretary.
If you are still thinking about whether beekeeping will suit you, please come along to a meeting, or speak to any member. You are welcome to join us for a few meetings to see if it lives up to your expectations.