British Beekeepers Association

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Replaced many of the references to the bbka website with third party sources. Also made a declaration of interest on my profile. Apologies for not having taken more care.

British Beekeepers Association
Registration no.Charity No: 1185343
PurposeTo further and promote the craft of beekeeping
HeadquartersThe National Beekeeping Centre, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG
United Kingdom
Membership (2018)
Key people
  • Margaret Wilson (President)
  • Anne Rowberry (Chair)
  • Diane Drinkwater (Vice Chair)
  • Jimmy Doherty (Patron)
Main organ
Board of Trustees

The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) is a charitable organisation registered in England and Wales[1] that was founded in 1874.[2] It is made up of 75 associations in England & Wales plus one in Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Jersey.[3] At end of 2018 there were 26,555 members. Its patrons include the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers and Jimmy Doherty.[4][5]

The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) is an independent charity with a membership formed of 75 associations and 170 branches. It acts as an umbrella group for them and co-ordinates a swarm collection service for the public, administers training for beekeepers including a new scheme to encourage more beekeepers to use locally raised queens, administers grants for researchers looking at aspects of bee health and welfare and has recently encouraged the setting up of Asian Hornet Awareness Teams.

Charitable objectives[edit]

The BBKA’s charitable objectives are:

  • To further and promote the craft of beekeeping
  • To advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment


Beekeeping associations and branches are local organisations of differing size, history and origins. They have a common interest in training people to be beekeepers and keeping the craft of beekeeping and understanding of honeybees alive. The majority of groups will maintain a training apiary and have a schedule of meetings in the summer and in the winter when beekeeping ceases.[6]

The BBKA operates services for the public by means of a swarm map which directs the public to local beekeepers who can help with the removal of honeybees.[7]

Along with the other national beekeeping associations in the UK and Ireland the BBKA promotes the education of beekeepers in the craft of beekeeping by offering courses and exams and a correspondence course for those unable to attend training sessions.[8][9] UK schools are also embracing beekeeping.[10]

Every year, the BBKA makes funds available for University and PHD research into bee behaviour and health. This is administered by a panel who consider applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.[11] Following the discovery of the first Asian Hornets on the UK mainland in 2018 the BBKA has encouraged the setting up of an Asian Hornet Action Team in every area.[12][13]

The BBKA also offers a Bee Friendly Holiday Park benchmark scheme operated by the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme (DBCAS) which looks at the forage plants they provide for bees, what they do to provide homes for bees and how they promote bee conservation.[14]

In 2010 the BBKA worked with the UK Government and the National Diploma of Beekeeping Board to train 400 experts in bee husbandry.[15] This was funded by DEFRA as part of their Healthy Bees Plan. Two years previously the BBKA had submitted a Beekeeping Research paper to Lord Rooker of DEFRA.[16][17][18][19] The NDB and the BBKA also introduced courses to raise local queens under the Healthy Bees Plan.[20][21] The BBKA along with the other national beekeeping groups takes part in the Government's Bee Health Advisory Forum to contribute towards policies to respond to threats faced by bees.[22]

The BBKA is not a direct member of Apimondia. It's interest is represented instead via its membership of the Council of National Beekeeping Associations of the United Kingdom and Ireland (CONBA).[23]


  1. "BRITISH BEEKEEPERS' ASSOCIATION - Charity 1185343". Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  2. "The History of the BBKA" (PDF). 2016-11-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 2021-03-14. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. "Find beekeeping near You". British Beekeepers Association.
  4. Lanham, Stu (2020-08-29). "Can Jimmy Save the Bees. Jimmy's Big Bee Rescue. Jimmy Doherty". Jimmy's Farm. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  5. "Our Patrons". British Beekeepers Association. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  6. Howard, Jane; Coulthard, Sally (2021-03-11). "The ultimate guide to beekeeping for beginners". Country Living. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  7. Benjamin, Alison (2015-05-14). "Yes, bad beekeeping is to blame for unwanted urban swarms | Alison Benjamin". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  8. "Training and advice : For beekeepers : ... : The Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects : University of Sussex". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  9. "Beekeeping Examinations and Qualifications in UK and Ireland". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  10. "Creating a buzz: how UK schools are embracing beekeeping". the Guardian. 2017-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  11. "Research". British Beekeepers Association. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  12. "Threat to honeybees as Asian hornet's arrival in UK confirmed". the Guardian. 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  13. "How to set up an Asian Hornet Action Team (AHAT)". British Beekeepers Association. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  14. "David Bellamy Conservation Awards - Find A Park". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  15. "400 teachers for amateur beekeepers". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  16. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 17 Jun 2008 (pt 0005)". Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  17. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 17 Jun 2008 (pt 0006)". Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  18. "House of Commons - Public Accounts Committee - Minutes of Evidence". Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  19. Life, Country (2009-12-04). "Country Life Awards Winners". Country Life. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  20. "Queen Raising Short Course". National Diploma in Beekeeping. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  21. "Beebase - Beekeeping information resource for Beekeepers". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  22. "Beebase - Beekeeping information resource for Beekeepers". Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  23. "Home". Retrieved 2021-03-10.

External links[edit]

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