There are many reasons to join a Beekeeping association and PDBKA in particular if you live anywhere within striking distance of Petersfield. Perhaps the most important is our Membership with experience ranging from ‘old hands’ with over 50 years of beekeeping, to beginners, juniors and family members all with beekeeping experiences to share. This wealth of experience can be tapped while learning about beekeeping and is particularly valuable before buying any equipment and when first ‘taking the plunge’ into caring for your own colonies.
During Spring and Summer when the bees are active our Association Apiary is open for ‘hands on’ experience of managing a colony of bees. You can come along even before you join to see if you can cope with handling bees, or whether the possibility of getting stung is just too disturbing. Yes, you will get stung occasionally if you become a beekeeper but by learning your craft in the company of more experienced beekeepers you will learn how to keep your colonies calm and happy.
At our Association Apiary you can learn how to construct and handle different styles and types of equipment, enabling you to make informed choices before buying your own. We also have a range of honey and wax processing equipment that can be borrowed by Members, a cost-effective solution for a small-scale beekeeper with one or two hives.
We provide both formal and informal education, offering courses from Basic Beekeeping to advanced Bee Husbandry with access to courses on bee diseases and microscopy. We also have a library of some 100 books on beekeeping subjects and access to the Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association (HBA) library of books, slides and videos.
The opportunity to meet fellow beekeepers continues away from the Apiary. During the Summer PDBKA attends several Country Shows with our ‘education marquee’ introducing the general public to beekeeping and bee products and particularly, the importance of pollinators. These events give attending members the chance to sell honey and wax products. All Members, whether experienced or novice are welcome to ‘man the stand’. During the Winter we meet every three or four weeks in the winter for talks and presentations on all sorts of subjects linked to beekeeping.
Each autumn PDBKA holds a Honey Show, to exhibit not only honey but wax, mead, cakes, confectionery and photography. This Show, following National Honey Show guidelines, can be a stepping-stone for Members to excel at both County and National level but, more important, it is the chance to show off yours and your bees handiwork and to see what other members bees have produced/inspired.
We have an Association Newsletter, Website and FaceBook Page
As a beekeeping member of our Association you are automatically a member of HBA and the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA), you get regular newsletters from BBKA . Becoming a member gives you an inexpensive way of insuring yourself from public liability claims, this via BBKA and, through BDI, your hives are insured against loss from notifiable diseases for around £2.00 per year for the first three colonies.