R&DBKA

Romsey and District Beekeepers' Association

Would you like to keep bees?
Beekeeping is a fascinating and rewarding hobby, helping one of our most important pollinators and perhaps giving you the opportunity of eating your own honey.

A vast new world awaits you in the study of the bees themselves, their role in the environment and the working of the hive. Honeybees have evolved alongside flowering plants over millions of years, long before man walked the Earth. In learning about the flowers that honeybees visit, you will find the countryside takes on a new look.

Bees fulfil a vital function in the food chain by pollinating fruit and seed crops, and the honey they produce provides them - and us - with a nutritious food.

A successful beekeeper knows how to help the bees make the most of their environment, how to deal with issues such as bee health, whether the bees have enough stores, and when (or if) the bees have honey to spare.
How to get started
Read about our Beginners' Course by CLICKING HERE or contact your local Hampshire Association HERE or go to the British Beekeeping Association's web site and navigate to the "find a local association" page.

The Romsey and District Beekeepers' Association is typical and was founded in 1920 to foster interest in the craft of beekeeping. It also aims to represent the interest of beekeepers in the area of the lower Test Valley, north as far as Broughton, east and west to Chandlers Ford and the New Forest.
Today the Association has around 120 members from all walks of life and with one exception are all hobbyists operating from one to twenty colonies.

In the summer the Association holds meetings in members' apiaries whilst during the winter months they meet monthly in Romsey for a programme of varied and interesting speakers. Everyone is welcome at all meetings irrespective of beekeeping experience.
In September our Honey Show is held at the Romsey Show in Broadlands.
Is beekeeping for you?
The rewards are many and keep on coming but the downsides are -
  • you will get stung - bees are not naturally aggressive but they will occasionally take exception to your interference. The BBKA website has useful and important Advice about Stings
  • it is not a guaranteed income stream - purchase of equipment can be expensive and it takes time and patience to produce honey. Second hand equipment can reduce the cost but MUST be sterilised to prevent the spread of pathogens
  • one hive is often not enough - you will start with one hive but will probably find you want (at least) one more
  • bees need space - siting a hive in your garden can work if you have enough space; otherwise you will need to find an "out apiary" such as on farm land
  • bees need time - especially in spring and early summer when they will need extra care if you are to avoid losing them through lack of attention to their needs
Your local association is always eager to give advice or practical help to novice beekeepers.