Summer Season Programme 2021 Schedule – update

Our Summer Season commenced during April with RBKA On-Line activities.

The Basic Assessment Study Group commenced weekly online meetings on Tuesday 6th April, at 7pm, with subsequent sessions each Monday at 7pm.

The first phase (all on-line) of Weekly Summer Members Meetings provided live inspections of a colony beamed via Zoom followed by Q&A’s.

The current second phase is providing the opportunity for the Basic Assessment Study Group to conduct colony inspections with Hive Tutors; as well as maintaining on-line Zoom meetings for Q&A’s and exchanges of advice and guidance for all other members to participate in.

[Read more…]

Improve your Beekeeping

Learning Steps (2)We know that taking and passing the Basic Assessment or that just being a member of the Basic Assessment study group will help you to become a competent bee keeper.  After that though the direction you want to take with your bee keeping varies a lot.  Some will want to study and take the BBKA modules and even become a master beekeeper and others may want to follow their own direction.

In order to support members, we will endeavour to find the appropriate support for you as an individual or even better, as groups of members that would like to develop a particular skill.

To that end we encourage members to form groups around a particular topic and if you let us know what it is you are trying to improve, we will do our best to find a knowledgeable member to support you in that topic.

To start the process we would like to set members challenges and hope that self-selecting groups can then form around a particular challenge.   The challenges below are just a starting point, any topic is a valid topic.

Some Ideas for Challenges for 2021

    1. Learn one method of queen rearing suitable for the 3-5 hive beekeeper
    2. Take out a nuc for swarm control use BBKA text
    3. Swarm control without finding queen Use FERA Text
    4. Use Waring/Wilson to generate a new Queen use RBKA description
    5. Shake colony onto clean comb use FERA text
    6. Make a Taranov swarm use RBKA notes
    7. Get a Miller frame drawn for use in a queen raising colony use RBKA notes
    8. Use Snelgrove Procedure, a) for swarm prevention b) for swarm control
    9. Get brood box full of stores for winter using Wally Shaw recommendations
    10. Produce a photo of nosema


Mike Hill is planning on creating a brood box which has half of the frames 22mm wide and the other half 27mm which he hopes will show how 22mm spacing encourages brace comb. Mike has the necessary handouts on file for anyone interested in doing the same.

It would be great to hear about the progress of groups at our weekly meetings, with information on how to carry out, say queen rearing, being shared and produced, hopefully including photographs and videos to pass on to other members

Jim Wynn,

2021 Education Plan

Learning Steps (2)During a first ever RBKA Committee Meeting by telephone conference in mid March, 2020. the clear need to develop an alternative Education programme and means of delivering it to members was first discussed. It was also recognised that any programme ideally needed to at least start to be rolled out during April.

Since then we held weekly Zoom meetings from April to September and then monthly meetings through the winter. Recordings of all of the meetings can be found under the RBKA ONLINE tab on the home page of this website. 

RBKA’s Education Plan for 2021

RBKA will provide weekly theory meetings via zoom until Government  rules allow us to meet physically again.  These meeting will be aimed at those planning to take the BBKA Basic assessment in July.   These meetings will start in early April.

To support inexperienced beekeepers we will endeavour to broadcast live inspections (or videos of inspections) each week on a Wednesday at 6:30pm.


RBKA Members Facebook groups

We have decided to suspend the Facebook ‘Members Network’ and ‘Education Forum’ groups due to the small numbers of participants.

RBKA Online 

As mentioned above, all of the talks from the 2020 season are available under the RBKA Online tab. This year we will record the Basic theory and inspection sessions each week. After the inspection sessions on Wednesdays, we will have a Q&A session about the issues raised in the inspection and once a month have a short talk on a relevant topic.
We would like to encourage people to make their own videos on any topic and we will add them to our growing archive for our own members to watch. Don’t get hung up on perfect video quality- its all about sharing and support! 

Improve your Beekeeping 

We know that taking and passing the Basic Assessment, or that just being a member of the Basic Assessment study group will help you to become a competent bee keeper.  After that though, the direction individuals may want to take with their bee keeping may vary a lot.  Some will want to study and take the BBKA modules and even become a master beekeeper, while others may have more modest ambitions and follow their own direction.

In order to help support differing needs, we have put together a set of challenges for those wishing to improve their beekeeping. Check out the Improve your beekeeping section on the education tab to see what we have in mind.

‘RBKA Crew’ WhatsApp Group

For those members that choose to use the WhatsApp smart phone application, there are number of interest groups that that have been set-up and are managed by members, independently of RBKA, but for use only by RBKA Members. Currently prominent amongst these groups is ‘RBKA Crew‘, managed by Keith Mackie. In addition to providing an informal social network between participating WhatsApp user members, the group provides opportunities to share topical beekeeping news as well as to seek and offer beekeeping help and advice.

BeeNews, Members Website, Public Website & Email

These communication tools are working well, so remain as before. Please supply photos of interest and any news to Sue Scates (BeeNews editor) and/or Richard Bradfield. Website(s) Webmaster & Editor

  • BeeNews = Formal. Regular: monthly. Internal: for members only
  • Members Website = Formal. Regular & Ad Hoc. Internal: for members only
  • Public Website = Formal. Ad hoc. External: for General Public & Media
  • Emails = Formal. Ad Hoc. Internal: for members only. Urgent News only!

BBKA Exam Applications – Registration Closing Dates

Teacher Bee Icon

Registration to take

Modules and Assessments

need to be submitted 


The application details [click here] can be found on the BBKA website (You need to be logged into the BBKA website to view)

Application forms for March 2020 Module Exams …

need to be with Celia Perry by Wednesday 5th February.  

Application forms for 2020 Assessments in Honeybee Health, General Husbandry & Advanced Husbandry …

need to be with Celia Perry by Friday 21st February.  

Teacher Bee Icon 2

Completed forms and cheques payable to ‘BBKA’ should be given or posted in good time to:- Celia Perry – County Exam Secretary 

For the postal address, or if you have any related queries, please contact Celia either by phone; on 07903 991120 or by email at;

Please do not leave it until the last minute to send in your form and cheque, because all the forms and payments still need to be forwarded, by Celia, to the National Beekeeping Centre at Stoneleigh within a week of the above deadlines.

BBKA Examination Board Nomination – Celia Perry

Congratulations to Celia Perry upon being re-elected to the BBKA Examination Board for a further 2 year term at the 2019 Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM) on 12th January. 

Celia was first elected to the Exam Board for a three year term in 2016.  

Since 2012, Celia has also been the Surrey BBKA Examinations Secretary; dealing with the organisation of Basic Assessments and Honey Bee Health Assessments and making arrangements for written module exams … for all Surrey candidates.

For the last two years on the BBKA Exam Board, Celia has set and marked module papers. With the first term coming to an end at the 2019 ADM, Celia remained keen to continue to serve the Board for further term of office.

From the Personal Statement in Celia’s nomination form:

“I realise that the exam system is not for everyone, but by making it as relevant as possible to all beekeepers we can only improve the general level of understanding and knowledge”.