Events Calendar

The Vale and Downland Beekeepers’ Association Programme 2016

Indoor Meetings are held on a Friday in the Charlton Adult Centre, Charlton Village Road, Wantage, OX12 7HG commencing at 19:30 hours. Parking facilities are available on the site adjacent to hall.

Apiary Meetings are held on a Sunday afternoon and commence at 14:30 hours at the stated venue.

Friday 1930
Judy Earl – Making Products from the Hive

A demonstration of using beeswax and honey to make a variety of products such as Fruit Honey, Vinegars, Mustards, Polish, and a chance to sample an easy to make alcoholic honey drink.
Charlton Adult Centre
Saturday 11:00 - 15:00
Practical Workshop for Beginners

This workshop is being held to help guide our new beekeepers through the process of assembling their equipment ready for the new season, if anyone is interested in helping please contact Lilian on 01235 767524.
The King Alfred Scout Hall
Friday 1930
Ron Hoskins - The Result of Twenty Chemical-free Beekeeping Years.

Ron Hoskins honeybees now co-exist alongside Varroa. He will tell you how this has been achieved.
Charlton Day Centre
Saturday 9:00 to 16:30
BEE TRADEX at National Agricutural Ground Stoneleigh.

This is an opportunity to purchase your beekeeping equipment for the coming season.
Friday 1930
Hazel Blackburn – Showing Honey

By special request, Hazel will be showing us how to prepare honey and wax for showing.
Charlton Day Centre
APRIL 8-10Spring Convention and Trade Show

Lectures and Workshops are held on Friday 8, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10. Trade Show will be open from lunch time on Friday to Saturday pm only. Cost of entry to BBKA members can be found on the Web site:
Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire TF10 8NB.
Sunday 1430
First apiary meeting at the Association’s apiary.
This meeting will give us a chance to assess how the bees have come through the winter and to do any tidying of the apiary.
V&DBKA Apiary
MAY 22
Sunday 1430
An apiary visit to Sam and Heather Burford’s.
This is a first visit to Sam and Heather’s apiary at Buscot.
Sunday - 1430
John and Louise Eustace - Bee Safari.
John & Louise invite us to a village safari of local hives in Kencot.
Sunday 1430
Apiary meeting at Tracey and Andrew Liddiard’s
This is a first visit to Tracey and Andrew’s apiary at Steeds Farm, Faringdon.
Sunday 28 & Monday 29 AugustUffington White Horse Show

Volunteers required to help with the stand. Please contact Lilian if you are able to help. We had a very successful stand last year let us make it even better this year.
Sunday 1430
Association Apiary

We will be inspecting the bees at the site and preparing them for winter.
The new beekeepers will be asked to open a colony to show us how they have progressed over the season.
V&DBKA Apiary
Saturday 3pm to 8pm
Fun Honey Show and Supper

This meeting will be held at Stonehill House Barn courtesy of Anthea Norman Taylor. There will be plenty of room to show your exhibits and chat amongst yourselves.
Stonehill House Barn, Abingdon
Friday 1930
Annual General Meeting

Your chance to vote new members onto the committee. If you think you would like to serve on the committee or have an item added to the agenda please contact Jane Greenhalgh, Association Secretary. To be followed by a demonstration of Soap and Salve processing by Michael Havard-Bilton.
Charlton Day Centre
OCTOBER 27-29The National Honey Show - Sandown

This is a chance to see many types of honey and new experimental equipment - an event not to be missed!
Esher, Surrey, KT10
Friday 1930
To be decided
Charlton Day Centre

Evening Summer Meetings for Beginners and Public
The Vale & Downland Beekeepers’ Association will once again hold 4 evening meetings during the season for beginners and public. These meetings will be held on Wednesday 4 May, Wednesday 1 June, Wednesday 6 July and Wednesday 3 August, all starting at 19:00.  If you know of anyone who would be interested in attending any of these meetings please contact Lilian Valentine 01235 767524.  Venues for these meetings will be decided upon nearer  the time. If you cannot make a Wednesday evening please contact Lilian and we will see if we can arrange another evening.

Saturday Beginners and Improvers apiary meetings
These meetings are held at 3pm as the Association Apiary every Saturday afternoon from April to the end of the season.  Any member with beekeeping problems is quite welcome to attend.

Winter Evening meetings for Beginners
As a follow on from the summer meetings we will be holding 6 evening classes with a mix of theory and practical beekeeping, plus one day practical equipment making.  You will also have an opportunity to study bees and disease under the microscope.

Refreshments for meetings
It would be appreciated if members could provide sandwiches or cakes, on a voluntary basis, for our summer meetings.  Please contact Lilian .

Mentors for new beekeepers
Please contact Lilian and John Valentine 01235 767524


If you suspect any brood disease in your bees (EFB or AFB) please contact Regional Bee Inspector Nigel Semmence, tel: 01234 338694 or email

If you suspect anything wrong with your bees please contact John Valentine (01235 767524) or Jane Greenhalgh (01235 760157 – evenings only).  Arrangements will then be made for one of our experts to inspect them for you.  Travel costs by arrangement.

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