Fun Honey Show

We had a great day

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Members Fun Honey Show 2016

We are looking forward to welcoming Hazel and Michael Blackburn back this year to judge our honey show on Saturday 1st October at 3-8pm. Classes 1 to 17 will be judged by our expert judge; class 18 will be judged by the members. All entries in the Honey Show are FREE but must be exhibited by 15.30 at the latest.

Trophies to be won

Iliffe Cup. Awarded to the member with most points in all classes.

Wantage Challenge cup. Awarded to the member with the most points in classes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Peggy Mein Cookery cup. Awarded to the winner of class 5 & 7

Harmsworth Trophy. Awarded to the member with the most points in the beeswax classes (classes 8, 9 and 10)

Valentine Trophy. Awarded to the member with the most points in the DIY and creative arts classes (classes 11,12 and 13)

Mattingley Novice Cup. Awarded to the winner of class 14.

Peter Dawson Beginners’ Cup Awarded to the winner of class 15

Download Full Details:



No need to pre-book, just bring your entries along on the day! All entries in the Honey Show are FREE but must be exhibited by 15.30 at the latest.
Points shall be calculated 1st = 3 points; 2nd = 2 points; 3rd = 1 point.
You may enter 2 items per class, but only the highest will count should you have both items placed1st, 2nd or 3rd.
Entries are welcomed from Vale and Downland, and Newbury members, but note that only members of Vale and Downland
Beekeepers Association can be awarded cups or trophies.
Classes 1, 2, 3, 14 and 15 – honey to be shown without labels other than exhibit label.
1. A novice is defined as a person who has not yet won a first prize at any honey show.
2. A beginner is defined as a person who is in their first twelve months of keeping bees.

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Members Meeting Reminder

V&DBKA Members Meeting

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.

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National Honey Show Newsletter January 2016

Please click this link for the latest newsletter concerning the National Honey Show. We are very excited about the new venue and the opportunity this gives us to put on an even better show. Please let your membership know about the exciting line up of speakers we already have in place for this year and that the videos from last year are available on the website. More news will follow as we get closer to the event. In the meantime we hope everyone has a great beekeeping season.

Best wishes,

Fiona and Helen

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Welsh Beekeepers Association Annual Convention

The Welsh Beekeepers Association warmly invites you to their annual convention on Saturday 2nd April at the RWAS Show Ground, Builth Wells. Entrance £7 in advance, £9 on the door.


Margaret Ginmam – Bee Farmers Association opening the programme.

Natasha de Vere – Plants for Honey Bees: Using DNA barcoding to understand the best plants for healthy honeybees.

Mike Brown(APHA) – What the Beekeeper should know about the Asian Hornet.

(BDI Sponsored Lecture)

Clive de Bruyn – Making a Start in Spring.

The programme of lectures will be followed by a question and answer session with a panel of expert beekeepers.

The traders hall will have a range of beekeeping merchandise for sale, a canteen and a beekeepers corner where you can meet members of the Bee Inspection Service to answer your questions as well as other experienced beekeepers to offer support and advice.

Further details and advance payment forms can be found on , just follow the links to the convention from the home page.

Jill Wheeler

WBKA Events Secretary

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National Beehive Count

Dear Beekeeper
We are writing to ask for your help in updating your records of the number of overwintering beehives within your apiaries on BeeBase, the National Bee Unit’s database. We would like you to record the total number of overwintering hives as of 1st November 2015.
Please update your records by 12th February 2016. We are asking you to do this as part of a pilot study for an annual National Beehive Count we will launch from the winter of 2016 onwards. The National Beehive Count is aimed at improving our understanding of our honey bee population – how many there are and how healthy they are. This fits in with the aims of pollinator and bee health strategies across the UK.
The information we gather will also be used by the EU Commission to assess the size of honeybee populations across the EU. The EU provides financial aid to Member States in support of their beekeeping sectors. We are required to submit estimates on the numbers of beekeepers and beehives in the UK in order to continue to receive our share of funding from the EU Apiculture Programme from 2020 onwards.
More details of this project, its importance and why we need your help can be found on Beebase
We have produced guidance on how to update your records within BeeBase, including a Frequently Asked Questions document.
The project is led by the National Bee Unit and supported by Defra, Welsh Government, Scottish Government, DARDNI, the British Beekeepers Association, the Welsh Beekeepers Association, the Scottish Beekeepers Association, International Bee Research Association, and the National Diploma in Beekeeping.

Thank you very much in advance for your assistance.
National Bee Unit
January 2016
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
Sand Hutton
Y041 1LZ
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

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Beginners Evening Classes

Beginners Evening Class: Introduction to Beekeeping

Vale and Downland Beekeepers Association is pleased to announce that their well established and highly informative evening classes for Beginners will be starting this October. The course includes:

  • Membership to the association
  • 8 weeks tuition on the theory of beekeeping
  • 1 day practical workshop on making up your equipment individual mentoring through your first season with bees weekly practical sessions of handling bees at our association apiary.

Numbers are limited, please contact Lilian Valentine

( or tel: 01235 767524 for registration details.

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APHA Bee Health Training Day

APHA Bee Health Training Day

Sat 4th July at Bracknell Leisure Centre 10.00am to 4.00pm – Nigel Semmence (Regional Bee Inspector)

More details to be published shortly.

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Evening meetings for beginners and Public

Why not join our Summer beginners meetings later this season – come along and have a chat with one of our experienced beekeepers.

From May 2015, The Vale & Downland Beekeepers’ Association will be holding evening meetings during this season for beginners and public. The first of these meetings will be held on Wednesday 6 May starting at 7pm. Additional meetings will be held on the following Wednesday’s: June 3, July 1 and August 5 – all starting at 7pm

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.

We look forward to meeting you!

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Practical Workshop for V&DBKA Beginners.

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.

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