Huntingdonshire Beekeepers’ Association (HBKA) membership costs are currently set at £20.00 per annum if you keep bees (Full membership) and £10.00 per annum if you do not keep bees (Associate membership). The beekeeping fee includes Bee Diseases Insurance (BDI) cover for your first 3 hives; and 3rd party public liability up to £10,000,000. Should you have more than 3 colonies, additional BDI premiums are payable.
Other membership benefits
Members are responsible for sourcing their own bees. That said, HBKA members will do what they can to help obtain bees from swarms, splits, surpluses and retirements. If you decide to buy in colonies, please talk to us first to make sure you are getting them from a reliable source and do be careful to avoid foreign non-UK import sources. We run a member website list in the Spring and Summer to allow members to request bees – new beekeepers take priority but usually all needs are met.
Our apiary has up to 18 colonies in a variety of hive types – there is a large gallery that allows the public to see the bees from behind a glass wall. Every Sunday afternoon (April – Sept) we open the apiary to the public. We use volunteers to demonstrate and open the hives to show the activities of the bees. Real-time narration is provided in the gallery by experienced beekeepers who will answer questions that might arise. We also open the apiary during the week for supervised school parties and inspect hives every Wednesday morning- weather permitting.
We have a number of items that may be loaned to members including honey extractors and nucleus boxes. These must be signed out by members and returned in a good clean condition. It is a condition of loan that items which are lost must be replaced and the cost of repairing or replacing damaged items must be borne by the person who has taken them on loan. Ask the apiary manager for help.
Education and Training
A beginner’s course is held from mid-April on Saturdays over 3 weeks at the apiary. Further training sessions during the year are advertised through the website member’s events pages
Advice On completion of the beginners’ course and gaining full membership, we will try to allocate a bee buddy to help you start your first bee colony and to keep them well. The advice tends to be reliant on your requirements, so your bee buddy will normally wait for you to contact them.