Beginners course – registration closed

Our beginners’ course has proved very popular again and we’re sorry to say that if you were wanting to go on it that we’ve closed the list since we are over-subscribed. Depending on demand we may hold a one day Introduction to Beekeeping course later in the year. Please indicate your interest for the Intro course on our on line form here

If we have sufficient interest we’ll contact you to say when the course is taking place (a weekend day in July probably).

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Membership renewal for 2014-2015

Membership application/renewal is now open but GoCardless payment has ended for this year.

Please go here to renew or apply.

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SBKA Honey Show 2014

Sheffield Beekeepers Association’s annual honey show, sponsored by Swann Morton and Evans Lee estate agents, was held at the Sheffield Fayre on 24th.

Beekeepers from across Sheffield had the opportunity to showcase their excellent produce and beekeeping craft. There were a total of 116 entries over 27 different classes. As well as several different types of honey on show, there were categories for mead, honey cake and beeswax.

Ivor Flatman uses a light to inspect some honey at the Honey Show in Sheffield 2014
Ivor Flatman uses a light to inspect some honey at the Honey Show in Sheffield 2014. Photo credit: P Khorassandjian

The prize for Best in Show, sponsored by Swann Morton, went to Phil Khorassandjian, who achieved five first places, five second places and three third places! Veteran beekeeper and previous winner of national and international awards Eugene Grant also won five first places. The prize for Best Honey went to Tony Lane, who has been keeping bees in his garden in Crosspool for three years.

Tony puts his success down to the wide variety of garden plants nearby. The John Shaw novice cup was won by Martyn Craske.

The entries were judged by the Regional Bee Inspector for the North East of England, Ivor Flatman.

Ian Smith, Sheffield Beekeepers Association Chairman, said “Ivor did a sterling job of examining every single entry and tasting every sample of honey, every cake and every bottle of mead. He even tasted some of the wax!”

Phil Khorassandjian, Sheffield Beekeepers Association Secretary and winner of Best in Show said “The whole purpose of entering the Honey Show is to improve the quality of our products, learn from the experts and educate others on the standards that can be achieved. I think this show goes a long way toward helping to achieve our aims of promoting the craft of beekeeping and raising awareness of the importance of bees. I’m quite chuffed with my wins but there is a lot to learn still.”

Eugene Grant, Sheffield Beekeepers Association member and winner of five classes said “It was heartening to see so many good entries and the youngsters doing so well. Of course, it’s all about looking after your bees and then paying attention to detail when it comes to preparing your honey and other exhibits for the Show bench.”

Jim Horsfall with only one year of beekeeping experience and winner in the Creamed Honey class said “It’s great to see your honey on the show bench and to win, but it is the bees that do all the hard work. As a beekeeper you are just there to make sure the bees are happy, and in return you can take a share of their honey.”

To be able to produce the best honey, a beekeeper needs to keep his bees somewhere with an abundance of flowering plants and trees, so the bees can collect the nectar and turn it into honey.

Beekeepers also need to be adept at extracting honey from the wax combs.

Amateur beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular and important. The majority of the estimated 274,000 hives in the UK are kept by amateur beekeepers. Many of the UK’s food crops rely on honey bee pollination. However honey bee populations are in decline around the world what beekeeping is all about.

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Honey Show at the Sheffield Fayre

SBKA will this year be running their annual honey show in partnership with the annual Sheffield Fayre.

This is taking place at Norfolk Heritage Park on the 24th-25th August. Please note that all entry forms must reach the Centre in the Park no later than 5pm on Wednesday 20th August.

For more information please visit the web page on Sheffield City Council’s website

You can download the schedule here

25p per entry

There are plenty of categories for those that do not currently keep bees or have had a honey crop such as photography, cake or sweet exhibits.

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SBKA Social – 9th July at Sawmill Apiary

The July meeting will be held at the Sawmill apiary, NOT the club.

Please bring food, drink etc.

Please don’t bring portable BBQ’s as these are not allowed. Gas and Charcoal BBQ’s welcome.

Starts with hive inspection at 5pm then fires lit later in the evening.

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Bee Improvement For All…

In conjunction with the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) the Sheffield BKA held a “Bee Improvement for All” day on Sunday 15th March. To a packed audience, Roger Patterson of BIBBA, gave an interesting, amusing and informative talk on his 50 years keeping bees and his methods of improving the quality of the current British bee.

Over 130 beekeepers traveled from neighbouring associations such as Huddersfield, Bradford & Chesterfield to listen to Roger challenge us to “leave aside our mental barriers” in order to gain the most from the talk.

An excellent lunch was laid on for all attendees and it was a great (and rare) experience for all beekeepers to get together and discuss beekeeping during the breaks.

Cathy Butcher, a beekeeper from Sheffield said “A wonderful day. It was a great opportunity for beekeepers across the region to meet and discuss bee improvement. I’m looking forward to putting into practice the ideas and lessons shared with us by one of the foremost beekeepers in the country”.

Ian Smith, Chair of Sheffield Beekeepers’ Association which hosted the event said “ At a time when we are faced with declining bee populations out is reassuring to see so many beekeepers under one roof all with a common purpose – to improve the wellbeing of their bees. Roger Patterson was inspirational and we all benefitted from his experience and knowledge.”

Roger Patterson, of the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association who was the tutor said “This was the ninth of eleven “Bee Improvement for All” days that have been held throughout the country during the winter. The event was organized and hosted by Sheffield BKA which in beekeeping terms is a very young organization. It attracted a large number of enthusiastic and knowledgeable beekeepers, indicating a vibrant and well run association that has trained their members to a high standard. Bee improvement is not often a main consideration with amateur beekeepers, but the keeping of better stock is crucial in the long term to a strong and healthy bee population. In giving a whole days presentation I was left in no doubt the audience were enthusiastic about the subject.”

Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association

Roger’s book – Beekeeping – A practical guide

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February meeting summary

Despite fairly awful weather, the monthly meeting had a good turnout to listen to David Shannon give his talk on how to prepare honey and wax for showing in competitions.

David has considerable experience showing at regional and national competitions with the medals, ribbons and certificates to prove it and the captive audience (literally, David was blocking the exit to the bar!) was taught the subtle tricks of the trade in how to ensure nothing but your best ends up on the show bench.

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January meeting summary

It was standing room only as Master Beekeeper John Whitaker from Barkston Ash Beekeepers Association spoke on his experiences in beekeeping with special emphasis on doing it in the most cost-effective manner. There were questions and some discussion on varroa control as John produced some interesting slides combining his love of mathematics and beekeeping. John has written a book on beekeeping – see the usual Amazon link below (other retailers are available).

Meanwhile SBKA treasurer Joy Slingsby was kept busy as people took advantage of Neil Pont from Lincolnshire Apiarie’s offer of fondant which was being sold at cost price (when bought by the box!).


John Whitaker’s book on Amazon
Barkston Ash Beekeepers Association

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