Welcome to the Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells Beekeeper's Web Site
In compiling this Web Site we have tried to provide basic information, which we would have liked to have had available at our finger tips when we started beekeeping. However it is only basic information and for more complete detail we suggest you read some of the more recent additions to our library by clicking here. There are also many bee related topics on the web and we have highlighted some of the better ones in 'Web Watch' under NOTICE BOARD.
This is a 'picture postcard' hive but is it the most popular? See how our members critically rated the various types of hive they operate in this 'pros and cons' pdf document, by clicking 'here'. And then look at Setting up an Apiary.
Finding and Marking the Queen. if you are a beginner, finding the queen can prove to be quite difficult and is rarely as easily found as the one in this picture, so click here for a few tips.
Membership: There has been a small increase in Branch membership with the numbers increasing from 89 to 91 (63 Registered + 1 Junior and 9 Friends) together with 18 Partner members. Our membership is roughly in a 5/10 mile radius of Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells. A number of our members have been keeping bees for many years, some over 50 years!
If you have an interest in bees watch this stunning slow motion 6 minute video to see what has maintained their passion for so many years.Click on this link: Dance of the Honey Bee to perhaps spark your enthusiasm. Also have a look at this remarkable video: Mating Flight
In this video taken from 'More Than Honey', you can watch a mating flight as though you were a drone flying alongside the queen. This fascinating video offers an incredible 'Bird's Eye View.'
Frequently Asked Questions: If keeping bees inspires you, you may have a series of questions about bees. Click on FAQ's to see if any of these answers them.
Apiary Meetings: Finally, before you make any outlay on equipment, attend one of our Apiary Meetings by contacting the Apiary Manager nearest to you to see whether you are comfortable handling bees. Details are below.
Barr Wood Apiary TN11 is on the Hildenborough Road between Shipbourne and Hildenborough. For details of meeting dates click on 2017 Programme. For directions on how to get to the site, or if the weather is looking unsuitable for beekeeping, contact the person hosting the meeting, before venturing out. Click here for the list of contacts.
Hilbert Rd Apiary TN2 in Tunbridge Wells is managed by Ellen Montelius. Contact Ellen by email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details of meetings and directions on how to get to the site.
Meetings start in March at 2.00 p.m.on Saturdays. If the weather in the morning looks unsuitable for beekeeping ring the respective host to check first, before venturing out. Dates are detailed in the '2017 Programme'.
Watch this recent short video [9.25 mins.] to see hive inspections in 2009 at Barrwood Apiary, by clicking on:'Barr Wood 2009'
To Join: Simply click on 'Membership' and you will have made your first step to becoming a beekeeper! The second step is to fill in the membership form and return it to our Membership Secretary John Hendrie, at 26, Coldharbour Lane Hildenborough, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9JT.
Benefits of joining our Branch: As well as a full calendar of meetings during the year, you meet other like minded people who have a combined wealth of many, many years experience who are only too willing to help. Discuss your successes and failures with them and they will certainly have had many failures over the years, and their wealth of knowledge may turn those failures into successes for the future. Always remember though, bees are like any livestock, they do not read the same text books as we do! Experienced beekeepers will tell you that you can have many colonies and non of them will behave exactly the same, depending primarily on the queens' vigour and maturity.
Library: This is looked after by Sarah Rapley and if you wish to borrow any of the 70 books contact Sarah on 07 970 484 232 or email email@example.com or she may bring them along to our winter meetings.The recent additions to our Library of Books are detailed here.
Beekeeping Equipment: One of the benefits of membership is that all Thornes equipment can be bought, at a discount, through our Chairman John Hendrie. He may be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To look through their 2016 Catalogue click on Thornes.
Other suppliers are available; below is a list of some of the local ones. Simply click on their name to go to their web site.
For a more comprehensive list of national suppliers click here
Extractor Hire: We bought a new extractor in 2014, which is available for hire at £10.00. to members.If you wish to hire it, please contact our Apiary Manager, Ellen Montelius. Her contact details are given on our CONTACTS page. Also membership includes insurance and the option of subscription to the monthly magazine BeeCraft.You can also avail yourself of a Third Party Insurance cover for possible legal problems and cover for colony losses.