© Stockport Beekeepers 2018

About Us

There are five branches of the Cheshire Beekeepers Association located around the County.

 

Members of the group come from an area ranging from Partington, Glossop, Macclesfield, Wilmslow as well as Stockport.

THE COMMITTEE

CHESHIRE BEEKEEPERS’ ASSOCIATION 

Stockport Branch

Branch Chair: Brian Gee

Show Manager: Pat Booth

Secretary: Peter Carefoot

Programme Manager: Catharine Edwardes-Evans

Treasurer: Alistair Taylor

Social Secretary: Sue Payge

Apiary Manager: Roy Brocklehurst

Librarian: Paul Wheeldon

Education Secretary: Alan Towse

Other Members: Colin Booth, Liz Sparkes

All enquiries should be directed to Stockport Beekeepers Secretary:  stockportbkeepers@gmail.com

A training apiary was initially established at the Dialstone Centre but following the recent closure of this centre this has now moved to Woodbank Park. From the beginning a main aim was to educate beekeepers and a training course was developed which the branch still undertake each year which involves a nine week theory and six week practical course.

A series of indoor meetings are held throughout the winter months to pass on knowledge and new ideas and in the summer there are visits to members’ apiaries where techniques can be demonstrated.

Beekeepers love to talk about bees and the branch attend many events to share their hobby with the public and sell the products of their hives. We often take an observation hive with live bees and people love to find the queen bee.
The branch is headed by a committee but many other branch members give their time and effort to fill a busy year learning about, teaching about and tending to the bees.

 

Email enquiries to stockportbkeepers@gmail.com

Stockport Branch Report 2018

 

Branch membership numbers ended the year at 207. 

 

The year began with the Beginners’ Course on 8th January with 29 keen and eager prospective beekeepers signing up. This gave some administrative and accommodation problems but Alan, Education Secretary, sorted these out and delivered a successful coarse with many attendees starting with their own bees during the summer. 

 

The practical course during May and June also proved very popular. The theft of a colony and winter losses gave Brian and Roy an interesting challenge to get hive numbers to a level to sustain this course. However, the purchase of three excellent colonies from Ian Molyneux provided calm bees for the course and ensured the hive numbers in the Branch apiary were soon up to sufficient numbers to maintain the educational requirements.

 

The honey extraction night in October was very well attended with some new beekeepers anxiously bringing their first supers for extraction. The total harvest for the Branch apiary at Woodbank was 240 lbs, a highly satisfactory amount given the poor start to the season.

 

The theft of a hive of bees on the weekend of  28th & 29th April 2018 prompted the Committee to review the security of the apiary within the fenced area managed by Stockport Council. A new high security fence was soon installed and discussions started with Stockport Council to increase security on the outer perimeter. The shipping containers used for storing equipment were also made more secure and a new roof was added later in the year.

 

In spite of high expenditure on security and new colonies of bees, the Branch ended the year in a strong financial position. Good sales of Branch honey and a full Beginners’ course provided strong and reliable income sources. 

 

The monthly events programme was again full and varied with good attendance at the formal presentations at Woodford and the external apiary visits. The Branch attended 8 country shows and events, with the exhibition hives once again proving very popular with the general public. Individual committee members made several presentations to various organisations throughout the year. The Branch offers thanks to Graham Royle for his continuing support. 

 

In March discussion started with Stockport Council for the installation of bee hives on the Council Offices, Fred Perry House, in Stockport. Following extensive work on risk assessment and access issues, Alan Towse confirmed that bees were installed on the Fred Perry building on 29th June. Three Council staff will attend the 2019 Beginners’ Course so that the Council will be self sufficient in beekeeping management. This project is an excellent example of the increasing close working relationship with Stockport Council and Stockport Beekeepers, with more collaborative work planned for 2019.

 

The annual Honey Show on 10th November was once again a great success thanks to  organiser Pat Booth. Apart from honey and wax there were some imaginative and delicious entries in the confectionary section. 

 

Our beekeeping year ended in December with a Hot Pot Supper and Social Evening. With excellent food and a challenging quiz, the event was a great success. Many thanks to organisers Catharine and Sue for making it all happen.

 

Peter Carefoot

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