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Stockport Beekeepers’ Newsletter
March 2021

At the AGM in February Brian Gee stood down as Chairman of SBKA, but remains on the Committee with out specific responsibly. Catherine Edwards-Evans  also stood down from her position on the Committee as Programme Manager.  Patricia Watkins and David Lilley were both elected onto the Committee. 

Until the election of a new Chairperson the Branch Secretary will take on the essential duties.

The general committee now consists:

Alistair Taylor - Treasurer

Alan Towse - Education Secretary

Pat Booth - Show Manager

Patricia Watkins - Programme Manager

Roy Brocklehurst - Apiary Manager

David Lilley - Deputy Apiary Manager

Paul Wheeldon - Librarian

Liz Sparkes

Colin Booth

Brian Gee

For the diary

10th March at 7.30 p.m. on Zoom. Stockport Branch meeting - First Spring inspection - a guide.  Graham Royle, Stephen Donohoe and Peter Carefoot will present a ‘what to do’ at your eagerly awaited first inspection. This will be followed by an inter active session where members can share their own tips and ask questions from those present.


27th March from 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on Zoom. Cheshire Beekeepers’ Spring Convention. Details of the days activities are on the CBKA website.

Registration is required for both these events. cheshire-bka.co.uk/events

Peter Carefoot - Secretary

Swarm collection

The Cheshire Committee has revised its swarm collection policy. Those members wishing to collect swarms on behalf of CBKA for 2021 must confirm their intention to continue and also confirm their contact details. A copy of the new policy will be sent to all applicants who must be ratified by SBKA Committee. 


Beekeeping mentors

In 2020 several members supported new beekeepers through mentoring. However, the list of those requiring a mentor was longer than those members prepared to be a mentor. 

Mentoring can be done on a designated one to one basis by physically working together, by telephone or via email. It can also be a combination or all these methods. If you would like to be a beekeeping mentor or to have the support of a mentor, contact the secretary on stockportbkeepers@gmail.com

To buy and to sell

Contact the Secretary if you have beekeeping equipment to sell. The items advertised in the February newsletter were snapped up immediately.


With winter losses becoming evident the secretary now has a list of several  members who want to buy bees for this coming season. If you have colonies to sell or want to buy bees contact the Secretary. 

Beekeeping Insurance

The recent reports of thefts and vandalism of hives and bees from Cheshire members should remind us to review insurance needs for both bees and equipment. Aston Lark Ltd arranges insurance cover for the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and its members nationwide, providing cover for hives, stock and equipment used in connection with beekeeping.  


It is also worth doing a review of basic apiary site security and assess the risk of theft or vandalism. There are security products and software/apps available on the internet and a simple self assessment will tell individuals if the investment is worth the risk of loss or damage. 




Subscriptions for 2021 are now over due. If you do not renew your subs, your Bee Disease Insurance will lapse at the end of March, a time when you are most likely to need this. Also your subscription to BBKA will end. After March there will be a 40 day waiting period before you can claim. In line with data protection regulations your details will be removed from the SBKA data base and you will receive no more communications.   

If you have received this newsletter and do not intend to renew your subscription please advise the Secretary. 


From the apiary

The first 2 weeks of February were bitterly cold here in the outreaches of Glossop. After several cold nights reaching minus 7 °C with some serious snow, it was with relief that all colonies were flying strongly in this week’s sunshine with no trails of bee poo about the hives. They all have plenty of stores so my hopes are raised that they all make it through to the halcyon days of dandelions. The bees are bringing in small bags of bright orange pollen from snowdrops and from the abundant crocus and pussy willow. The yew trees are also full of pollen but I don’’t know if the bees collect this. All colonies have plenty of fondant but I will keep a close eye on levels as consumption increases to match the queen’s egg laying. The nights are still very cold and March can be an unpredictable month. I am in  no rush to open up sealed hives. ​​

We miss having a hive in the garden with all the resulting bee activity and recently thought about just one colony, possibly a nuc. Over the years we have planted well for pollinators and feel the flowers are ‘wasted’ without our honey bees. Then we remember the bumble bees, hover flies, butterflies and moths that fill the garden through summer and  don’t feel too bad. On reflection next day, we also remembered the peace of mind we now have that our neighbours do not feel threatened by our ‘pet bees’.    


Items for the April newsletter should reach the secretary by
Wednesday 24th March.


Contact the Secretary if you do not want to receive emails from Stockport Beekeepers’ Association  

the secretary stockportbkeepers@gmail.com