all about bees

THE LONDON BEEKEEPERS’ ASSOCIATION

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The London Beekeepers’ Association (LBKA) is a membership organisation that supports and represents beekeepers and beekeeping in Central London. We provide training, promote best practice and provide advice, support and education to beekeepers, organisations and the wider public.

LBKA members and their bees are very important to us. We provide education and support so that London’s beekeepers can enjoy this fascinating hobby and ensure their bees are kept well and responsibly. Beekeeping in London presents special challenges. It is crucial that new beekeepers have the right level of competence to manage their colonies, recognise disease, minimise swarming and avoid their bees being a nuisance to the public.

We have a strong programme of courses and offer mentoring with LBKA volunteers with excellent beekeeping experience at our teaching apiaries around London. We encourage members to take the BBKA Basic Assessment – which provides the information and confidence to keep bees – and offer free revision classes and support for this and other BBKA Modules. Many of our members are involved in community and outreach bee projects. We often visit schools and attend events where we gladly share our knowledge of bees and forage with the wider public.

Because of London’s micro-climate our season can be longer than neighbouring rural areas. Bees and flowers come together and it is critical that there is a good succession of flowering plants to see bees through the year. The number of bee colonies in London has doubled over the last four years but in some areas honey yields are down. The associated competition amongst bees for pollen and nectar is a contributing factor. The LBKA is working hard for collaborations with environmental groups, business, councils and other beekeeping associations to promote our pro-forage message. We are striving to identify existing distribution and balance between available forage and colony densities. Some parts of London give cause for concern. Everyone can contribute towards improving levels of forage and what is good for bees is good for us too. We are also working with researchers studying the diseases and the pesticides that affect bees and use their findings to inform the debate.

The London Beekeeping Association is the voice for London’s bees and beekeepers. We seek to engage with anyone interested in bees and you don’t have to be a beekeeper to join us.

If you live in London and already keep bees, intend to do so or are simply interested in this fascinating hobby, LBKA is the association for you. Even if you don’t keep bees, joining us will help support our cause, our campaigns and education programmes.

Words by the Chairman of LBKA – Richard Glassborow

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