Bee Safari, 1st June 1-5pm

On this occasion we will be doing a “Bee Safari”, wherein we visit 4 different apiaries in the company of our excellent Seasonal Bee Inspector, Lisa Jenkins. We will start at 1300 in St Nicholas-at-Wade, where Bob Heddle has 5 hives, including a Zest hive. Then we will move onto our Bekesbourne apiary (approx start 1415), where Lisa will show us the sugar roll technique, which is great for detecting exotic species such as Tropilaelaps, and also counting varroa. Next stop will be Bridge at ~1505, in a typical home-based apiary with 2 colonies. Our last stop will be in Chartham Hatch, at 1540, where there will be double brood hives, and refreshments.

Full joining instructions will be found in a recent email, including the important w3w locations, and parking instructions.

April 2024 apiary meeting

Just to confirm that we will have our first apiary meeting of the season on Saturday 20th April, 2-4pm, at our Palmsted Wood apiary.  Hopefully you have already seen the date on our website, or on our Facebook page.

As well as early season inspections of a few weak colonies, we will be demonstrating some or all of the following colony management techniques

  • shook swarm or drone brood culling, on a colony that seems badly infested with varroa
  • a colony split of a large colony, using the nucleus method
  • uniting of two colonies, where one has a poorly laying queen

As usual, please come with clean suits and gloves. Continuing Kent BKA’s policy from 2023, we will ask folks to sign a disclaimer form, acknowledging the (small) risks inherent in beekeeping.

For any newbees, we will show you the principles of opening a beehive, and looking for signs of health, and any swarming preparations.  If you don’t have a suit, we have a small selection from which you can borrow for the afternoon.  We don’t like leather gloves, but kitchen marigolds are fine, as are hospital/surgeons’ gloves.  Wear wellie boots (to keep the bees from your ankles), and preferably avoid woollen/hairy clothing, as bees can get caught up in the fibres. 

Any questions about visiting the apiary, just drop a line to Adrian at

February 2024 Branch Meeting

The first of our 2024 meetings will be held on Wednesday 7th February, at 7.30-9.30pm in the Lounge at  Littlebourne War Memorial Hall Complex (w3w link), High St, Littlebourne, Canterbury CT3 1ST

You will all be aware of the threat that Asian Hornets pose to beekeeping, and insect life generally.  The hibernating queens will soon be emerging to try to establish nests this Spring.  We need to intercept these.  Mark Hobday has been preparing plans for the Canterbury branch to do its part in combatting this threat to beekeeping, so do try to come along. 

We will be providing monitoring traps, and attractant liquids to everyone who can join us at the meeting.  If you could bring an empty liquid container (recycled drinks bottles would be ideal, 500-1000mL) that would be great.  Mark also sent out a newsletter recently, and it would be helpful if you could review that, and bring any questions you might have.

No need to let us know if you are coming; however, it’s always nice to accompany a cup of tea/coffee with cakes/biscuits, if any of you have the time to make/bake.

Other Dates for your diary:

March branch meeting (Littlebourne Village Hall); Wed 6th March 7.30pm
April branch meeting (Littlebourne Village Hall); Wed 3rd April 7.30pm

Christmas Party 2023

In what has become a long-running tradition, we are planning our December branch meeting to be a festive occasion, with the focus on food and good company.  Magdalene Mei Halkes will lead a crack team of chefs in producing meals for us all to share,  We are still finalising the menu, but it will be centered around a winter vegetable stew, served with rice.  Whilst a few people have already offered to help produce cakes and pies, any other offers to bake would be gladly received.  If your skills are better aligned to Christmas decorations, or quizzing, please let us know – all help is welcome.

Location: Littlebourne War Memorial Hall, 56 High St, Littlebourne, Canterbury CT3 1ST

Date/Time: Wednesday 6th December at 1930-2200

RSVP by email to “committee @”, by 30th November, so that we can cater appropriately.  Partners and significant others are very welcome to join us.  Numbers will be limited, due to the size of the hall, so please book soon!

As you know, the hall has a small kitchen, so to keep things simple, we ask that you bring your own plates and cutlery, together with your own choice of drinks.
We also ask that you pay in advance to keep administration of the monies simple.   Please deposit £12/person into the Canterbury branch, Kent BKA account.  Account number: 00371771 sortcode: 30-91-60, using your name(s) as reference.

If you want to pay with a cheque, please let us know.

November Branch Meeting/AGM – “NOT a Honey Show”

Our next indoor meetings will be held on Wednesday 1st November, at 7.30-9.30pm in the Lounge at  Littlebourne War Memorial Hall Complex (w3w link), High St, Littlebourne, Canterbury CT3 1ST

This will be our AGM meeting, but also a “not a Honey Show” meeting. 

We need to elect/confirm the committee for the next year – and we are always looking for people to join the committee.  One long-standing member is stepping back, and we have to develop a good plan for Asian Hornet activities for the Canterbury branch, so it would be great if one or more people could help out in this area.  Please contact any of the committee, in particular Adrian, if you are interested.

The “NOT a Honey Show” element of the meeting is unjudged, and intended to be a bit of fun to celebrate the highs and lows of beekeeping in 2023.  Please bring one or more items to discuss informally.  Here are some ideas:

  •  Honey – Ideally in 8oz or 12 oz jars with a label with your name and where your apiary is. (Honey will be tasted and comments shared on appearance, taste, texture etc but this will not be competitive)
  •  Products made with honey – drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, cakes, savouries, preserves, salad dressing – whatever else you do with honey to consume! Please mark all products with your name and recipe if appropriate.
  • Wax – Any products produced by wax – wax bars, wax blocks, polish, candles, cosmetics, wax cloths…..
  • Art work – anything arty inspired by your beekeeping, produced either by yourself or others
  • Bee gifts – we will have one collection of the most beautiful/ prized bee gifts you have been given and another for the least lovely – so please gather up all the bee gifts you have been given
  • Contraptions – What have you made, or accumulated which helps with your beekeeping? Tools, gadgets

it’s always nice to accompany a cup of tea/coffee with cakes/biscuits, if any of you have the time to make/bake – combine it with the “honey based products” above!