Okehampton Beekeepers are one of eleven branches of the Devon Beekeepers’ Association (DBKA). Founded in 1875, the DBKA is part of the national organisation for all the county and regional associations and their branches, the ‘British Beekeepers’ Association’ (BBKA). Membership fees are split between the national, regional and local associations. Members of Okehampton branch cover a wide rural area with the majority falling within a twelve-mile radius of Okehampton. The map shows the approximate position of member’s apiaries.
Our branch programme matches the beekeeping year. During the summer we are out and about with the bees, conducting our meetings at members apiaries where hive inspections and manipulations are demonstrated. Summer meetings run from May to September with a minimum of one meeting a month and often two; usually on a Saturday afternoon but a few weekday evening sessions may be programmed. During the months October to March indoor meetings are held where guest or member speakers present a subject of beekeeping interest. In May the DBKA takes part in the annual Devon County Agricultural Show by running a Bees and Honey exhibition. Okehampton branch take part by producing an informative beekeeping display in competition with the other DBKA branches for the Stevenson Trophy. Members are also encouraged to take part, by entering in the many competitive classes for the Bees & Honey Competition or by volunteering for stewarding. In August the annual Okehampton Agricultural Show takes place at which we have our own beekeeping marquee and honey show. Here we meet the public and other beekeepers. Our marquee gives us the opportunity to put on displays and demonstrations, sell honey and bee products to the public and to generally promote bees and beekeeping. The competition show benches display the entries in open and novice classes covering a wide range of honey, bee products and honey cookery.