apiculture  n. beekeeping

apiarist n. one who keeps bees

apiary n.  a place where bees are kept

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© Okehampton Branch of the Devon Beekeepers Association 2020 - Registered Charity 270675

Not a member?

 Non-members are welcome to come along to any of our winter meetings; just turn up and introduce yourself.  The Village Hall in Whiddon Down is on the road exiting the A30 in the direction of Moretonhampstead.  The Village Hall is next to the Post Inn pub and there is a good-sized car-park.

If you are considering taking up beekeeping and want to see what it's like to work with live bees then you will be welcome at an apiary meeting. However, you will need to contact us beforehand so we can arrange for suitable protective clothing to be provided

Apiary Meetings

Okehampton branch doesn't have its own apiary so our summer meetings are held at members apiaries. One advantage of this is that meetings are held all over our area so there should be a meeting nearby to all members at some time during the summer. Another advantage is that we get to see different styles of beekeeping in action.

Okehampton Branch Winter Programme.


The imposition of the Covid19 lockdown from the last week of March this year has seriously disrupted branch activities this year. Fortunately we were able to complete our winter programme of talks at Whiddon Down Village Hall with a film night to start the year in January, a visit from Simon Jones, our NBU Regional Bee Inspector who in February gave us a talk on the principals of queen rearing and a very interesting presentation by Neil Lamey in March, introducing the use of his own invention, extra wide dummy boards and how these can help with colony management using double brood boxes on National hives. Neil also organised a branch visit to National Bee Supplies, which thankfully also preceded lockdown, where some thirty branch members assembled at the National Bee Supplies workshop and were given a demonstration of their beeswax refining and foundation production equipment.

Sadly lockdown interrupted this year’s Basic Beekeeping course half way through, following the fourth session. It also prohibited this year’s annual dinner and also a planned (and potentially very popular) self-help skep making course, being organised by our chairman, Simon O’Sullivan. This year’s planned summer programme of apiary visits has had to be abandoned as have showcase events, Devon County Show in May and our own Okehampton Show in August.

But all has not been totally lost. Okehampton Branch has hosted several ‘Question and Answer’ sessions on Zoom, chaired by Simon and typically accessed by a dozen or more ‘tech savvy’ branch members. Branch Committee meetings have also been taking place on Zoom so business is continuing (albeit not quite ‘as usual’).

Our branch AGM would normally take place on Thursday November 12 at Whiddon Down village hall. This seems unlikely to be possible this year so the committee are investigating alternatives such as a larger venue to allow social distancing or an on-line AGM on Zoom.

We are very aware of the need to complete this year’s Basic Beekeeping Course as course students still have four sessions outstanding. The trouble of course is that Covid makes planning well nigh impossible – but the committee are discussing what options we have and those affected will be advised of these when we can move forward.

For further details contact Simon O’Sullivan on 01363 82838 or Margaret Harris on 01363  881215 e-mail mahatcherrytree@icloud.com