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
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 Summer and Winter Programmes.
The imposition of the Covid19 restrictions from the beginning of the year prevented any group activities for the first six months although we were able to continue our winter programme remotely on Zoom. Meetings included a talk by Entomologist, John Walters in January followed by our February Zoom Meeting, an in-house discussion of various approaches to honey harvesting. Our March meeting was a question and answer session on Zoom ‘Ask the Experts’ with a panel consisting of our own experienced members plus our friends from Buckfast, Martin Hann and Clare Densley. Covid continued to limit any group activities so our series of Zoom meetings continued into April and May with further presentations by Lynn Ingrams of Somerset Beekeepers on the worrying subject of international honey adulteration followed by a detailed talk by author and beekeeper, Graham Kingham of Exeter Branch on the subject of beekeeping microscopy.
The lifting of restrictions in June enabled us to resume our normal summer activities of meetings at members apiaries. Four meetings were held from June to September, beginning with a get-together at Liz Ledsham’s apiary in Bow, followed by a first-time visit to Mary Bennell’s at Jacobstowe. This was followed by an inspection of Neil Lamey’s bees at Sampford Courtenay with our final visit in September to Nethercott House, ‘Farms for City Children’ who are introducing bees to the farm’s activities.
Our Winter Programme commenced with us once more resuming our meetings at Whiddon Down, with another visit from John Walters in October, followed by our Branch AGM on November 11. Our final meeting of the year, a film night, showing the film ‘More than Honey’ at Whiddon Down Village Hall was held on December 9th.
Meetings planned for 2022 start with a talk on ‘Beekeeping in Bermuda’ and also beekeeping in the digital age, given by one of our new members, Mike Krefta on January 13. This will be followed on February 10 by a session on queen rearing by Neil Lamey with out final meeting on March 10, another visit from our friends, Clare Densley and Martin Hann who will talk about the mating of new queens.
And of course - don’t forget our Basic Beekeeping Course starts on Wednesday January 19 at 7 pm at Whiddon Down Village Hall.
For further details contact Sue Baxter on 01837 52920, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Will Pyne on 01837 840733 e-mail email@example.com .