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Richmond Online Community Portal » Richmond and District Beekeepers' Association

Richmond and District Beekeepers' Association

RDBKA is an association for people who keep bees and for others interested in the craft within an area around Richmond town from Masham to Barnard Castle. It has been in existence since 1936 and like many other beekeeping associations has survived the ups and downs created by World Wars, financial markets, changing agricultural policy and local farming techniques.

RDBKA has over 100 members who range from novice to expert. 

We hold monthly meets outdoors on Sundays during the Spring and Summer at members' apiaries. Winter meets are held indoors on a Monday evening and provide opportunities to learn from talks, demonstrations and discussing the year with fellow members. We can also help with swarms too.

RDBKA is affiliated to the Yorkshire Beekeepers' Association (YBKA) and the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA).


Becoming Proficient at Beekeeping...

RDBKA offers 'Experience Days', Weekend Courses, Beginners' Courses, Novices' Courses and can assist members wishing to take BBKA qualifications in beekeeping.

We have a Teaching Apiary for those wishing to practise handling skills whilst supervised, and where we also hold specific demonstrations of the craft.  With prior notificaion and agreement, we can also offer specific talks on beekeeping.  We have a small library and, with hundreds of years of members' experience between us, we can offer sound beekeeping advice at any level. 

In association with the MOD Nature Reserve Management Team, RDBKA runs in May an annual 'Introduction to Beekeeping' Weekend at Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve, Catterick Garrison.  This is a 2-day, 'hands-on' practical weekend open to anyone who might like to try their hands at beekeeping.  The cost is £50 per adult or £80 per couple. 

RDBKA will be running a Beginners' Course (for those with no experience of beekeeping) comprising 10 x 2hr sessions, every other Tuesday from 27 Nov 18 - 23 Apr 19, with 2 additional practical handling sessions in May/Jun at our Teaching Apiary.  It is an evening class from 7.30pm-9.30pm, held in Colburn Church Hall, and will be completed in time for next year's 'bee season' (Apr - Aug). It comprises all a beginner needs to know to become a proficient beekeeper; it is highly recommended for those intending to keep bees in 2018. Cost £70 and open to the public; Friends/Members of the Associaiton will have preference. Course places are limited.

RDBKA will also be running a Novices' Course in the New Year (for those who have kept bees for a year) and for those who are Friends/Members of the Association. Starting on 5 Feb 19 and finishing on 30 Apr 19, it comprises 7 x 2hr sessions, from 7.30-9.30pm every other Tuesday at Colburn Church Hall, and finishes in time for the 'bee season'. Also included are 2 Practical Handling sessions at our Teaching Apiary.  This course equips all to meet the standards of a practical examination, should they wish a qualification: the BBKA Certificate of Proficiency in Apiculture (exam fees are inclusive). Cost £70. Course places are limited.

Please see website for all the details.

How to Join?

Beekeeping is both an interesting and rewarding hobby, however, honeybees need to be managed and and kept heathy like any other livestock. There is much to learn.

Is it for you... before you rush out and buy some?  

If you or someone around your bees suffers from anaphylactic shock then maybe beekeeping is not for you. You will get stung at some point ......

The easiest way to see if you will like beekeeping or not is to join the Association or to attend a meeting.  To apply for membership or to contact us please go via the online form on our website below: 

Visit our web site:

Contact information for this organisation:

Alison Shepherd. Secretary RDBKA Tel: 07940841625 Email:

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