We are a very friendly and active association of hobbyist beekeepers in and around Leeds, West Yorkshire and surrounding areas.
We share a common interest in:
learning about and caring for honeybees
producing good quality honey
producing beeswax products
encouraging more people to join us in our hobby
Our objectives are:
to promote and further the craft of beekeeping for the benefit of association members
to raise public awareness to the importance of bees and beekeeping to the environment
We are dedicated to the education and support of beekeepers of all levels of experience and the health and good husbandry of honeybees in our area and beyond.
Our association was formed on 25th July 1943 as the Leeds County Beekeepers Association, later in 1949, changing name to the Leeds Beekeepers Association.
Our home apiary is inside the Home Farm at Temple Newsam, a stunning Tudor/Jacobean house with grounds landscaped by Capability Brown. We have been successfully keeping bees here for over 30 years, with the bees taking full advantage of the legacy of said Mr. Brown, who incorporated large areas of trees and shrubs in his landscaping.
We have in excess of 200 members, with new ones coming along all the time (this photograph shows some of our lady members at a meeting, showing off a colourful array of beekeeping suits!).
Our Association is a growing one, with a wide variety of members of all ages and levels of beekeeping experience and from all walks of life.
From April to September, we hold our weekly Apiary Meetings at 6.30 on Wednesday evenings, at the apiary at Temple Newsam. This is also when we have our training sessions for the beginners – a Weekend course, an intense couple of days of training, and a Winter course, which will begin in the Apiary with some practical sessions, but continue indoors at a local meeting hall.
We know that beginners’ courses are just that – only the beginning! So we strive to build on that knowledge by providing ‘improver’ sessions for those who aren’t ready or don’t have the time for the BBKA Modules just yet. These can cover anything from queen finding, to preparing for winter, to treating for varroa, and they’ve proved extremely popular indeed. And there are occasional master classes for those that want them too.
In addition, during the Winter, when there are no weekly apiary meetings, we have monthly Winter Talks on a variety of bee-related topics.
We also have Saturday Apiary Meetings on the second Saturday of every month, from 10.00 a.m.
Throughout the year, we do our best to fulfill requests from schools, local food fairs, scout groups, WI groups, Horticultural societies, etc. These groups show a lot of interest in beekeeping and the plight of honeybees, and although not everyone can be a beekeeper, almost everyone wants to help and understand what bees need and how they can help.
As well as the business end of beekeeping, we are happy to say that we’re a sociable bunch … every Wednesday (whether it’s been an Apiary evening or not) is pint night for those inclined to do so. Some Wednesdays are busier than others, but we all enjoy a good chinwag at the end of the evening in the local, as you can see from this picture, where there is much discussion about beekeeping adventures – tales of swarms as big as a house, and stings even bigger!!