The BBKA Forum

by Jane Moseley

Now if like me you are thinking what the heck is the BBKA Forum, I will endeavour to explain in very simple terms. Each County sends 2 representatives to discuss topics of interest/concern as proposed by the County Divisions & BBKA at a one day meeting. These findings are then presented back to the representatives and submitted to the BBKA for action.

Chaired by Brian Ripley, BBKA Chairman, the meeting opened on time with a keen start straight into the subject area of Commercial Chemical Endorsements which had been raised by the Twickenham division. The result of the debate was mixed and nothing was really determined.

We moved on then to the Course in a Case, which you may have heard me banging on about. Well this is a comprehensive detailed Bee Keeping Course, in a Case hence it’s name, which has been developed to provide each Division with quality materials that enable us to provide up to date current information at a Basic level. Heavily subsidised the course is both in printed and electronic form and the Bishops Stortford division will be using this material in its forthcoming course in the new year. Additional materials are being created - to take BeeKeepers to the next level and the first of these should be available at the ADM (Annual Delegates Meeting) in January.

BBKA has funding from FERA specifically for the training of trainers but works with Government Departments on the Healthy Bee Board in addition to developing it’s own courses. Through the FERA funding BBKA hopes to push through 400 trainers through the programme between November and March, when the fund may well be cut. So if you want to take advantage - do so now! See the next edition which will have a big education theme for more info on what’s going on and available education wise. We then broke out into discussion groups to discuss the materials and how it can be delivered to improve standards throughout the year to all members.

In the current environmental climate it has been determined that Research is vital to enable us to improve the health of our Bees. The question asked of attendees was what’s the best way to spend the meagre £63k of funds within the BBKA Research fund. We were asked to consider Applied, Case Awards, Scale and Topics for Research. Unanimously every break out group determined that Bee Keepers in the field could take part and that we should use our extensive membership intelligence as a resource for research undertaking and analysis.

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