Introducing the Ormskirk Bees Association.

Honey bees have been kept for at least 8,000 years,with the skills and crafts of beekeeping, being passed down from generation to generation. Honey bees and their wild relatives are under threat now as never before due to a number of factors,among them habitat loss and the use of insecticides featuring prominently. 

Another enormous threat to honey bees is the Varroa destructor a parasitic mite of honey bees capable of devastating honey bee colonies.According to scientific studies, the main cause of honey bee loss is this mite, which can be found in almost every apiary in Europe. The mite attaches itself on to Apis species. Once in the colony it lays its eggs within cap brood and feeds on the larvae of Apis the mite is also a known disease vector.

In the UK Varroa is now endemic in England and Wales. It is also widespread in main land Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. To read more about this mite visit https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/index.cfm?padeid=93

Honey bees are very important pollinators of crops both for the gardener and the farmer, indeed for food growers throughout the world. They depend on them being both numerous and healthy. 

Have you ever thought of keeping bees for a hobby or as a profession , but have insufficient knowledge about the subject ? If so let me introduce you to the Ormskirk Beekeepers Association , a branch of the Lancashire and North West Beekeeping Association. The Association welcome people who are interested in taking up beekeeping either as a hobby or as a profession.

Full membership costs twenty pounds per annum,which is remarkable value when one considers the advantages of membership. For the fee includes one years membership of the British Beekeepers Association {BBKA}, Public and Product Liability Insurance and Bee Disease Insurance for up to three hives. 

The Ormskirk Beekeepers Association also offers a focal point for beekeepers to meet and discuss issues of mutual interest.

* Provide information and courses to prospective beekeepers.

* Provide help, encouragement and a monitoring service for people who have taken charge of their first beehive.

* Attending local events to promote beekeeping and to promote a good bee breeding service in the local area.

* Also on offer to members is the opportunity to borrow books from the Branch library at the meetings, and returned at the next meeting. The books include --

' The Honey bee Around and About' by Celia Davis

' The Honey bee Inside Out' by Celia Davis

' The Biology of the Honey bee' by Mark Winston

' Practice Beekeeping' by Clive de Bruyn

And many more. The Branch Secretary Penny Oakley may be contacted via the website for more information. 

Bee hives

Copyright to this image belongs to the British Beekeepers Association

Tutor Martin Smith in action

Copyright to this image belongs to the British Beekeeping Association

Beekeeping courses

Each spring the Ormskirk branch runs a two day course as an introduction to Beekeeping. The course takes place at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk and at their Out Apiary at Kings Moss.

{ The branch website has a map of the location and how to get there}

Fir Tree Farm Shop and Cafe is the location of the Ormskirk and Croston Beekeepers Association's Out Apiary, and monthly branch meetings are held there throughout the summer. The farm is owned by Alan and Edwina Abbott and has been in the Abbot Family for over one hundred years.

The farm joined the Farm Stewardship Scheme in 2003 and is committed to creating habitat for Skylark,Lapwing, Grey Partridge and Brown hare all of which are on the Red List of Conservation Concern under the UK.Biodiversity Action Plan.Indeed the management of the farm are obviously doing things right for at the last count eighty one species of birds have been recorded on the farm since joining the Steward Scheme. 

The beekeeping course is led by Martin Smith. The tutor has been keeping bees for over twenty five years, and is a Branch Committee member. Participants on the course will be taught how to understand and recognise the basic parts of the hive.

*To understand the life cycle of the honey bee.

*To understand what is involved in beekeeping. Along with practical experiences at the Out Apiary.

* To be able to make an informed decision as to whether beekeeping is right for them.


Integrated pest management at the hives Copyright to this image belongs to the British Beekeepers Association.

Fir Tree farm shop and cafe.Photograph by Dal.

Entrance to the farmland and wildlife walks. 

Photograph by Dal.

The Branch website

The branch website also offers the visitor, by way of clicking on the content banners--

* Blog,

* Equipment and bees

* Queen rearing.

* Contacts.

* Community events. 

Links to other associated sites of interest. And much much more.

There is a direct link from this site to the Ormskirk Beekeepers Association website by clicking on the Links banner. Scroll down to the relevant box and click. This will take you directly to the website's home page. It is well worth a visit.

 Checking the hive . Image belongs to the British Beekeepers Association

Thank you for visiting.