Beekeeping

The following report has been produced following advice from the British Beekeepers Association, Friends of the Bees Association,
Ealing and District Beekeeping Association.

 

  1. Anyone wishing to keep bees on an allotment should have attended an accredited Beekeeping course and achieved formal qualifications in Beekeeping.
  2. Before introducing bees into an allotment environment persons wishing to keep bees must have at least 12 months prior experience in Beekeeping. (i.e. not a novice)
  3. Anyone wishing to keep bees must be a member of a Beekeeping association and provide evidence of having Public Liability Insurance.
  4. Beekeeping must be a joint venture to ensure the bees are properly cared for during holidays, illness and such.
  5. Hives must not be adjacent to public walkways or allotment boundaries. It is recommended that Hives are situated in the centre of at least 2 full plots that are side by side. It is also recommended that a 6ft hedge or fence be erected to ensure bees are above head height so as not to disturb neighbouring plot holders.
  6. Hives should be opened between mid morning and mid afternoon and not while other plot holders are nearby.
  7. It is the responsibility of the Beekeepers to ensure the bees are not a nuisance to the public or other plot holders; and also to control the number of bees to prevent swarming.
  8. Bees must have an adequate shallow water supply away from other plot holders as large numbers of bees will gather near puddles, ponds etc and once they have found a supply they loathe moving to another one.
  9. It is also recommended that derelict or under subscribed allotment sites be used for beekeeping.

 

Having considered the above points the Committee decided that currently our sites could not accommodate the above recommendations for the following reasons:

  1. Currently, as we have such a large waiting list we are only letting ½ plots
  2. The erection of fences or hedges of 6ft height could cast unwanted shade over adjoining plots
  3. As it is a condition of the lease with TBC that allotments are to be cultivated for the production of Fruit, Flowers and Vegetables there is currently no provision for the keeping of honey bees alone.
  4. If one of the beekeepers gave up their plot, what then happens to that plot? It may be difficult to re-let as the new tenant would either have to commit to the bees or the bees would have to go.
  5. The Committee recommend that all tenants are encouraged to attract and care for the bumble bees in the area by providing shelters for winter, growing suitable flowers and letting some of their crop go over to provide food for bees to keep them nourished through winter.
  6. The Committee will continue to keep an open mind and should circumstances become such that make the keeping of Honeybees is more practical it shall be open to review.