Beekeeping in England

In England there are probably about 40,000 beekeepers with nearly all of them being small scale beekeepers (From 1 to around 30 colonies) and many of these beekeepers belong, through a local association, to the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA). Those beekeepers who operate more than about 40 colonies (up to around 3,000) are usually members of The Bee Farmers Association. The average number of colonies kept by the small scale beekeepers is around 3 so that we calculate that, in total, there are somewhere between 180,000 and 200,000 colonies here in England.

Work with Youth

There are several organisations who work with young people. In addition to the international organisations such as Scouts and Guides, we also have organisations such as the Boys Brigade, The Sea Cadets and one called UK Youth. We also have a scheme called the Duke of Edinburgh Award which aims to reward young people for specific acheivements be they physical challenges or educational achievements.

National Competitions

Interesting tips for Apitourism

England has a wide variety of beekeeping terrain but, because we are such a densely populated country it is very difficult to find any situation in which a mono-floral honey can be produced except on the heather moors. Heather honey is not exclusive to the British Isles but we have some of the most beautiful areas in which it is gathered. Should any beekeepers wish to visit Britain as Api-tourists then a visit whilst the heather is in bloom (end July to early Sept) would be very rewarding.

Biggest Association

The Largest beekeeping organisation is The British Beekeepers Association which is based at The National Beekeeping Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG. The phone number is 02476 696 679 and the email address is bbka@bbka.org.uk.

Beekeeping Schools

We are in the early stages of trying to build a register of schools and colleges who practice beekeeping but we are a long way from being able to publish it.

ICYB contact person, email

Ian Homer


Contact for a youngster for AYB
(Association of Young Beekeepers)

Sam Stott