We are passionate about beekeeping
Oxfordshire Beekeepers’ Association (OBKA) is a registered charity that has supported beekeepers across Oxfordshire for over one hundred years. With over three hundred members, we provide training courses at our apiary in Woodstock to the north of Oxford, support a range of social media channels to enable our members to share their experiences of beekeeping, and organise talks at various locations across the county during the winter period. We have a diverse and friendly membership, from beginners through to experienced beekeepers running up to fifty hives. Where practicable, we support education projects in schools and in the community and we run one or two demonstration events for the public every summer. We have a mentoring programme and help members gain experience by helping at our teaching apiary.
We are happy to welcome new members from whatever background or level of experience.
Follow OBKA's beekeeping adventures on 'Our Beekeeping Year - 2021' page including a video tour of our training apiary and bee garden.
HELP Our Bees
Bees are in decline
We can all help to ensure that honey bees and other pollinating insects survive and thrive. Protect pollinators by growing more flowers, avoid disturbing insect nests, or mow your lawn less often to allow plants to flower. And if you are lucky enough to come across a swarm of honey bees, increase their chances of survival by contacting your local swarm collector.
Our annual beginners course starts in February with an introductory “What is Beekeeping” meeting. This is followed by a series of practical sessions conducted by our experienced tutors over the period May to September where you will be taken through the full cycle of bee behaviour. For more information about the course including how to apply please visit the Learning about Beekeeping section of the website.
For those who are not quite sure if they want to attend the Beginners Course we arrange Annual Taster Days; 2019's was on 17th August; see here for more details.
Enjoy a range of benefits
There are many benefits of being a member of Oxfordshire Beekeepers Association, including indirect membership of the British Beekeepers Association, free Bee Disease Insurance for your hives and access to knowledge and experience from Oxfordshire's beekeepers. Members also receive a monthly Newsletter which contains advice, notices of OBKA events and activities and adverts for bees and equipment. Click here to find out more about membership.
Prof Geraldine Wright (c) G Wright (2021)
Meet our New President - Professor Geraldine Wright
Prof Geraldine Wright is Professor of Comparative Physiology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. Her lab specializes in research on the physiology and behaviour of bees. She has over 25 years of experience in insect nutrition and has worked with honeybees for the past 20 years. Her research program includes expertise in bee chemical senses (olfaction and gustation), the mechanisms of learning and memory, and bee nutrition. Her group has made major contributions to what is known about the honeybee and the bumblebee’s sense of taste. One of her contributions in this field published in the journal, Nature, showed that bees had difficulty detecting neonicotinoid pesticides in nectar. Her lab discovered that bees have special gustatory mechanisms mediated by gap junctions for sugar detection reported in Current Biology. Her group was the first to show that non-nutrient compounds like caffeine found in nectar influence the behaviour of bees. Her lab is currently investigating the basis for addictive behaviour in bees.
On this Website: We are continually improving this website so that it has more relevant content for both those considering taking up beekeeping and existing members of the OBKA. We have a page that takes you through our year in the Training apiary and an Activities page so that you can see what the Association does in Oxfordshire. There is information about the Asian Hornet and Swarms. Our Members Only area that includes a Classifieds section where members can buy and sell equipment and advertise potential apiary sites, watch videos of Zoom talks, look for books in the the OBKA library (we have over 200 books that members can borrow) and a Q&A section where members can post their beekeeping questions.