OBKA Out and About

Autumn Apiary Tidy-up and bee health inspection 08 September 2019

It was a perfect September day for the Woodstock apiary clean up - deep blue sky and negligible wind so that Peter could safely
climb onto the shed roof and restore the netting which had escaped its moorings - bees can now continue to fly up and over the neighbours’ garden.

Throughout the morning, green fingers dug and delved and performed miracles in the bee garden.


For a while it looked as though Birnam Wood had come to Dunsinane as vast quantities of hedge and tree pruning were carried to the bonfire site.

Another group cleaned up frames, smokers, boxes and other equipment for safe storage in an immaculate sorted, swept and dusted in the shed.

After all the hard physical work it was great to smell the barbecued sausages and hot soup provided by Merilyn, Gill and Lynn.

In the afternoon, Mark, our seasonal bee inspector gave an introductory talk followed by a thorough inspection of a couple of  hives, carefully explaining why, how and what he was doing.


Many thanks to everybody who came and helped, including in particular Mark Lynch for his learned demonstration of how to perform a disease inspection, and also to the kind un-named people who brought us cakes for lunch.


Hope to see you at the 2010 Spring Apiary Clean-up!

Blenheim Flower Show 21 - 23 June 2019

The show seems be getting bigger and better each year with a steady flow of honey sales, enquiries about beekeeping, the beginner’s course, bumble bee nests and spotting the queen in the observation hive.


Eric Perkins managed to do a deal with Brookside Nurseries who supplied some bee friendly flowers for the stall.
During the show David Lord, Mark Blanchette and myself aided by Eric managed 3 live bee demonstrations a day. Only one person (a beekeeper) got stung over the 3 days on the finger whilst doing a live inspection with no gloves.


On the Saturday a swarm of Blenheim bees set up camp on one of the show gardens! With a lot of smoke it was driven into a skep and duly boxed ready to go into one of Gill Oliver’s hives.

Thanks to Jonathan and Kevin, the apiary mangers, who with their girls managed to produce over 200 jars of Oil Seed Rape honey for the show. We made around £1200 from honey sales.


Thanks to all those who helped run the stall over a very enjoyable weekend, which ended in a group hug* (unheard of in beekeeping circles!).


Peter Hawkins

* Editor’s Note: Sadly I have not been sent any pictures of the Group Hug

OBKA Garden Tidy-up


The OBKA Apiary is located in, and with thanks to, the Marlborough School in Woodstock.


As part of the quid-pro-quo for having the Apiary we have regular sessions where OBKA members tidy up some of the gardens within the grounds of the school - and of course also do a bit of tidying of the Apiary site as well.


The last such session was on Sunday 30th September 2018 when some 10 Members spent the morning digging, cutting and pruning. The ground around the hives in the Apiary was also tidied up and is now looking quite neat! Their reward was some tea, biscuits and soup. A good days work and thanks from the Committee to all who came along.

Blenheim Flower Show 2018

OBKA had a stand at the Blenheim Flower Show (22 - 24 June 2018). In addition to answering lots of questions about beekeeping and the Taster Day we also sold all the honey we took from the OBKA Training Apiary raising £414 for Association funds. In addition one of the stand helpers also managed to sell all their honey.


If you would like OBKA to have a stand at your event please fill in the form here.