Welcome from the Southport and Formby Branch of the Lancashire and NW Beekeepers Association. There are six branches that make up the Lancashire Association, of which our branch is one of the smallest. Our members live mainly in the area of the coast from Crosby to Banks including Maghull, Halsall and of course Southport and Formby, but some venture from the middle of Liverpool and even Wirral. We are a friendly and supportive branch and our main objective is to promote and further the craft of beekeeping. This it has been the case since 1882, as part of Lancashire BBKA, and as a branch since 1942.
Many of our members have had years of practical beekeeping and their experience and willingness to share their knowledge is a valuable resource. The committee that runs the Southport Branch has over 100 years of beekeeping between them. Two members of committee are holders of the Leonard Ross Memorial Cup- best in the county as Basic Beekeepers. Now we’re boasting! Others are newcomers to the craft and bring with them much enthusiasm to their new-found hobby.
All beekeepers aim to keep their bees in good condition, to pollinate plants and bring in their valuable yield of honey each year. With this in mind the branch sees, as one of its primary functions, keeping its members updated with the latest information. This it does with monthly meetings during the summer, some at its apiary.
As part of the county association, members take part in the BBKA theory courses (during the winter months, usually starting in January) and practical courses from spring into summer. These are both for the beginner and the more advanced beekeeper. The Association holds a one day Annual Convention in the Spring which gives the members of all six Branches a chance to meet up, we invite national and internationally renowned beekeepers to come and lecture us. We have two lectures in the morning and two in the afternoon. We have recently ventured into the art of queen rearing, and we have been pleased with the challenge of raising ‘that special bee!’ The courses are held at our apiary and local venues, including Merchant Taylors’ School, with which the branch has links. The branch is also keen to encourage new members to take the British Beekeeping Association examinations so that they have the confidence to advance their beekeeping. New beekeepers are offered a mentor for support and help during their first year as beekeepers. They then have the support of other members of the branch.
We enjoy meeting as a group of friends and we hold social events during the summer at our own Honey Show, as part of the famous Southport Flower Show, in autumn, as the honey season closes, for our informal ‘Garden Glut Swap,’ and again for a Pre- Christmas candle making event and social, and finally for our New Year meal.