Looking after the bees in the Aire Valley since 1908
Honey bee on pink flower
Honey bee in close-up
A touch of summer
Honey bee on pink flower
Airedale Beekeepers Association (ABKA) members have been beekeeping in the Aire Valley since 1908. Our Association area spans the Aire Valley northwards from Bingley and Baildon to Skipton and Airedale.
Got a swarm?
We can remove swarms in our local area (roughly from Baildon to just south of Skipton). If you need help please click here for advice and to get in touch with our swarm team
Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby but a big responsibility!
Find out more about what is involved.
Please note that we are not offering our usual beekeeping courses this year due to COVID-19
ABKA has different levels of membership depending on your experience. Our members enjoy the support of their fellow ABKAs as well as online chats, social events and educational talks. Click the box below to contact our Membership Secretary.
A beekeeping update for COVID times
Beekeeping is a rewarding hobby but also a seriously responsible business.
Badly-managed bees are (at best) a nuisance – at worst a bee sting can be life threatening. The beekeeper must understand bee behaviour and safe management as well as being aware of various diseases, some of which are notifiable by law to DEFRA. A lack of disease knowledge could threaten the survival not just of your own bees but those of any neighbouring beekeepers.
We are aware that many people have been tempted to undertake beginner beekeeping courses online during lockdown. An online course, whilst fun and to some extent instructive, does not prepare you in any way for practical beekeeping; this can only be gained by hands on experience and mentoring from a qualified beekeeper.
Unfortunately, our own beekeeping courses have been curtailed by COVID-19.
We have a limited number of teachers and now a long waiting list. ABKA is committed to a high standard of responsible beekeeping practice and cannot support anyone who has not undertaken a reputable course with hands on instruction.
We implore aspiring beekeepers to seek proper advice and instruction before obtaining bees of their own. For more information about becoming a beekeeper, please see our What's Involved? page
About local honey
The honey we produce in the Aire Valley is 100% local and an entirely natural product.
Much of the honey in your local supermarket is sourced from many countries and blended, so its origin cannot be put on the label. Unfortunately sometimes it isn't even pure honey.
So buy local where you can, but expect to pay a little more for the good stuff!
When our Members have honey for sale we will advertise it here.