The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA), a registered charity, was founded in 1874 and is still thriving today. Its main aims being; ‘ further promote the craft of beekeeping and to advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment’. In 1875 the Devon Beekeepers Association was founded comprising 11 Branches, one of which is the Tavistock branch (In fact Devon is the 2nd largest Association in the UK, Yorkshire being the largest.) Tavistock is an ancient stannary and market town with records going back as far as 961 when the Abbey (which no longer exists) was constructed. It is a charming place to visit and live with beautiful Dartmoor National Park watching over us.

The map (above and to the right) shows just some of the places around Tavistock where our members live and keep bees. Ranging from just south of Okehampton, to west of Launceston, from Gunnislake and the Bere Peninsula in the Tamar Valley to Yelverton,  Princetown on Dartmoor and as far south as Plymouth; our members’ colonies experience very different microclimates and therefore different beekeeping challenges which makes for interesting discussion and many different colours and flavours of honey.

Tavistock Branch works hard to fulfil the aims of the BBKA by participating in public events such as the Plant Heritage fair at the Pannier Market and the Ecofest where the public can ask about bees, beekeeping, Asian hornets etc, as well as other events such as the Carnival and Christmas Tree Festival.
For those interested in learning about beekeeping we run a Beginners Course at the Tavistock College early in the year to prepare potential new beekeepers for the following season and for those wishing to take their bee education further we aim to help provide information and guidance on taking BBKA exams and assessments and a library for all members to use. (see Education Page). In the Winter, from September through to March, we run meetings and lectures at the Tavistock Parish Rooms (see What’s on page for details). In the Summer we have club ‘Bee Teas’ which involves visiting members apiaries to inspect their hives talk about bees and, of course, enjoy delicious tea and cakes!
We have honey extraction days to help our members who do not have the necessary equipment to harvest honey from comb and there is also usually an outing or two such as visiting Buckfast Apiaries for a learning day or participating in the Devon County Show.