Suffolk Beekeepers' Association is a thriving community of over 700 beekeepers, with 6 branches in Suffolk. It's purpose is to promote good beekeeping. This involves crop pollination and the collection, sale, showing and use of honey and wax. Read more

Special Notice

  • Suffolk Honey Show This will be held at The Suffolk Show, Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich on Wednesday 29th May & Thursday 30th May 2024. More details and online entry can be found here
  • 2024 Beekeeping Best Practice Day will be held on Saturday 22nd June 2024 between 9.30 am to 4.00 pm at Great Barton Village Hall, Elms Close, Bury St. Edmunds, IP31 2NR, Suffolk. The theme for this year is around forage.
    More information and booking for can be found here (booking closes 15 June).

Join Us

Interested in becoming a beekeeper?

Contact your local branch:

Ipswich Suffolk Coastal Stowmarket Waveney West Suffolk Norwich & District Bee Keeping Association

Hot Tips

Seasonal advice for the beekeeper
  • The colony should be growing very quickly now so food supply will need to be maintained. Feed with syrup if the hives are light.
  • On a warm day remove the eke, entrance block and mouse guard if fitted. Check the floor, and clear or replace it with a clean one as necessary.
  • If the weather is mild regular brood box inspections can begin: every 14 days if the queen is clipped, every 7 days if she is not.
  • Late in the month remove the feeder (if any) and put on a queen excluder and at least one super to give space for the growing numbers. If your bees can reach oilseed rape, they will start foraging on it towards the end of the month and will need storage space.
  • Be vigilant. Swarming can begin in late April!
  • Consider putting one or more 'bait hives' in the apiary to catch swarms.
  • Begin thorough and regular inspections of the brood comb.
  • Work old comb to the outside so that it can be removed and replaced. Old comb harbours disease and should be replaced systematically as good practice. Aim to change one third of the frames each year.
  • Place new frames and foundation either side of the brood nest to allow the queen to increase her nest size. Congestion can cause swarming. If necessary remove outside frames, but ensure enough food and pollen remains. (Frames with food can be given back in the Autumn after storing in a freezer.)
  • Check whether your bees are making honey from oilseed rape: if so remove and extract the supers as soon as they are full. (Oilseed rape honey will crystallise very quickly in the comb.)
  • Additional supers may now be required.
  • Consider one or more 'bait hives' in the apiary to catch swarms.
  • Continue to examine at 7 or 14 day intervals for any signs of disease or swarming.
  • The brood should be able to fill most of the brood chamber this month.
  • Swarming will continue through June so continue to be vigilant.
  • You may be able to take off some frames of capped honey or even complete supers. Ensure you have empty frames or supers to replace those taken but remember that in this area there can be a 'June gap' when there is little forage for the bees - don't take off all the stores.

The Association

The Association is a thriving community of over 700 beekeepers, with branches in Ipswich, Suffolk Coastal, Stowmarket, Waveney, West Suffolk and the Norwich & District Beekeepers Association. It's purpose is to promote good beekeeping. This involves crop pollination and the collection, sale, showing and use of honey and wax. We provide instructions and demonstrations in these subjects, leading to an understanding of these fascinating insects and how to keep them healthy. There are facilities for courses in beekeeping and nationally recognized examinations can be taken. There are also branch libraries with beekeeping books. Come and meet us at the Suffolk Show and other local agricultural shows.
Regular indoor meetings are held at Kesgrave, Barsham and Bury St Edmunds with practical apiary meetings, social gatherings and events at other locations in the county during the year. Attendance at these events is open to non-members and more information about these meetings can be found on the events page.
The annual subscription is about £26.00 but may vary from branch to branch. This includes affiliation to The British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) which provides representation, help and expert advice at a national level and a public liability insurance cover for up to £10 million. There is also cover in case of the more serious bee brood diseases.

Beginners and those who are just curious are particularly welcome. There are one-day events for those who are interested to find out more about bees and beekeeping. The best way to find out what beekeeping entails is to have a closer look.



The Constitution of the Suffolk Beekeepers' Association can be found here.

Supporting Documents for the Management of the Suffolk Beekeepers' Association:

Expenses Policy


Minutes of the Suffolk Beekeepers' Association county meetings:

Minutes of the Suffolk Beekeepers' Association AGM:

Contact the secretary for access to minutes not shown