In recent years the committee discussed the possibility of setting up a permanent branch/teaching apiary, and after much discussion a sub committee was set up in the autumn of 2013 consisting of 4 members of the committee, their aim was to secure a permanent apiary site which was in a location that would be central and within a reasonable distance for members to attend. After a few false starts and many visits and meetings a site was found at Knightshayes Court, Bolham, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 7RQ just on the outskirts of Tiverton which has been kindly offered to us by the National Trust which owns Knightshayes, the site is subject to a formal agreement with the Trust which is a standard procedure that all their tenants enter into. The trust have allowed us to put a container on the site for storage of equipment connected with the apiary, and another bonus is no rent to pay!
There are various grants available and the sub committee are looking into applying for a grant from Viridor which offer grants to local organisations through the landfill tax credit scheme, it is hoped that we can raise a large percentage of the set up cost in this way along with using some of the branch surplus funds that we have in the bank and which we are encouraged to use as a registered charity.
The branch apiary will only be a success if it is well supported by the members of the branch, and the committee would be interested to hear from anyone who could help (possibly on a rota basis) to make the branch apiary a success, the best scenario would be if anyone in the club would like to volunteer to be the apiary manager to keep an eye on the apiary, keep records and who could co-ordinate volunteer members to do inspections etc on a rota basis during the busy seasons of spring, summer and autumn, this position would be overseen by the sub committee.
It is envisaged that the apiary will be used as training apiary for members new to beekeeping, but the key to this is that the apiary is well run and looked after.
Another idea being put forward is for an apiary co-ordinator who could organise members to look after the apiary and organise a rota for members to carry out inspections etc on a weekly basis as above.
The committee would be very interested to hear from members who could help out with either of the above positions or would be interested in putting themselves forward as a volunteer to carry out inspections as above on a rota basis. Reasonable expenses would be paid to anyone who would be interested in becoming the apiary manager.
We hope that members can help out with this exciting opportunity for the club and make the apiary a success, if you think you can help in any way please fill out your details in the form on the Like To Help? page, or contact the branch secretary Contact A Branch Officer.