Gwent Beekeepers Association

GBKA  Registered Charity Number : 1014600

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(comment from the webmaster)

I believe that the local association was formed just after or during the First world war from 1914/1918., and in those days was called the Monmouthshire Bee Keepers Association.

My own interest relating to Bees stems from around 1939/40. When I was about 10 Years old. My father had a couple of those pretty hives shaped like an old cottage (WBC), which he kept in his orchards above the old brick works on Malpas Road. From time to time  I would be sent on the bus down to Malpas road where a Mr Cocks had a little shoe shop. He was also an agent for one of the Bee Equipment manufacturers. There I would collect foundation and frames, and on one occasion during the war I recall I had to collect a quantity of "fondant" which was a special concession for Beekeepers.

 I have some fond and hilarious Stinging memories of that period.   For my Dad, protective clothing was nothing more than an old straw "boater" with some curtain net around it,  an old raincoat tied around the waist and wrists over a pair of old leather gloves. I frequently saw him doing an Irish jig without music. The bees were as clever then as mine are today in finding even the smallest crack in the armour. The most hilarious sight was seeing my Mother  running hell for leather up and down the garden path slapping at her hair (!0 seconds for the 100 yards was nothing) she was about to dive into the well in desperation, but with Dad shouting "put your head in a plum tree. She did,.......Result. five pulsating stings on her scalp.

I do recall also that the Head Master at Bryn-glass secondary school was a keen Beekeeper, and I also  remember that the association used to meet in a room in the Westgate hotel, and often made visits to Lord Raglans house.  Shortly after the war, repeated vandalism  caused my dad to give up his Bees, so that my association also halted, for quite a long time . Perhaps one of our older members will fill in the missing years to date, and assist us to trace the history of the association.


Our Association

(Janet Bromley)

Gwent Beekeepers Association (“GBKA”) exists for the encouragement and improvement of beekeeping in the area covered by the former county of Gwent and the surrounding area.  To do this we organise a number of services for beekeepers, such as arranging lectures and social events, providing practical tuition and courses for beginners, and disseminating information.  We also represent the interests of beekeepers to the authorities, and promote a better understanding of bees and beekeeping by the general public through displays at shows, talks to schools and other organisations.

GBKA is an entirely voluntary association.  Our ordinary Members include a wide range of beekeepers, both beginners and experts, both hobbyists and commercial honey producers, who all pay an annual subscription. We also have Associate Members, who are not beekeepers but support the aims of the Association; they pay half the annual subscription.  The Association is run by a voluntary Committee of about 12 members, elected annually at the AGM, which is normally held in November.  Our Members receive the following:

·         Varied programme of demonstrations, lectures, social events and visits throughout the year listed on the "calendar"

·         Regular “Hands-on” practical beekeeping in the summer at our apiary, with tuition available covering both basic and more advanced techniques.

·         Newsletters throughout the year keeping you up to date with what is happening locally and nationally.

·          Individual copies of  “BBKA News”- journal of the British Beekeeping Association, and of the quarterly magazine “Beekeepers News”. Also the opportunity to subscribe to “Beekeepers Quarterly” at a favourable rate.

·         Library of beekeeping books and journals to borrow, and to take advantage of the circulation of “Bee World”, the journal of the International Bee Research Association.

·         Spray Warning scheme.

·         Hire for a modest fee of the Association extractor & wax melter.

·        Insurance against third party claims and opportunity to take out insurance against bee disease.



Association Officers

Please allow us to introduce you to our committee members and officers of the association, and some useful links to other associates.

Committee Members


Les Chirnside

Vice Chairman

Jill Chirnside


Allison Douglas


Janet Bromley

News Editor Bridget Woodhead
Apiary Manager Eric Long
Publicity Officer Ken Key
Seasonal Bee Inspector John Holden


Tom Heaton

Janet Jones  

Chris Jones

Jill Chirnside


Graham loverige

David Johns


Spray liaison officers                     Ken Key  &  John Waller

BBKA Regional Bee Inspector    Pam Gregory

Contact Information

01291 690869
Postal address
Stonewall Cottage Raglan NP15 2LD
Electronic mail
General Information:

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