Winter Programme 2023-24

Charity number : 1170487

Winter Programme 2023-24                                                                        Issued  31st October 2023

Sunday 19th November  2023

10.45. a.m. – 12.00


2.00.p.m. – 4.00.p.m.

Langwathby Village Hall   CA10 1NQ


 Margaret Murdin is our guest presenter.  She will be participating in two sessions. They are separately programmed – so you can opt to come to both or just one.

In the morning:  ‘Beekeepers Question Time’   Margaret will be joined on the panel by other beekeeper experts from PBKA. The session will be chaired by our patron and highly experienced beekeeper: John Innerdale.  This is your chance to have your questions answered!  John will appreciate receiving the questions beforehand. Please send your questions to John Innerdale by Friday 17th November:  E mail:  tel: 01768 868322  Questions can be supplied on the day, but their inclusion cannot be guaranteed.

This session will be in the hall. Refreshments will be available from 10.45.  The meeting will  start at 11.00.

In the afternoon:  ‘Communication in Honey Bees’ by Margaret Murdin
How honey bees communicate with each other, with their environment and with us.

This talk will be held in the side room, alongside the kitchen area. It will be followed by refreshments and networking opportunities.

Lunchtime: If you would like to attend both talks and bring a packed lunch to eat in the hall you are very welcome to do so.

Alternatively for anyone attending either/ both of the sessions you are very welcome to join the Beekeepers table for lunch at the Shepherds’ Inn  from 12.15.  You need to make your own reservation, but do request to sit at our table. Tel: 01768 881463  Early booking is advisable as they are generally very busy for Sunday lunch.


Sunday 3rd December 2023

2.00.-4.00. p.m.

Stainton Village Hall  (CA11 OEP)


‘Winter Beekeeping’ : the things you need to do to keep your bees healthy and strong over the winter and the early spring months and to prepare for the new season.  The session will be led by Dominic Rhodes.

It will include:

  • demonstrations of how to apply oxalic acid treatments and frame making, with an opportunity to make up some frames of your own. 
  • practical tips about applying winter food and ensuring the hives/ frames  are  protected from other creatures.
Wed. 17th January


via zoom  



 ‘What the books don’t tell you and why bees change their minds’ presentation by Martin Hann and Clare Densley, Buckfast Beekeepers Association     

‘For everything which is written down about bees there are exceptions where the bees seem to ignore what they are supposed to do and do something weird to confuse you. Bees are now devious though and there is often a reason for the seemingly aberrant behaviour. An insight into the complexities of the super-organism logic even when it is difficult to fathom!’


24th February  ’24   

10.30.a.m -12.30. p.m   

Temple Sowerby Primary School.

CA10 1RZ

Health and Safety Around the Apiary: led by Julia Piggot

A workshop which will provide guidance and practical activities to help to keep you and others safe when undertaking beekeeping.

£10 : pre-booking essential  See details below

This is a course that will be hosted by Penrith Beekeepers but is part of the Cumbria Beekeepers Association Programme.  

Sunday 7th April 2024

2.00.-4.00. p.m.

Haydock Community Centre

26, Drovers Lane, Penrith,

CA11 9EN


Penrith  Beekeepers Association   AGM

Followed by a presentation by Stephen Hewitt:

Hoverflies in Cumbria

There are some 280 species of hoverfly in the UK. They are important pollinators as well as providing other ecological services. Many of them have predatory larvae, which are valuable in pest control. Hoverflies are often brightly coloured attractive insects and several are also good mimics of bees and wasps. This presentation will provide an introduction to the family and explore some of the various life histories adopted by different species.



Background to Guest Speakers/ Workshop Presenters

Dominic Rhodes An engineer by profession, Dominic has been fascinated with the science / engineering behind bees.

Dominic  is a well known lecturer on bee related matters across Cumbria. An experienced beekeeper from his early teens, he runs advanced courses for beekeepers specialising in pollen identification, microscopy and queen rearing.  He has supported the training of beginner beekeepers at the association apiaries at Penrith (Acorn Bank) and Whitehaven.

Margaret Murdin Margaret Murdin has been keeping bees for 20 years and is a Master Beekeeper.  She has won the prestigious Wax Chandlers Award for the highest marks in the BBKA exams and holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping. Margaret has recently stood down after 8 years as a BBKA Trustee and is a Past President, assistant moderator and examiner.
Clare Densley & Martin Hann  Clare and Martin manage the apiary at Buckfast Abbey. They are regular contributors to Bee Craft Magazine and currently provide responses to questions from beekeepers in the ‘Ask the Mentors’ section. Their presentations provide practical advice with reference to their own beekeeping experience and the findings of scientific research.
Julia Piggot  Julia is a Regional Bee Inspector and recently retired GP.  Her combined experience of beekeeping and her medical knowledge will ensure that this course provides health and safety advice which is particularly relevant for beekeepers.
Stephen Hewitt Stephen Hewitt grew up in Penrith and has studied the insects of the county for some 40 years. He is an honorary Research Associate at National Museums Scotland (NMS) – specialising in Diptera and other terrestrial insects of riverine and upland habitats. He was previously Research Fellow in Entomology at NMS and prior to that was Keeper of Natural Sciences at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle for many years.


Health and Safety Around the Apiary: led by Dr. Julia Pigott

24th February 2024  10.30.-12.30.

at Temple Sowerby Primary School  (CA10 1RZ)

 This workshop will provide guidance and practical activities to help to keep you and others safe when beekeeping and offer a forum to plan management of apiary meetings safely.

Julia is a Seasonal Bee Inspector, a First Aider and retired GP.  Her combined experience of beekeeping, many visits to different apiaries and her medical knowledge will ensure that this course provides health and safety advice which is particularly relevant for beekeepers.

The session will take place in the school hall where participants will be able to use the PE mats to provide comfort for the exercises that involve lying down.

Due to the size of the hall and the number of mats available, places  will be limited. To avoid disappointment please reserve your place asap but by 17th February at the latest.

This course is available to all members of Cumbria Beekeepers Association.

Cost £10. 

To reserve a place contact: Margaret Riches  01768 894404 

Margaret will confirm that a place has been reserved for you. The payment to Penrith Beekeepers Association will then be due.  You will be provided with the BACs details or where to send your cheque.   Further details about the session will also be supplied.

Cancellation: Unless PBKA cancels this course, refunds for cancelled places cannot be made after 17th February

 Additional information:

Whitehaven Beekeepers Association are holding two workshops which you are invited to attend:

Saturday 2nd December 2023 : ‘Xmas Gifts from the Hive’

Saturday 17th February 2024 : ‘ Pollen Microscopy Day’

See Events Calendar for further details about these opportunities and how to reserve place/s.


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