Plymouth Beekeepers
A branch of Devon Beekeepers' Association - Registered Charity No.270675”

Plymouth Beekeepers

Welcome to the Plymouth Beekeepers Branch of the Devon Beekeepers Association. Members of the branch are also members of Devon Beekeepers Association (DBKA) and British Beekeepers Association (BBKA).   

Feel free to look around our web site and hopefully learn more about our activities and the hobby of Beekeeping.

First join or attend a local Beekeepers Association Apiary meeting or click on the link for The British Beekeepers Association.

If you ask a beekeeper this question, he probably looks at you quizzically and say: Bees I keep them because I like them!

In ancient times the bee was a symbol for priests and kings. Throughout history it was considered a scared creature, with its products held in high esteem.

The ancient Egyptians, for instance, presented honey and wax on the signing of peace treaties, in comparison slaves were regard as second class gifts. The bee emblem was used on coins in Greek city of Ephesus and was the symbol of the goddess Artemis.The French Emperor Napoleon was also a bee enthusiast and had his imperial robes embroidered with golden bees. 

General Information:


1    A queen will lay 1000 eggs a day in the peak of season of May, June and July.

2    There are 200 types of bees in the UK.

3    Bees are vital to pollination, as they sup up the nectar. (A sugary solution produced by the plant to attract insects.) Pollen grains are caught on the bee’s hairy body. When the bee moves on the grains rub onto the flowers stigma leaving seeds to develop.

4    Nectar is 80 per cent water, 20 per cent sugar. Bees take the liquid back to the hive where it evaporates down to the 18 per cent water level of honey.

5    Tiny pollen grains are also taken back to the hive. A pound jar of honey contains about one million grains.

6    Honey bees only live about six weeks in the season. After hatching they spend the first three weeks in the hive as house bees before their nectar gathering work begins.

7    Bees will always leave the hive to die, if possible.

8    Ninety-five per cent of bees in a hive in the season are female. At the end of the season all the Drones (males) are then killed. The workers (females) bite their wings off and throw them out of the hive.

 9    A hive produces about 700-800 lbs of honey each year, most of which is consumed by the colony. A beekeeper takes only about 60 lbs in a good season.

10     After the honey is taken in August or September, a beekeeper has to help the colony create the 40 lbs or so it will need to survive the winter. The colony will drink around two gallons (10 litres) of sugary water every couple of days to build up the stores within a week or so.

11    The bees will keep the hive at a constant 90*F summer or winter, using their body heat on colder days and their wings as fans on hot days.

12    The two main sugars in honey are glucose and fructose. Clear honey has more fructose, set honey is mainly glucose.

13    As well as natural sugars a typical English honey contains 15 organic acids, 12 trace elements (including potassium, calcium and sulphur), 17 amino acids (fatty acids essential in building tissue) plus several types of protein.

14    Honey is virtually unprocessed it is cut from the comb spun in a separator (to remove any traces of wax) gently warmed and then filtered.

15    Cheap imported honey is blended at a high temperature which destroys many of the nutrient elements and damages the flavour.

16    Britain had 146,000 registered beekeepers in the late 1940's. To-day there is only about 13,000 beekeepers.



Plymouth Branch
“A branch of Devon Beekeepers' Association - Registered Charity No.270675”
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