About the Association

We formed in 1917, as the King's Lynn and District Beekeepers' Association. In 2007 the name changed to West Norfolk and King's Lynn Beekeepers' Association (WNKLBA) to reflect the wide area in which our members live. We work to promote bees and beekeeping and provide a range of member services to beekeepers in Norfolk.

We are part of the British Beekeeper's Association (BBKA) who amongst other things provide insurance cover and organise beekeeping qualifications and we have close ties with other beekeeping organisations in the region, particularly Norfolk Beekeeping Association (NBKA).

Members

We currently have over 250 members and cover a broad spectrum of beekeepers from those with one hive in their garden to those with 30+ hives in several apiaries; from those who have just started beekeeping to those with over fifty years’ experience; from King's Lynn, Holt, Norwich, Wymondham, East Dereham, Wisbech, Downham Market and Spalding areas, the common factor is an enjoyment of working with bees and of meeting with others of a like mind in friendly and informal ways.

We are particularly keen to help those new to beekeeping and you will find details of our Association Apiary on this website. We hold taster days, introductory courses and further training courses each year and help our members achieve the basic and more challenging qualifications set by the BBKA.

You will find us at Shows around Norfolk throughout the summer season, particularly the Sandringham Show which is where our members exhibit their honey and other bee related products, which are judged and awarded certificates by National Honey Judges.

If you have any questions about beekeeping then do get in contact and join this hugely interesting and enjoyable pastime.



Chair's Introduction

Having been elected to the Chair of WNKLBA in February 2022 I look forward to leading the Association into what we hope to be an exciting period of our development.

Our membership continues to grow with new beekeepers, returning beekeepers, lapsed beekeepers and beekeepers, with varying levels of experience, moving to the area or joining from adjacent areas.

We have a new apiary site, where we maintain around a dozen hives, which is very much fit for purpose and is continually being upgraded and improved by our very enthusiastic team of volunteer members and helpers.

The apiary is very much the heart of our Association and is where our fantastic education team and their helpers, work extremely hard to ensure that new and experienced beekeepers alike have access to familiarisation days, training courses, specifically tailored training days and instruction to assist members in revising for and passing the various examinations and assessments, available to all through the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA).

We also take our beekeeping knowledge and skills to the general public, specifically at the Sandringham Flower Show in July, where we also hold our annual ‘Honey Show’. Our members opportunity to showcase their talents in producing honey, wax products, cakes, and other bee related art and craft products, (with more than a little help from their bees). We will also be hosting a ‘Bee Weekend’ in June at the Downham Home and Garden Store and attending the Aylsham Show with a Beekeeping stand in August.

All of the above requires careful management, not least in terms of the finances needed to run the Association, which is a Registered Charity and is therefore subject to the stringent rules applied by the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

Obviously, the past few years have been difficult. The dreaded pandemic has curtailed our activities somewhat and carrying out face to face instruction, holding meetings and work parties, has been difficult to say the least. However, by finding other ways to inform and instruct, mainly via social media, managed once again by skilled committee members, we have managed to keep our beekeepers and the general public informed.

I, as the Chair, therefore rely very heavily on the extremely dedicated, knowledgeable and multi-skilled members of the Committee, to whom I am incredibly indebted.

If you are interested in this incredible craft, or are already a member and would like to offer your services to the committee, please don’t hesitate to contact me or indeed any of the committee members, who you can meet on the following pages

Phil Cane
Hobbyist Beekeeper and WNKLBA Chair



Meet the Committee

Stuart Grant
(President, Trustee, Spray Liaison)

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Stuart took up beekeeping in 2008, after retirement, to complement his gardening, particularly fruit growing. Stuart's background is in manufacturing, in paper-making, chemicals and then plastics. I have been a beekeeper for 12 years now, and was WNKLBA Chair for 4 years. I am happy to help anyone get started or to develop.

Philip Cane
(Chair, Show Secretary, Bee Aware Editor)

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Having moved to Norfolk whilst serving in the RAF I completed my working life with the NHS and when retirement loomed, I decided on beekeeping as one of a range of hobbies/interests that would keep me active. Having joined WNKLBA some 8 years ago, I subsequently joined the committee as I enjoy the social side of beekeeping as much as looking after the bees. Two years ago, having helped out at many shows, I took on the role of show secretary and in February this year (2022) I was elected chair.

Patrick Duhig
(Treasurer)

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Born in East London docklands during the second world war, I started an apprenticeship in horticulture after school and later moved to the motor trade. I married Margaret and moved to Essex then Stoke Ferry where we bought a derelict house to rebuild while Margaret ran the village Spar. After years of building we decided to expand to three shops while travelling the world with Spar for 25 years. We retired in 2004 I took up beekeeping in 2010 to enhance our garden. We still have a love of plants and have been a life long RHS Member.

Barry Walker-Moore
(Trustee, Swarm Co-ordinator)

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I got into beekeeping a little by accident about 21 years ago. I brought an empty hive back from my Father's (he had suffered a stroke) in Kent. A few months later I was the keeper of bees (a swarm had moved in) I went on a course at Otley college in Suffolk as I was living in Thetford. I joined West Suffolk B.A in 1997 and in 1998 became part of their Committee. At the moment I have between 15 & 20 hives around North Norfolk.

Peter Davies
(Trustee)

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I started beekeeping in spring 2011 with 2 hives, during that first year 2 became 6 and then in late September I acquired 9 colonies from a retiring beekeeper and from that moment on there has been no turning back. I now run between 25 and 35 colonies and learn every time I go into a hive. I am really enjoying my beekeeping and just wish I had started 20 years earlier. As a trustee I would like to be able to pass on some of the great enjoyment I get from beekeeping to encourage others to give it a go.

Lee Chapman
(Vice Treasurer, Members Sales)

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Lee’s interest in beekeeping started when he attended Sandringham Flower Show as a child and came across the WNKLBA Tent. In 2014, Lee attended a WNKLBA Taster Session and was hooked! He subsequently completed the beginners and improvers courses; obtaining his Basic Assessment in 2016. Lee joined the WNKLBA Committee and Education Team and now leads the Taster Sessions as well as supporting the Beginners and Improvers Practical Sessions. Lee enjoys furthering his knowledge of beekeeping through completing the BBKA Module exams. He aspires to be a master beekeeper one day in the future.

Judy Heal
(Secretary, Exam Secretary, WNKLBA Rep on NBKA)

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We have lived in Melton Constable since 1987. I am a hobby beekeeper, keeping just a few WBCs in our garden. I started keeping bees in 2004, taking the Beekeeping Course at Easton College. A few years later I joined WNKLBA. Gradually I became more involved with WNKLBA, and help the Association manage education and training. I have taken a few BBKA exams over the years and will continue to do so in an ongoing effort to improve my beekeeping .

Jill Tinsey
(Education Lead)

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Sarah Brown
(Members Secretary)

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I joined WNKLBA, in 2013 and was invited to become the membership secretary in 2014. Having taken my BBKA basic exam, and a couple of modules my beekeeping skills are improving but I have still not read the same book as the bees! In between working for the NHS full time, and the joy of beekeeping I also enjoy gardening and visiting gardens.

Venetia Rist


I started beekeeping in 1964 as a small girl in Dorset before Varroa and oil seed rape. Bees went on the back burner as I went through University, managed a dairy farm in Surrey and taught at Merrist Wood Agricultural College. In 1988 we moved to Norfolk and after raising 3 children while teaching science I decided to embrace beekeeping in a much bigger way! I now run around 35 colonies and have thoroughly enjoyed working my way through the BBKA theory modules, all the practical assessments and last year realised my ambition of becoming a Master Beekeeper.

Richard Lee
(Apiary Manager)

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Following a 5-year career in engineering with the merchant navy, on the tiles as a roofer and renovating old properties I went into semi-retirement in 2019. In my spare time I enjoy gardening and barbecuing.
With a keen interest in bees I took the beginners course then the improvers and have helped out at the apiary ever since. I took over the role of apiary manager and along with our great apiary team we are all working hard to improve and maintain the apiary and assist the education team with the good work they do.

Kevin Winks
(Vice Chair)


I took up beekeeping on retirement from the RAF in 2013, it was the final realisation of an ambition I had nurtured since I was 14. I started with 3 colonies and currently have 12. In addition to beekeeping, I divide my time between my grandchildren, the RAF Reserves, volunteer gardening for the National Trust and playing a varied range of traditional musical instruments.

Sarah Palfreyman
(Social Media Manager, Members Sales)


I'm still very much a novice beekeeper, starting out at a taster day with WNKLBA in 2016, which quickly led on to joining as a beginner in 2017. Getting our first nuc that year was the start of the journey and we are proud to have 2 hives in our garden and feel very lucky to live in a village that loves to buy our honey!

Barry Thrower
(Swarm Co-ordinator)



Sam Palfreyman
(Website Manager, Members Sales)

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I've always fancied keeping bees but didn't seem to have space until we moved to Norfolk. After a great WNKLBA taster day we were hooked and haven't looked back since. Having completed my basic assessment in 2019 I'll be helping out at taster days myself. As the token "techy" on the committee I'm now the WNKLBA website manager.

Kathy McIntyre
(Refreshments Team, Minutes Secretary)


A recent convert to the joys of beekeeping, I took the beginners course and acquired my first colony of bees in 2018. I had then just retired from a career in probate law to develop my orchard and preserves business near Downham Market . There are now bees in 5 polyhives all busily pollinating the orchard and the fruit harvest has more than doubled since their arrival. I was honoured to be invited to join the WNKLBA committee and also enjoy the social side of the association.

Jit Patel
(Apiary Team)


I have always been interested in wildlife and nature having studied environmental management as an add on. I support other nature groups and wanted to take up beekeeping so decided to do the WNKLBA beginners’ course. Reading about bees management and physically managing bees are completely different, the later giving satisfaction, and there is always a lesson to be learnt. In 2019, when offered a position in the WNKLBA Apiary team, I grabbed the opportunity and now support the WNKLBA Apiary team when possible. I also enjoy bee related shows, which are a day out for a change of scenery.

Sir Henry Bellingham
(Vice President)


A British Conservative politician and former barrister. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament for North West Norfolk in 1983. He lost his seat in 1997, but regained it in 2001 and retained it until standing down in 2019