Benefits of Membership

The Association has Equipment and Books for loan, a regular newsletter (Combings), a calendar of Events, Training, local group meetings and two Apiary sites for use by members. There is more information on these below and on the linked pages.

There are four forms of membership:

  • Social Membership (£10); for those interested in bees and who want to support the Association of for a second person living at the same address as a full member.
  • Associate Membership (£10); for those that are full members of another BBKA-affiliated Association.
  • Full membership (£32); includes membership of Yorkshire BKA and British Beekeepers Association (BBKA), which includes a magazine and beekeepers’ public liability insurance.
  • Junior Membership (£0 or £22); Juniors who are affiliated to WBKA through an adult member will incur no further cost. For Juniors who join without an adult member and students in full time education the fee will be £22.

Membership renewals are due at the AGM in October and may be paid at the meeting or by direct bank transfer (contact the Treasurer via the contacts page for more information).

If you would like to know more about becoming a WBKA member, please contact the Membership Secretary via the contacts page.


Combings is the Association’s newsletter and is published three times a year, in April/May, September/October and December. Members are encouraged to contribute to Combings and submission dates are publicised via the web site and email in advance.

Members may download previous editions in pdf format from the Combings page. They are generally 1-2mb in size.

For more information, you can contact the editors using the contacts form.


Some items of Association property are available for members to borrow. These include gazebos, folding tables and chairs, a PA system, items of beekeeping equipment such as extractors and honey presses as well as teaching and exhibition items. For a full list, with more information, see the equipment page.


The association aims to supply bees to all beginners who we have trained, at a better price that you’d pay for a commercial package.

Also during the swarming season, any member wanting a swarm should give their details to Bob Hogson – details in Combings. Anyone with a swarm looking for a home should also contact Bob who will try to match offer with requirement.


For beekeepers with at least one year’s experience we provide training for the BBKA Basics assessment, which tests basic knowledge of beekeeping through a practical and oral assessment. Courses will be run every other year.

For more information on beekeeper training, please contact the Course co-ordinator via the contacts page.


The association has a library of approximately 50 books covering a wide range of beekeeping and bee-related topics. These books are available for members to borrow free of charge.


The association has an annual program of events, including apiary visits, lectures and social events, cumulating in the annual Honey Show which is held in late October or November.


Apiary hives

The association has two out-apiaries, in Otley and Ilkley, available for the use of members on a temporary basis and for a limited number of hives.

We also have a seasonal Heather Apiary on the moors which is used during August and September.

For further information please contact the Fisher’s Field (ilkley) or Otley apiary managers, or the Secretary (for enquiries about the heather apiary) via the contacts page.

Local Groups

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The Association’s membership is distributed over a wide area, so local groups have been formed to make it easier for members to meet other beekeepers, swap advice, ask questions and sometimes enjoy a drink or two.

These groups meet in Otley and Skipton on a regular basis and welcome non-members as well as members.

The Lower Wharfedale group meets on the last Tuesday of the month in Otley in a private room at The Fleece on Westgate (LS21 3DT), starting at 7:30pm.

The Upper Wharfedale group meets on the second Tuesday of the month at The Narrowboat, Skipton (38 Victoria Street, BD23 1JE) from 7.30pm until about 9pm.

The group meetings have very informal agendas, usually discussing what’s happening in the apiary at that time of year, or focussing on a specific subject, such as artificial swarming, and there’s always an opportunity to ask questions and share experiences. Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience.

Please note: Occasionally, Local Group meetings may be cancelled if there is an Association meeting in the same month.

If you’d like to come to one of these meetings and want some more information, please contact the group co-ordinators via the contacts page.

Committee Meetings

The Association’s committee meets roughly every two months, summaries of the meetings are available from the About Us page.