Devon swarm collection service and bee-friendly beekeeping groups

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Friends of the Bees

making Britain a better place for pollinators.

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South Devon Bee Improvers Group

SDBIG is for beekeepers in the area between Exeter and Plymouth, including Torbay and Dartmoor, who have a particular interest in breeding and/or working with our native "black" bee, Apis mellifera mellifera (AMM), with a view to breeding a local strain that is well adapted to our damp and unpredictable weather.

SDBIG is open to all beekeepers in the area who would like to work with native and near-native bees. We do not currently have a membership scheme, but we encourage membership of BIBBA, the Bee Improvers and Bee Breeders Association, to which we are affiliated.

Our principle aim is to breed better bees: better adapted; better tempered; better able to solve their own problems. We do not require you to keep bees in any particular way or in any specific type of hive, although we do encourage bio-mechanical rather than chemical treatments for diseases and pests and we strongly discourage the use of imported bees.

If you would like to be informed of our activities, please sign up for our free (occasional) newsletter.

For details of our flagship project, please see British Black Bee Project

Tel: 0871 564 1066

North Devon

Atlantic Coast Friends of the Bees works with native and near-native bees and meets regularly in Welcombe, near Bideford. Contact Sue or Mick 01288 331700


Our associated group in Cornwall is BIPCo - the Bee Improvement Program for Cornwall.

National Network

We are part of the Natural Beekeeping Network, which is an informal, international network of beekeepers who take a 'natural' approach to beekeeping, using top bar hives and management strategies that give priority to the bees' way of arranging their nests. Treatments against pests, if used at all, are as natural as possible and no synthetic chemicals are used.

Balanced Beekeeping Training

Details of our beekeeping courses and events in the UK.

More about Natural Beekeeping

If you want to know more about 'natural beekeeping', you can download a free Introduction to Natural Beekeeping article and listen to Phil Chandler's Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast.

How To Start Beekeeping For Free

More free articles on natural and balanced beekeeping

Balanced Beekeeping Training

Details of balanced beekeeping courses.

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