Surrey Beekeepers’ Association – Croydon Division

Founded in 1879

Charity Number: 1026386

Croydon Beekeepers’ Association is a small friendly group of local beekeepers with around 75 members and is one of the eight Divisions that make up the Surrey Beekeepers’ Association (SBKA). We have a long and respected history of beekeeping dating back to 1879 when Croydon was one of the three founding associations of the Surrey Beekeepers’ Association.

The other Surrey Divisions are: Epsom, Farnham, Guildford, Kingston, Reigate, Weybridge and Wimbledon.

Members of Croydon are automatically members of the Surrey Beekeepers’ Association. Collectively Surrey Beekeepers’ Association has over 1,000 members across the county and is affiliated to the British Beekeepers’ Association with around 24,000 members across the UK and international links.

Beekeeping is an ancient craft and never before has it been so important. Honeybees not only provide honey and beeswax but are one of the most important pollinators of flowers and crops. One out of every three forkfuls of food that we eat is pollinated by honey bees, and their value to UK agriculture along with other pollinators is calculated at £430 million. There are many threats to the health of our bees, including pesticides, loss of habitat, and the accidental introduction of pests and diseases from abroad.

Our mission

“To promote the craft of beekeeping and to provide education about the vital importance of bees in the environment.”

What we do?

We aim to achieve our objectives through the following activities:

Promoting the craft of beekeeping . . . through activities aimed at new and existing beekeepers in Croydon:

  • Regular practical training sessions in our teaching apiary in Purley (twice monthly during the summer)
  • Workshops for beekeepers from complete beginners to those working towards becoming a Master Beekeeper
  • Access to Surrey Training events – these are specialist events open to beekeepers across Surrey
  • Loan of specialist equipment and books, microscopes, extraction equipment etc.
  • Mentoring by experienced beekeepersAu
  • Annual Croydon Show to give local beekeepers a chance to demonstrate their skills.

Education about the vital importance of bees . . .

Giving talks to local community groups. We can offer a range of talks tailored to the needs of both youth and adult groups. Email for further details.

  • Providing a stand at local fairs and fetes.
  • Participating with local press work
  • Providing information via our website including information on local events and links to national websites
  • Working with other local organisations in the arena of environment and conservation.

Croydon Beekeepers Association in the news

The Association and its members are often featured in the local media.

Timeline – Beekeeping in Croydon

  • 1879 Surrey Beekeepers’ Association set up with Croydon as one of three founding divisions.
  • 1921 BeeCraft magazine first published jointly by Kent and Surrey Beekeeping Associations. This is now the leading publication in the UK for beekeepers and those interested in bees and conservation.
  • 1923 First ever National Honey Show held at the Crystal Palace. The show was jointly run by Kent and Surrey Beekeeping Associations. Since then it has grown to be a major national event which attracts hundreds of visitors and competition entrants each year.

A famous Croydon Beekeeper

Joseph WarderJoseph Warder Joseph

Warder, born before 1655, took up his residence at Croydon in about 1688. He practiced there as a physician for over thirty years, and was a leading member of the independent congregation. Warder made a special study of the habits of bees, and in 1693 he encapsulated the results of many years of observation in a treatise entitled ‘The True Amazons, or the Monarchy of Bees’ (London, 8vo; the second edition of 1713 contains a dedication to Queen Anne). The work, which was considerably in advance of any former treatise and contained many curious particulars concerning the habits of bees as well as practical instructions for their management, went through nine editions, the last of which appeared in 1765. It remained the standard work on the subject until it was superseded by John Thorley’s ‘Mελισσηλογία, or the Female Monarchy’ (London, 1744, 8vo).