The purpose of the Lochaber Beekeepers Association (LBA) is to promote and encourage the advancement of beekeeping and the provision of education through lectures, courses, practical demonstrations and exhibitions of beekeeping and honey within the Lochaber Area.
The documents currently available show that the first recorded meeting of the LBA took place in 1968, but it is believed that the Association existed prior to this. The founding committee comprised: Hon President - JA MacArthur; President - J Montgomery; Vice-President - J Gordon; Secretary - G Dallas and Treasurer - GD Campbell.
At this time the committee was assisted by four nominated Regional Representatives and was also able to call on the support provided by the North of Scotland College of Agriculture, Beekeeping Advisory Department.
Although some of the Office Bearers did change, most of the senior appointments remained unchanged until 1978 when Denis Muir took up the appointment of President. In 1979, for reasons unknown, the appointment of Hon President was dropped and therefore, as President, Dennis became head of the Association.
Once again the Office Bearers remained largely unchanged until 1984 when Peter Browne became the Secretary. This was later to prove to be an historic moment as it marked the start of a partnership between Denis Muir and Peter Browne that was to run unchanged until 2011.
In 1998 the appointment of Hon President was reinstated but by 2006 it was dropped again. 2006 also marked the start of Dorothy MacPhee's tenure as Treasurer.
The records indicate that in 1973 the membership stood at 9 members but by 1980 this had risen to 29 members with 185 hives. In 1983 the membership sat at 20 full members with 143 hives and 19 non-members with 80 hives. Today the Association has 56 members, most of whom are hobbyist beekeepers running some 85 colonies of bees.
Between 1981 and 1983 EEC funds were made available to all beekeepers and the asociation made full use of this in order to sponsor the purchase of equipment for the good and benefit of all members.
In 2011 the LBA applied for a Lottery Grant in order to fund the purchase of additional equipment that would be available to assist those new to beekeeping and to fund the purchase of a mini-marquee, banner and educational equipment. The association was successful in this venture and equipment was duly bought to support the aims of the association.
At the AGM in November 2012 Gregor Muir stood down as president and was replaced by Kate Atchley, Sarah Kennedy was appointed as Secretary and Maria Townsend was appointed as Treasurer. In addition, the practice of having local representatives co-opted onto the committee was resurrected and Elizabeth Maclean and Marion Affleck volunteered for this.
In the Spring of 2013 Maria Townsend indicated that she would like to stand-down as Treasurer and Sarah Kennedy agreed to take up this appointment as well as Secretary.
At the AGM in November 2013 Kate Atchley stood down as president. The position is still vacant but the title was changed to Chairperson. Sarah Kennedy was re-elected as Treasurer and Secretary, Marion Affleck as the Equipment Manager, Maria Townsend and Elizabeth MacLean as General Committee Members.
In Summer 2014 Maria Townsend resigned as she and her family have moved to Perth-shire. We were also sorry to lose Elizabeth MacLean due to other commitments. We welcomed John Jamieson, Jim Blair and Alison Blair on to the committee as General Committee Members. Jim and Alison Blair have now taken on the duties of Show Convenors.
In Autumn 2014 we were delighted for Dorothy MacPhee to rejoin the Committee as Treasurer.
In Autumn 2017 we were very sorry to receive the resignations from the committee of Marion Affleck due to ill health and John Jamieson due to moving away from Lochaber. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them both very much for their support and help over the past few years and especially to Marion for managing the equipment so efficiently!
In Autumn 2018 we were sorry to receive the resignation of our Secretary, Sarah Kennedy. Her tenure of 6 years has come to an end and we are very grateful for her work carried out on
our behalf. We were delighted to welcome Marian and Andy onto the committee as Equipment Managers, Marion Affleck as Acting Secretary and Alison Durbin as Website/Communications Officer.
Kate Tuer was voted in as Chairperson at the AGM.
Running the LBA
The LBA Committee is responsible for managing the affairs of the Association, subject to any limitations imposed by decisions at an AGM or other meeting of the membership.
The present Committee Office Holders are:
Chairperson - Kate Tuer
Vice-Chairperson - (Post Vacant)
Acting Secretary - Marion Affleck (email@example.com)
Treasurer - Dorothy MacPhee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Diseases & Varroa Officer - Marion Affleck
Communications Officer - Alison Durbin (email@example.com)
Equipment Managers - Marian Austin & Andy Rodgers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Show Conveners - Jim & Alison Blair (email@example.com)
Training Apiary Manager - Kate Tuer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The association is governed by its constitution which can be viewed by clicking on this Quick Link.
The LBA is an Affiliated Beekeeping Association to the Scottish Beekeepers Association SCIO (SBA) and, in addition to our own Constitution, we openly accept the Constitution and Rules of the SBA. In order to ensure that we are kept up to date on what is happening nationally, the Secretary is appointed to represent our interests at SBA meetings.
As an association we are committed to educating people about beekeeping and therefore, depending on numbers, we try to run regular courses for beginners. We do not own premises or have a central headquarters and so courses are run at local community facilities and, through the good will of our members, we also use local apiaries for teaching and demonstration purposes. This situation works well and allows us to run courses and demonstrations / workshops throughout the year (Courses).
The LBA is normally self funded through monies raised by the annual subscription fees (currently £15). However, in 2012 we received a grant from the National Lottery "Awards For All Scotland" scheme and this funding enabled us to purchase beekeeping equipment that we can loan to beginners until they become established. It has also allowed us to buy educational equipment as well as equipment to enable us to advertise and promote ourselves.
Further funding was secured in 2014 from Highland Council for a brand new Ifor Williams trailer to enable us to transport the marqee and equipment to various events and shows throughout Lochaber. We also received funds from The Co-Operative Bank to enable us to purchase protective trousers and childrens complete tunics for us to open up the Training Apiary to all ages. Another source of funding was from Lochaber Housing Association which enabled us to pay for the signage on the trailer. This has proved to be such a good source of advertising and we have received a number of queries from people seeing the trailer when in transit to events/school visits!
In 2015 we were kindly awarded £194 from Lochaber Housing Association. This was used to purchase 2 new tables and table covers to show off our products for sale at shows more effectively! We also purchased a children's table and stools for them to do colouring in of bee pictures or complete bee puzzles. Our thanks to LHA for their generosity.