Getting Involved in Beekeeping
Become a Member
Membership of Southerns Beekeeping Association is open to all persons interested in beekeeping and any activities associated with beekeeping. You do not have to own any hives if you cannot, or do not want to, or feel you are not experienced enough yet in managing bees, but will be welcome to join us at our monthly meetings, field days and beekeeping courses. If you do have beehives you should of course belong to an Association. Southerns would welcome your participation.
Annual Membership Fees are:
|Visitors to Meetings & Field Days:||R50.00 per event|
Ordinary Membership applies to individuals.
Family Membership applies to husbands & wives or parents & children who wish to join as a family.
A Country Member would be an individual who lives outside of Gauteng Province, but wishes to participate in our field days and other activities but logistically cannot make monthly meetings.
All members receive our Newsletter and are informed, ideally by e-mail, of all our Field Days and activities.
For more information about our Association please contact us on 074 038 3315 or send an enquiry e-mail through the facility provided. Or else speak to any of the Committee members as listed on the Homepage.
Click to fill in the Online Application form
An Application Form to join the Association can be downloaded by clicking on the links below and emailing it back to us or simply bring it along when you come to our next meeting.
Training Courses in Beekeeping
For information on Training Courses on Beekeeping.
New beekeepers or persons interested in Beekeeping in the Gauteng region are encouraged to join our Association and attend Field Days where all aspects of practical beekeeping can be experienced and learnt by the novice beekeeper.
The keeping of bees in the suburban areas is allowed under certain properly managed conditions. Many homeowners discover they have a feral swarm of bees in their garden which, as the description states they are wild and uncontrollable. When the swarm becomes too big the bees may become agitated and behave aggressively. It is always advisable to deal with bees as soon as they have moved in as leaving them too long makes their removal difficult. Most homeowners do not want their bees destroyed and should call in a professional beekeeper to assist. (Refer to Services Offered – Bee Removals.)
On the other hand a feral swarm may be properly managed so that their space for growth and contraction of the swarm, depending on the time of year is adequately controlled in order to keep the bees actively and calmly occupied at the bottom of the garden, doing what bees know best – pollinating your garden flowers and shrubs and making honey.
It is legitimate to keep bees in the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipal area if you have a permit to do so. Contact Southerns Beekeeping Association to find out how to obtain a permit. A copy of the by-laws pertaining to beekeeping in this area follows underneath. If you intend taking up beekeeping in this manner then it is advisable that you join our Association.
Another way in which Southerns can help you to keep bees in your garden is through our Managed Suburban Beekeeping Programme. You can sponsor a hive on your property which will be managed by a registered beekeeper from Southerns. Either you can buy the hive and own it and share the products from it or the beekeeper will own the hive and provide you from time to time with honey harvested from the hive on your property. The hive must be properly sited and out of the way of dangers of animals and children interfering with it. If your area is not suited to the keeping of an approved bee hive, then the beekeeper will advise you so.
Contact our Association if you are interested in this Programme. You may start off with having a managed hive in your back garden and end up becoming a registered beekeeper making a lucrative sideline out of your hobby.
There has been a marked reduction in the number of bees in the urban areas over the past decade. This is a result, as usual, of urban growth and development, town house complexes going up and a general decline in vegetation and flora in the city. This is one way of bringing back the important contribution bees make to a healthy environment.
The keeping of bees in the Johannesburg Metropolitan area is controlled by the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality Public Health By-Laws, (Provincial Gazette Extraordinary No 179 dated 21 May 2004, Notice 830 of 2004).
The General Provisions for the keeping of bees is as follows:
Requirements for keeping of bees
145. (1) No person may keep bees on any premises unless –
(a) that person is the holder of a permit authorizing that activity; and
(b) every bee hive is situated –
(i) a minimum of five metres from any boundary of the premises; and
(ii) a minimum of twenty metres from any public place or building used for human habitation or from any place used for the keeping of animals, poultry and birds;
(c) the bees are kept in an approved bee hive; and
(d) the bee hive is –
(i) kept in an area inaccessible to children and animals;
(ii) kept in the shade at all times; and
(iii) supplied with a source of drinking water within five metres of the hive.
(2) No person may dump or deposit any garbage, compost, grass cuttings or manure within five metres of any bee hive.
We need Apiary Sites
Southerns Beekeepers Association members are forever on the lookout for suitable sites to put their hives. If you own a smallhollding or a farm and would like to encourage a bee friendly environment we can put you in touch with those of our members who require apiary sites. Although there is no monetary reward, all reputable beekeepers keep their site hosts in regular supply of their own home made honey. You too could learn about the interesting hobby or livelihood of beekeeping. Make your smallholding give you a return on your investment.
The key factors that beekeepers look for in siting apiaries are food source, accessibility, security and convenience.
Food Source: there must be suitable forage for bees. A gum plantation is ideal. Also bees need a lot of water.
Accessibility: the beekeeper must be able to get up close to the hives with his vehicle. Carrying full supers of capped honey is back breaking work.
Security: one of the biggest threats to the bee industry is the constant cost of vandalism and theft. Bees are also often kept in isolated areas which can make for dangerous situations for the beekeeper himself.
Convenience: Hives should not be placed too close to human dwellings or where humans or livestock walk or where the bees can be irritated by unnecessary movement.