The Devon Beekeepers’ Association (DBKA) is a not-for-profit organisation run on a voluntary basis for the benefit of bees and beekeepers. It is affiliated to the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA). We actively encourage membership to provide the help resources needed to promote beekeeping and to support beginners and 'old hands' alike.
Our aim is to promote and further the craft of beekeeping and to advance the education of the public in the importance of honeybees in the environment.
We plan to achieve this with our eleven Branch Associations by:
Promoting and supporting good beekeeping practice.
Many of us are now considering how we can live more sustainably. There is a growing interest in where our food comes from and the key part in which bees play. The health of our bees has a direct impact on our own well being so it is vital that we care for them properly. Our interests also extend to other pollinators, local flora, the climate and environment as the fate of honeybees is clearly linked to these.
Founded in 1875 DBKA has a long history which is described in interesting detail in Ron Brown's 'One Thousand Years of Devon Beekeeping'. copies of this booklet are held in all branch libraries.
'BEEKEEPING', our Association journal also forms an interesting historical record. It has been published continuously since 1935, 10 issues per year. There are three complete archival sets in the county - two held by the editor at the moment and one at the Devon County Records Office.
The Downing Memorial Bowl
The Downing Bowl was presented by the South Devon Beekeepers in memory of Mr S.A.L. & Mrs H. Downing who died in 1962. The South Devon Beekeepers' Association (SDBKA) was a group of southern members which broke away from the DBKA in 1953 and returned in 1967. In the first few years the Bowl was presented to the member of the former SDBKA making the most worthwhile contribution to the craft. The handsome silver bowl is presented annually at the AGM, and the decision as to who should receive the award is decided by the Award Committee made up of the current and the previous 2 year’s recipients. The panel does not suggest names themselves but choose from those names given to them.
The award has been made since 1965 and is currently given to the DBKA member who is considered to have contributed most to the Association in recent years. Usually, this is to someone who has contributed at County Association level as well as for their Branch, but the nominee does not have to be a committee member. It is a rule that it is not awarded to the same person more than once. On four previous occasions it has been awarded to a husband and wife team. Every name is considered and all names are kept confidential.