Our Objectives

As a group of beekeepers from a variety of backgrounds, our objectives are:

  1. The promotion of healthy bee colonies
  2. Encouragement, support and training for new beekeepers
  3. Advice and practical help to the local community on the protection and importance of all pollinating insects and advice on their proper handling and safety
  4. Response to the community to collect swarms. Several members are also registered on the BBKA web site and can be approached directly.


West Herts Beekeepers’ Association was founded in 1941, during the Second World War to receive Government assistance for the production of honey and the pollination of war time food crops in the Croxley Area.

Beekeeping was started in the grounds of the grade II listed Croxley House. The original house was built in 1770.  During the second World War it became a rehabilitation hospital for wounded RAF and USAF airmen.  After WW2 the house became a residential care home owned and managed by the WRVS Trust. In 2009, the estate was purchased by Greensleeves Homes Trust.

Records indicate that individual West Herts members had kept bees in the grounds of Croxley House from the end of the war. Association records confirm the formalisation of the West Herts Apiary with the WRVS Trustees in 1956 with an annual rent of two guineas. By mutual agreement, this later became a peppercorn rent of honey for the benefit of the Care Home residents.

The West Herts Association was initially independent with direct affiliation to the BBKA. It sought membership of the County Association in 1974 to assist members wishing to exhibit honey with a wider group of beekeepers. Between 1992 and 2005 the Association became independent again under the chairmanship of Dr Harry R C Riches, past president of both the BBKA and the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers.

The West Herts Association re-joined the Hertfordshire organisation in 2005. West Herts regained much independence from August 2019, becoming a Local Association affiliated to the newly established umbrella organisation, Hertfordshire BKA (CIO).

West Herts is affiliated to the BBKA providing third party liability insurance and the BDI providing bee diseases insurance. The colonies of the Croxley Apiary are registered with the National Bee Unit and the Bee Inspectors.