Buzz is building for Ken’s insight into beekeeping

Ken Basterfield at work on his honey farm.

Ken Basterfield at work on his honey farm. - Credit: Archant

The Friends of Sidmouth Library is inviting residents to enjoy a talk from the owner of the only beekeeper training centre in the country.

Ken Basterfield, of Blackbury Honey Farm, near Colyton, has never looked back after swapping some of his amateur radio equipment for a hive of bees in 1974.

He will share how his passion grew over four decades to become a family business, which he runs with his wife Maureen and son Dan.

The family currently has between 120 and 150 hives, housing up to 70,000 bees each in the summer.

Ken said: “We were heading for retirement, but our son came back from a career in banking and computing and said he wanted to take over the bees.

“I was a born-again beekeeper and any lifting I cannot do, Daniel can.”

The former electrical engineer says he places an emphasis on education and has built a state-of-the-art facility including a laboratory, training apiary and honey extraction room for those attending courses at the farm.

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Ken said: “We have had 500 students over the past five years, its nice know people are going to help the bees in their beekeeping, there are a lot of people who want to raise bees.”

The beekeeper will be sharing his knowledge at Sidmouth Library at 2.30pm on Tuesday, November 17.

Tickets can be bought in advance from the library or on the door. Guests will be able to enjoy a cream tea with honey and a cup of organic tea and coffee. Proceeds from the talk will be used to help the library buy necessary items and equipment.

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