- [1950s]-2011 (Creation)
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The Bee Farmers' Association was founded in 1935 as the Honey Producers Association of Great Britain (HPA). Established to represent the commercial beekeepers of the United Kingdom, the Association aimed to promote the sale of domestic honey. All members had to have at least forty hives of bees.
During the next four years the organisation focused on the marketing aspect of the industry, cooperating with the Ministry of Agriculture to try and limit imported honey. Enquiries by the HPA into the food trade made it clear that buyers of honey found domestic honey uninteresting because of the sporadic nature of supplies, and the organisation aimed to tackle this by standardizing output and prices.
The organisation experienced a lull during the war, with very limited funds, but numbers began to steadily grow again after 1945 and between 1953 and 1961 the Association enjoyed a period of growth and could, by 1963, claim to speak for the majority of commercial beekeepers. The HPA disaffiliated with the British Bee Keepers' Association in 1958, and affiliated with the National Farmers Union in 1961. In 1967 the HPA changed its name to the Bee Farmers Association of Great Britain.
Today the Bee Farmer's Association represents around 450 bee farming businesses. Governed by an elected board of directors and regional representatives, it aims to increase the number of bee farmers, improve crop yields, represent the industry and to provide information and support to members. The Association was the first organisation to create a bee farmer apprenticeship.
Famous members have included A. S. Rowse, founder of Rowse Honey Ltd; R. O. B. Manley, inventor of the Manley moveable frame hives; and Alec Wilfred Gale of Marlborough, whose family founded Gale's Honey.
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