bee keeper meetingBeginners

Thinking of keeping bees? Please read on…

Key advice

The essential first step for beginners is to join your local association. There, you will get help and advice to get you started.

Look for your local bee keepers’ association on the British Bee Keepers’ Association site at www.britishbee.org.uk or at your local library. If you live in North Shropshire or North Wales then contact us and come to a meeting!

Why keep bees?

There are all sorts of reasons why people keep bees: an interest in natural things; free honey; observing the life cycle of beings substantially unchanged for 3 million years; perhaps it’s in the family.

Once experienced, it is difficult to forget the heady honey perfume wafting from a hive of busy bees on a summer’s evening, the intense chaos of a swarm in flight, your first honey harvest. Or the time a dozen bees got up your trouser leg.

Age

Child beekeeperImmaterial. You may find it difficult to find a bee suit to fit if you are very young (see right), but child sizes are available.

If you are at the other end of four score years and a pension, your main concern might be humping full supers of honey (30-40lbs plus), but you will usually be able to obtain a helping hand from your local association.

Health

Health is not relevant except when lifting hive parts.

There is a possibility you may have an adverse reaction to bee stings. This is not very common, but it must be taken seriously. You will inevitably get stung at some time, however well protected you may be.

It may be a good plan to ensure that you have company whenever you are exposed to the chance of being stung, at least until your reaction can be gauged. In most cases a slight swelling will be the only result, apart from the initial howl of pain!

How to keep bees

There are as many ways of keeping bees as there are bee keepers.

You need not worry about getting it right initially however, as honey bees have existed without our interference for some millions of years and will get on with their business quite happily whilst we learn the general hang of things.

Read some books. Come to a meeting to get a flavour of what’s involved.

Cost

See Equipment page for more information

Local suppliers

Berwick Beekeeping Supplies
8 Latchford Lane, Berwick Grange, Shrewsbury, SY1 4YG
Tel: 01743 465 079
Mobile: 07946 501 975
Email: berwickbees@gmail.com

C.Wynne Jones
Ty Brith, Pentrecelyn, Ruthin, Denbighshire, LL15 2SR
Tel: 01978 790 279
Fax: 01978 790 265
Email: jones@tybrith.fsnet.co.uk

Brian Norris
(budget priced hives)
Tel: 01686 625 250

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