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Bee keeping for beginners

I want to start keeping bees to make my own honey but I don't know the first thing about bee keeping. If there are any experienced bee keepers I welcome all and any feedback.

How do I start? I don't know what a 'nuc' is, a 'super' or pretty much any other word associated with bee keeping. I'm very keen to produce my own honey. I just need a little (maybe a lot) of help to get started. 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,590
    Find out if there is a beekeepers association in your area.

    Start with meetings and learn from an experienced beekeeper.  They can steer you in the direction of where to buy hives, get a swarm etc.

  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,966
    I have a hive given to me by local bee keepers, which is in my orchard. They come and do the work, but will train me if i want and i get to keep most of the honey.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • FireFire Posts: 18,993
    I agree with FB. Join your local association, do some weekend workshops, speak to a lot of experienced keepers. Get an idea of commitment, cost (which is high), conditions needed. Buy some books. After you have studied, researched and asked a lot of questions to knowledgable keepers, then make you decision. 

  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,838
    You might need to consider your neighbours too. Our neighbour keeps bees and we get to enjoy the benefits but there are some downsides.

    Swarms are an occasional problem which would terrify many people. My OH now carries an Epipen following a bad reaction from a sting. The beekeeper is now also severely allergic and his wife has to stand by with an Epipen when he tends his hives.

    We both have large gardens so the occasional swarm in our garden is a minor inconvenience but one year a swarm got into our house. Our other neighbours with young children would be far less accommodating than we are for understandable reasons.
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,295
    Hello @Littlegrower,

    We've been keeping bees now for 10 years and it's a great hobby ..... there's a lot to know, and no 2 years are the same.

    As others have said, joining a local beekeeping association is a good place to start. Most will have summer apiary visits where you will get to see the bees close up. Not everyone is comfortable with several thousand bees milling around them .... so worth finding out if it's for you before spending any money.

    Don't under-estimate the time involved. We inspect our hives every 7 days between April and mid-August .... checking for disease, swarming preparations (so we can manage and prevent swarming), etc etc .... so holidays are taken in the winter.
    This suits us anyway as we are keen gardeners.

    Hope is works out for you.

    Bee x

    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • There are kinder ways to keep bees and have some honey. Bees in trees or roofs do not get opened or sprayed with chemicals. Swarming is a natural way of reproducing, not suppressed. By all means join the local beekeeping group but also check out the nearest natural beekeepers; you will learn a gentler way.
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