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Bees

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  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 802

    Although Bee-Friendly Beekeeper and I agree on certain things (for instance,  that it's worth taking a bit if time and trouble to learn about bees before taking them on), we don't share the same approach. I would say join your local BBKA and take a course with them. They will introduce you to beekeeping and show you some hives so that you can begin to learn how bees live and how best to care for them.

    Just building a hive and getting some bees is not actually very bee-friendly at all. You need to have some idea of what threats the bees may face (diseases, cold, robbing attacks by wasps, etc) and how best to help the colony survive.  If you want to get honey from them, that's another lot of skills, knowledge and equipment that you'll need. It's a very rewarding hobby, but it's not like setting up a bird table or a nesting box, it's much more complicated than that.

     

  • Beekeeper2Beekeeper2 Posts: 2

    Glad to see that at least one beekeeper agrees with me.

    Just for the record, we do not cut queens' wings or try to stop swarming by destroying queen cells, this does not work for more than a few days. We do treat for varroa mite as it gives the bees the best chance of surviving the winter and not being wiped out as the majority of wild colonies are

  • I made the hive shown on Gardeners World [ Jim The Bee ]. I have been keeping bees in top bar hives for 4 years and making hives for two. Some thoughts and observations.

    I started by going on a course at Embercombe. They gave me confidence and good advice. Inform your local bee inspector, they are helpful and friendly in my experience. I check regularly for varroa and fortunately do not have a problem in the six hives I manage, I do subscribe to the theory that allowing the bees to draw out their own comb helps. I have sold substantially more hives to women than to men. The recurring theme is that they like this simpler approach to beekeeping and that they are returning to beekeeping after some years away. Women also outnumber men five to one on the hive building courses I have run. Try to find like minded people in your area so you can support each other, the forum at is a good starting point as is

  • marc weirmarc weir Posts: 124
    We have bumblebees in our chimney for the first time which im chuffed with but the one thing thats always bugged me is why do you see bumblebees on the floor flapping there wings but unable to fly. Ive picked a few small ones and a very very large one off the slabs over the past week
  • marc weirmarc weir Posts: 124
    The very large one I picked up the other day has been found dead exactly where I put it along with smaller ones dotted around the garden. Any ideas please
  • landgirl100landgirl100 Posts: 655

    I've got a swarm of honey bees in my Philadelphus right now. I've rung the number on the local BKA website, but no response so far. It's very interesting to watch the swarm growing and taking on the expected shape, wide at the top and very narrow at the bottom. I do wish someone would come and take the bees away though!

  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 802

    Don't worry, they won't be aggressive, and they won't stay there more than a day or two. Soon they will be off to a more suitable home.

  • landgirl100landgirl100 Posts: 655

    They've been living in my chimney for the last 3 years, no problem to me. The local bee-keepers weren't interested in trying to extract them, for some reason! There still seem to be plenty flying around the chimney, and the swarm in the tree has split into two and one lot has disappeared. So interesting to watch! 

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,760

    Bumping image

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,355
    Jim The Bee says:

    I made the hive shown on Gardeners World [ Jim The Bee ]. I have been keeping bees in top bar hives for 4 years and making hives for two. Some thoughts and observations.

    I started by going on a course at Embercombe. They gave me confidence and good advice. Inform your local bee inspector, they are helpful and friendly in my experience. I check regularly for varroa and fortunately do not have a problem in the six hives I manage, I do subscribe to the theory that allowing the bees to draw out their own comb helps. I have sold substantially more hives to women than to men. The recurring theme is that they like this simpler approach to beekeeping and that they are returning to beekeeping after some years away. Women also outnumber men five to one on the hive building courses I have run. Try to find like minded people in your area so you can support each other, the forum at is a good starting point as is

    See original post

     Bumping. 

    This post by Jim the Bee casts the earlier objections to Top Bar Hives in a different light ...

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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