lovely picture, wonder why his mouth is open, maybe he just got stung? I am too scared to keep bees, but they are fascinating. Our local orchard group in Northants keeps bees and there is a noticeable difference in pollination levels where they site the bees, with vastly improved crops.
Hi, have been looking at getting a Top bar type which the bees are apparently happier in as they can make the combs in a more natural way, but it doesn't give as much honey. it can have a viewing panel on it which would be good for our (community growing) project. Top bars seem to be a bit contentious though amongst some beekeepers...
I'm dragging my heels until I can find someone willing to be a bee apprentice to a friend who has kindly offered to mentor to get us going. Went to a talk by a local honey keeper the other day which was useful; made me realise the cost of all the 'extra's' that its a good idea to have (protective clothing etc) on top of the cost of the hive, which would be around £180 - £200 so a bit of an investment.
Have had some success providing habitat for solitary bees, we get a lot of different types, all good for pollinating.
I think we were mid-conversation Jan. He did get stung shortly after when he examined the 'angry' hive! I've never been a big fan of buzzing things but I was only a couple of metres away from these with no protection on. I was further away than than when we got to the 'angry' hive though - he was given that one and thinks they probaby have no queen in there, but didn't get that far before abandoning that inspection!
I am thinking of keeping bees next year. My main concern was- do bees and small children go together? After talking to an experienced bee keeper and doing a bit of research it turns out the bees shouldn't be bothered by my little darlings. Noise isn't a massive problem but the hive being banged may cause upset. I will keep the hive in the chicken run so the children wont be able to get to it.
Bees are so important but totally overlooked. I find them fascinating!
I've been keeping bees for four or five years now. It's a fascinating hobby and this year I had a bumper crop of honey after last year having none. Quite a learning curve at the start though. i keep my bees in the veg garden and in the chicken run. I've also had a bumper crop of fruit this year, don't know if that's due to the bees or just the weather.
I would like bees but every bee keeper I've spoken to say that you really should go on a course first, and that's easier said than done around here -- they all fill up instantly. I'll get on one eventually!
As well as a steep learning curve, I've heard there is a high set up cost too - I guess while I'm waiting to go on a course, I can keep my eye out for bargain gear...
I know someone who found it cheaper to do everything by joining the beekeepers association, set up costs were reduced and you can get training and a mentor too. Don't know if this is nationwide or just a local thing but might be worth investigating.
We approached a bee keeper at a smallholder show and asked if he knew of anyone looking for land to keep some hives on - it turned out he wanted to expand his hives and so next year he will be putting four hives here on the nursery (in a Landshare sort of way).
Hi Jan, your reply didn't show up in my feed for some reason so I've only just seen this message.
Yes, I've heard that about associations too - make it a lot cheaper - but their courses are the ones that fill up instantly so it's hard to get started with them. I've got a friend who already has bees who could be a mentor once I'm up and running but he doesn't consider himself to be knowledgeable enough to be a substitute for a course. I'll find a course eventually!