UK Veg Gardeners

Is there any Allotment Bee Keepers out there?

Hi I am fairly new to the UVG's and was wondering if anyone kept bees on their allotment plot. I have had my plots for approx 6 years and and have the go ahead from the council for keeping bees on site (something they have only just allowed and trialled on a nearby site). My husband is booked for the local bee keeping course in the spring and has his first taster session on Saturday and we are aiming to get our first hives next summer. Any bee keeping advice would be appreciated, but I have been reading up on the general information, it was really advice about keeping them on a plot, such as getting the right location, local residents and plot holders, the best ways to fence them off etc. Probably should also add I have two very keen boys age 3 and 7 who I want to introduce to the world of bees, so any suggestions on doing this safely would also be gratefully received, obviously they are going to need mini bee suits!

Thanks 

Hayley

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Thanks Fligty I will definately have a look at the group, my husband is doing a course associated with both the BBKA and IOW association.

Regards

Hayley

If the neighbours on ajoining plots are amenable, it should be OK. I have bees on an allotment where this is the case, but I know of other Beekeepers who give up keeping them on allotments because of animosity from other plot holders. It's traditional to give the surrounding plot holders a jar of honey come harvest time. I keep my hives between a fence and a bed of cordon gooseberries. This forces the bees up so they are above head height when flying across the allotments. The gooseberries work even though they are not a solid barrier. Bees do not seem to weave themselves through shrubs when they can fly over them. 6' high is enough.

BTW, you will be stung from time to time, so your kids will if you involve them. Might be a major guilt trip for you if the 3 year old gets stung.

Thanks for the advise, I have already been round most of the site and have the buy in from all the plot holders I have asked so far. We are surrounded by houses, which may be a bit more of an issue!! There are a couple of areas of the site I think will be suitable, but I wasn't sure if there was any legislation re distance from public footpaths or residential housing?

The 3 year old is a tough nut it will be the 7 year old that will make a fuss! They are both really keen and have been practising with the new smoker we bought at the weekend. I have never been stung and can't say I will relish my first, but it will be for a good cause!

Thanks again

Hayley

There is no legislation about distance from footpaths or neighbours.  Very occasionally Beekeepers end up in court, pursued by next door, but they almost  always win. Effectively, you have a right to keep bees if you want to. Having said that, it's sensible to keep non aggressive bees and to not inspect them when say one of the neighbours is having a barbecue. It's also wise to arrange an emergency apiary where you can take the bees if they suddenly turn nasty (which can happen). 

I was thinking more of the guilt trip if your 3 year old gets stung btw. 

On a positive note, you and your surrounding plot holders will get 20% more soft fruit. 

If
Hayley Louise Hobbs said:

Thanks for the advise, I have already been round most of the site and have the buy in from all the plot holders I have asked so far. We are surrounded by houses, which may be a bit more of an issue!! There are a couple of areas of the site I think will be suitable, but I wasn't sure if there was any legislation re distance from public footpaths or residential housing?

The 3 year old is a tough nut it will be the 7 year old that will make a fuss! They are both really keen and have been practising with the new smoker we bought at the weekend. I have never been stung and can't say I will relish my first, but it will be for a good cause!

Thanks again

Hayley

Thanks Peter thats helpful advise.

Regards

Hayley

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