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Bee Keeping

(6 Posts)
RelocationFun Sat 02-Nov-13 07:28:21

Wasn't sure where this should go so hopefully I got it right.

I would like to learn about Bee Keeping. Unfortuantely I cant commit to a course (due to lo's) so thought I could try a local (SW11 area) and shaddow them as they open the hive, inspect, collect honey, etc. Ask them a few questions about the reality of urban bee keeping, etc.

Does anyone know of someone who would be willing?

bumperella Sat 02-Nov-13 21:49:44

I'm about to be really negative.
I've kept bees for about 10 years, but would strongly recommend you don't consider doing it without joining yr local association and doing a course first. Urban beekeepers need to be especially vigilant about swarm control and pest management, as well as decent breeding - you need calm bees who are non-swarmy.

Watching someone else do it won't be enough. You're unlikely to find a good local beekeeper who will let you do so; certainly in our area there are far far more beginners than there are mentors with the time to take them on.
Yr local assoc may well offer the chance to look through hives (assoc hives or whatever) weekly in the season, even without doing a course this COULD be a possibility.

mousmous Sat 02-Nov-13 21:57:13

agree with bump
a course is very useful and also joining an association helps with the neccessary insurance(s) that you really need to take up.
it it a time comsuming hobby. not so many hours each day but when stuff needs doing it needs doing. harvesting, swarming, disinfecting, churning the honey, filling into jars.....

very rewarding if done correctly, but not something to just take up on a whim.

RelocationFun Mon 04-Nov-13 20:17:15

I've been wanting to do this for a while so no a whim iykwim.

Mousmous and bumperalla - from your brief posts you have given me more info than course providers. Sadly most of the courses are vague and general not to mention expensive.

Thank you. I'll keep persisting and eventually get a hive.

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 04-Nov-13 20:20:24

My parents keep bees. You definitely need to do a course. Have you been in touch with your local association?

bumperella Fri 15-Nov-13 21:25:49

Most local associations will have good courses that are not expensive and are pretty comprehensive, they'll also link you up with an experienced association member to act as your mentor if/when you get bees. Some will have association apiaries so you get some hands on experience as well as the theory based night classes. I don't know anything about privately-run courses but in general would be very sceptical of anyone making money out of teaching you.
The SBA (Scottish Beek Assoc) have published old, brief course notes for some local association courses online, they might give you a steer on what is covered.
I'm on the committee of our local assoc., so am biased! But I'd be very very surprised if there was no local beek assoc available to you and most of them are really good.

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