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Any Beekeepers?

(60 Posts)
MrsBertBibby Sun 14-Jan-18 13:08:26

Are there any beekeepers on here? I start a theory course next week, and wondered if anyone on here has bees.

brownelephant Sun 14-Jan-18 13:14:38

my parents have bees.
lovely hobby, but lots of work and the kit can be expensive.
but very rewarding and if you are able to sell some honey it can be much cheaper for you.

MrsBertBibby Sun 14-Jan-18 13:27:35

Yes, the price to set up is daunting! We had hoped to start this spring, but a series of unfortunate events ((all our white goods died!) means we will probably have to wait, unless we can get some decent tips for getting stuff cheap!

brownelephant Sun 14-Jan-18 14:28:53

you might be able to hire an extractor via the bee keeping association. or share ome with a nearby beekeeper.
or modify an old manual model with a drill as motor (that's what mu parents did)

if you want to sell honey you meed an annual vet certificate and possibly a food safety certificate, the ass can advise.

Sadik Sun 14-Jan-18 17:54:55

Me! Though they're as much dd's bees as mine & she does most of the manipulation being better at such things - my role is mostly to hold the smoker and pay for kit. I used to keep them in the late 90s, then dd & I did a course last spring / summer, we've currently got two hives overwintering.
Most Associations will have an auction selling second hand kit, so that can be a slightly cheaper option for setting up.

Sadik Sun 14-Jan-18 17:56:20

What I would say is that if you compare the cost to eg having a dog (food, vets bills, kennels on holiday etc etc) actually it doesn't come out that bad in the long run. And you get a lot of pets for your money grin

brownelephant Sun 14-Jan-18 17:57:50

and you can't sell your dog's secretions grinshock

Sadik Sun 14-Jan-18 17:59:44

Dog (until he reached extreme old age) was better at keeping rats / rabbits down though - haven't got the bees trained to that one yet!

dreamingofsun Sun 14-Jan-18 19:04:06

me. doing a course is the way to go, and also join your local association. 2nd hand kit, or polysterene ones keep the cost down, and as someone else has said you can hire extractors. your association probably catches swarms locally and would let you have some for free.

the honey is so much nicer than the stuff you buy in shops.

brownelephant Sun 14-Jan-18 19:08:07

if I buy honey (had to recently as due to shit weather my parents had to feed the bees in summer) I buy local raw honey. I love to taste the different pollen.

if you churn it whilst it crystalises it gets really creamy and smooth and lovely.

Stompythedinosaur Thu 25-Jan-18 22:40:35

I've kept bees for a few years. It's a very interesting hobby. It's good you are doing a proper beekeeping course, my other main advice is to join your local bbka group. Beekeepers are pretty supportive of each other and local knowledge is invaluable.

MrsBertBibby Sat 03-Feb-18 14:54:44

An unexpected tax rebate means we are starting this spring!

UnaOfStormhold Thu 08-Feb-18 17:20:33

We got our first colony in July, still new to it all but it's a fascinating hobby.

MrsBertBibby Fri 09-Feb-18 10:30:42

After last night's bee class I am mainly convinced they will all die.

UnaOfStormhold Fri 09-Feb-18 10:59:16

Ours haven't yet.... What were you learning about last night.

MrsBertBibby Fri 09-Feb-18 13:39:31

All the ways bees can starve even in a hive full of honey!

We're doing the beekeeping year just now, so talking about autumn feeding, winter checks, Spring feeding, the June gap etc.

UnaOfStormhold Fri 09-Feb-18 15:01:19

We've recently put some hard sugar onto the hive which seems to be going down well. It's alarming how quickly they went from very heavy to quite light, but the quick glimpses we've had recently suggest they're doing well so fingers crossed. Are you planning to get a colony this year?

MrsBertBibby Fri 09-Feb-18 19:54:07

Yep, the trainer has just confirmed they will get us one ready.

So we need to start thinking about hives and that.

UnaOfStormhold Fri 09-Feb-18 20:01:45

Exciting! You will soon discover how passionately beekeepers argue and how little consensus there is on what to do. That said I think thia partly reflects the fact that often the correct answer is "it depends!"

UnaOfStormhold Wed 21-Feb-18 09:47:11

How's the course going MrsB? Have you got your hive yet? Here's one of our bees spotted in the garden the other day - very satisfying to see them on your own plants!

MrsBertBibby Thu 22-Feb-18 07:46:54

No hive yet, I'm planning a trip down to a bee emporium in Sussex to scope it all out. We're prepping the ground at Easter (the garden is very sloped but we should have placement advice soon, and the nuc is being got ready, so hopefully I will start the practical course in April, and the nuc will be ready around May.

Getting quite excited! Can't wait to see my bees on my flowers!

UnaOfStormhold Thu 22-Feb-18 15:42:10

It gives me huge pleasure to sit in the garden with a cup of tea watching the bees coming and going.

I'm intrigued, what's a bee emporium?

brownelephant Thu 22-Feb-18 17:04:36

great. get some bulbs of early flowers (crucus, pearl hyacinth... and some plants that flower in june)

BeeKeeping Thu 22-Feb-18 17:13:41

I do grin good luck- it’s a wonderful hobby. Lots of amazing highs and some heart wrenching lows. It’s the only activity I’ve ever done which is simultaneously exciting and relaxing

🐝xx

Mycarsmellsoflavender Thu 22-Feb-18 17:48:20

Can't see the word beekeeper without being reminded of alphablocks when they covered the phoneme ee. Sorry, totally irrelevant!

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