bee keeping

(11 Posts)
poppyinstitches Wed 11-Mar-15 09:15:27

has anyone tried or keeps bee's? I live in central London and would love to start, sort of country living in the city.

attheendoftheday Thu 21-May-15 20:40:13

Yes, I keep bees. The first step is to find a good beekeeping course to attend (I did one as a module at an agricultural college - look for one where you actually get to handle bees). Look for a local bbka meeting, ours has apiary meets for new members.

When you're choosing bees if you can avoid the imported, mainly Italian, bees which are damaging our native bees!

CoffeeBeanie Thu 21-May-15 20:52:04

I'm in London too and planning to keep bees, I'm doing a bee keeeping course at the moment.

We have a large-ish garden though, and very bee friendly neighbours.

Look for a course, there are plenty around. If you become a member, you are insured as well. My local bbka has a swarm list, you can get a swarm from them once you have done a course and got a hive (or 2, or 3).

Apart from the bees at the apiary at the bbka I have seen zero bees in my garden this year. Not good. We need more bees.

poppyinstitches Thu 21-May-15 23:01:03

great, thanks!

FrancesNiadova Sat 05-Sep-15 20:57:18

I used to keep bees & would like to again.
As attheendoftheday says, get yourself on a good beekeeping course. Also, join a club. At my local beeks club, they twin a newbee with an established keeper & you go into their hives with them for your first year. This is invaluable when it comes to spotting potential swarming & the autumn treatments for things like varroa.
Good Luck flowers bzzzzzzz

TheDrsDocMartens Sat 05-Sep-15 21:53:51

Dh has bees. We are oop North and they aren't having a good year. Lots of extra feeds needed.

FrancesNiadova Sat 05-Sep-15 23:25:14

Yes, TheDrs this summer & last summer will have involved boiling up lots of sugar syrup! sad

TheDrsDocMartens Sun 06-Sep-15 19:55:10

From his groups it appears there's a north south divide on needing to feed.

longjumping Sun 13-Dec-15 19:15:25

I keep bees and have for many years. The North/ south divide is only important because the flowers come out later the further north you go. The weather, particularly continuing rain is what keeps them in the hive and stops them foraging.
There are many beekeepers in London particularly on corporate sites.....the forage is the problem....make sure there is sufficient high quality forage for much of the year.
And, yes, definitely join an established club that is a me,bet of the BBKA...the British Beekeepers Association.
Good luck

FurbysMakeSexNoises Wed 10-Feb-16 11:31:35

Sorry to hijack a bit after the fact but I live in the countryside and am thinking about getting a hive etc. How long do they take in terms if time commitment over the year?

attheendoftheday Thu 03-Mar-16 19:43:08

During swarming season (May to Aug ish, but depends a bit on where you live) you need to go into the hive every 7-10 days to check for queen cells and any other problems. A single colony takes me something live 15 mins to check (but I think that's slow compared to many). But it takes 5-10 mins lighting a smoker and getting things together first, and another 5-10 mins to be sufficiently bee free to remove my suit afterwards.

Out of season bees don't take much time at all, mostly topping up feeders if you do that.

I think the most time consuming apart is assembling bee equipment like frames and extraction. I probably only need to do each task once a year but they take hours and hours!

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