Getting Started

Beekeeping For Beginners

I went from an interest in beekeeping (2008) to managing bees (2012).  I wish I had started sooner.  So to help you accelerate the process here are some next steps:

  1. Read beekeeping books
  2. Attend a local beekeeping course and visit their local apiary
  3. Start saving some cash (to buy the beehive and bees)
  4. Join the local branch of the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA)
  5. Research types of beehives
  6. Find somewhere to put a hive (I have a very small garden and keep my hives in an allotment)
  7. Take the plunge and buy a hive
  8. Make some beekeeping friends who can mentor you (and perhaps provide swarms)
  9. Buy some bees from someone you have met at the local beekeeping association (though catching a swarm is cheaper)

This process can take 6 months to 2 years, depending how eager you are to start keeping your own bees and what time of year it is.  Your new bees will arrive about April or May (UK).  This will then be followed by a lifetime of learning more about bees.

To learn more about honeybees and watch a good video on the plight of the bee, please visit my honeybees page.

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7 thoughts on “Getting Started”

  1. As a beginner you could also apprentice yourself to a local, more experienced beekeeper. I have had several over the years, 2 active ones at the moment, but the relationship is a continuing one. I still call my first one, Laura, my apprentice and was as proud as a parent when she took and passed her Basic exam. She had more hives than me at one stage but has cut back now as she has a baby to occupy her time.

    Every case is different as we are all individuals, but generally, after we’ve been round my hives together so the apprentice can get initial hands-on experience, I move one of mine to their site. At first they lean over my shoulder. Then I lean over theirs. Then, depending on the season, availability of equipment etc, mine is split and the 2 run alongside each other for a while. Then, when the apprentice can fly solo, I move mine away.

    It’s useful at extraction time to have an apprentice turning the handle and doing the heavy lifting!

    1. I have added “find a mentor” to the getting started list – many thanks for this suggestion. I found that it doesn’t take much heavy lifting before one thinks, I would rather be doing this for myself (or for my bees)!

  2. Hello,
    like your site. Lots of useful info.
    Specially liked the photos so I know what to look for later.
    About to start my first course in bee keeping in three days ( on Saturday 17th March’18) at Kingston Maurward College). Can’t wait for my new adventure.

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