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Jamanda

Beginning Beekeeping Work in Progress

Keeping Bees is something which many Downsizers are interested in.

I'm writing this from a position of being a beekeeper for one week, but it's taken a long time and a fair amount of planning to get this far, so this is an account of how I got started.

The first thing I did was to join my local branch of the British Bee Keepers Association

And I went along to the local apiary a couple of times to see what it was all about. This was in the Summer of 2007.

I made my first purchase of a protective jacket This is the only special clothing I have needed to buy. It cost about 65.

This meant I could watch closely what the experts were doing with the bees, and could hold and examine frames my self.

Bees don't do much over the Winter - or at least not much that humans need to get involved with. They need feeding with sugar fondant that sits under the roof of the hive, but the hive doesn't get opened, so not much happened for the next few months.

Then in February I started a beginners course at the apiary. This cost 85 for the course, membership of the NDBKA and membership of the BBKA which also covers bee insurance.

These are all the sessions we had, so as you can see it was quite in depth.

Homes for bees. A look at hive types, construction and useability.

Bee keeping equipment. A look at the necessities and the extras.


Practical. Cleaning, and maintaining hives, assembling of frames etc. and tools needed


Where to keep your bees! Is your garden big enough? What about neighbours? Stands etc


Diseases and disorders. Varoa and other complaints bees suffer from.


Increasing colonies. Nucleus boxes and creating a new colony by means of a nucleus


Swarms. What is a swarm! Why do bees swarm? Insight into control and or prevention.


Feeding. Important to understand condition of bees. Do they require additional food? How to feed bees.


First look inside a hive. Seeing live bees on the comb and understanding what you see.


Hunt the lady! Looking further into the hive to find and identify the queen.


A go on your own. Manipulating the bees, handling frames with their bees. Seeing what you can see!


Ad hoc class. Create your own nucleus
Spruengli

Sounds great! I have a long-term hankering to keep bees, but am worried that I wouldn't have the time to do everything properly..
Wishing you lots of enjoyment with yours Laughing
Jamanda

Spruengli wrote:
Sounds great! I have a long-term hankering to keep bees, but am worried that I wouldn't have the time to do everything properly..
Wishing you lots of enjoyment with yours Laughing


That's why I'm writing this, to try and give an indication of what is needed to get going.
Mary-Jane

Jamanda wrote:
That's why I'm writing this, to try and give an indication of what is needed to get going.


Wonderful idea Jamanda. I shall read your posts with great interest because (as you know) I have serious ambitions to keep bees. A really good idea to cost everything out too.
Jamanda

Thanks M-J. I need to get a few more photos organised (the weather isn't helping)
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