Answers to Frequently Asked Beekeeping
Where can I keep bees?
You can keep bees anywhere. It is possible to keep bees in a back
garden but do a beekeeping course so you know how. They are kept on rooftops in cities all around the world. There
are many examples of houses incorporating hive cavities built into the
walls, and some so bees could even be accessed from inside the house!
What equipment do I need to start?
A protective 'veil' or suit - here, a 'smoker' - here and a
'hive tool'- here, are necessities, everything else is optional. See our Beginners Kit here.
will of course need a hive and bees!
What hive should I have?
There are many different hives designed for commercial
most popular in the U.K. is the British National. For each colony you
will need one complete hive for your first year and a
second spare hive in your second year (this is needed as part of swarm
control). I suggest you research alternatives. Top Bar Hives are a low
cost and sustainable option requiring no extra kit - see our bee hives.
equipment though, as it can harbour disease and is more often
umpteenth-hand and on its last legs.
What bees should I have?
Bees are normally sold as a
'nucleus' - an established starter colony
containing a laying queen, (a colony can't start with just a queen) - see our honey bee nucleus colonies for sale. These are normally available from early
summer, you must order early.
Buy your bees with a queen that is bred in the U.K. Avoid bees with imported
queens. The foreign strains and subspecies are genetically different to our own, they are often unsuited to the U.K. and particularly susceptible to viral disease.
Beware trying to start with
a swarm unless you know its origin, they often fail to establish a colony and it could harbour disease.
Email if you have any questions, I'm
happy to help.