Becoming a Beekeeper!
Updated: Jun 6, 2020
This post shows me installing a nucleus of bees. This blog about gardening is increasingly including bees as well.
Sadly the pink bee colony did not survive the winter, so we had to start from scratch with a brand new nucleus of bees.
Watch the video to see the installation. I'm very grateful to Howard who knows what he's doing, I'm just a bright pink apprentice, but it is thrilling stuff. It's also frankly terrifying, but I tried not to let that on!
If you are interested in keeping bees the best place to start is by getting in contact with your local beekeeping group. They are great organisations that exist in every part of the country to promote the craft of beekeeping and increase public awareness of bees and their contribution to nature. They run courses and provide mentors to new beekeepers. I went on a beginners course when I was nine months pregnant and I'm certain the Winchester Beekeepers' Association thought I was barmy!
Another recommendation is to get reading. There are thousands and thousands of books about beekeeping, so dip a toe into this fascinating world to see if you catch the bug.
Initially I was just keen on the idea of cultivating my own honey, but the more I learn about bees the less important the honey becomes. British bees are faced with many challenges, diseases like varroa and deadly predators like the Asian hornet which is threatening to cross over to our shores. Just keeping my colony alive and healthy is now the priority.
We can all play a part at increasing the chances of survival for honeybees. I wrote an article about that here.