Find out more about keeping bees in your garden for honey
Home Beekeepinggrow your own | livestock
It is possible to keep bees
in even the smallest of back gardens or on flat rooftops. With just a little effort each week it is possible to have your very own supply of delicious local honey
. Even in city centres there are enough flowers with pollen to keep a hive thriving.
How to Start Beekeeping
Without the necessary basic knowledge it is impossible to look after bees properly. Some time must be spent in the company of an experienced professional beekeeper
possibly as part of a formal beekeeping course
before you rush in and start buying hives and bees. Click here to visit the official British Beekeepers Association
website to find your local beekeeping association, beekeeping courses, and for more background information about bees and beekeeping
Bees are typical sold as a nucleus
(nuc) - this is a complete honey bee
colony comprising a laying queen, bees, honey and frames to be slotted into your hive. They are typically available for sale in the early summer months though there is availability through the year if required with young queens available by the middle of the summer. A queen will live for 3-4 years after which a new queen will need to be purchased or new queens can be raised by the beekeeper. (See this article Raising Honey Bee Queens
for more information.) Ideally the bees and queen should be obtained from a local source since they will then be perfectly suited to your local environment.
The Bee Hive
is a man-made home for honey bees
. It is basically a lidded box into which are slotted frames
onto which the bees build their honeycomb structure and store honey. One beehive houses one colony consisting of one queen bee, a few hundred drones (males) and from 10,000 to 50,000 worker bees (female) depending on the time of year (more in the summer).
Other Essential Beekeeping Equipment
The most important item for any aspiring beekeeper is the beekeeping suit
. This is a protective suit with veiled helmet which covers the whole body, head, and face so that the bees cannot sting you. The chosen suit must be well ventilated
since the beekeeper is busiest during the hot summer months, comfortable, and well fitted. Hygenic gloves
must also be worn - typically made of leather or rubber to protect against stings. The suit and gloves will be white since bees sense a threat when they see a dark shape (bears?) attacking their hive.
Pictured above is a beekeeper's smoker
used to calm bees so that the hive can be opened without the bees going defensive. The smoke masks chemical pheromones released by the hive's guard bees and also that from any bees which may be squashed as the hive is opened and manipulated by the beekeeper.
Pictured above is a hive tool
- this is used to remove the frames from a bee hive and for other hive maintenance.
Here are some useful links to relevant products:
Article Published: 15:40, 4th Jan 2012
Related ArticlesMaking Compost
Find out how to make your own compostArticle Published: 14:40, 5th Apr 2006grow your own | recycleGrowing Redcurrants
Find out more about growing your own redcurrantsArticle Published: 09:02, 21st Jul 2008grow your own | fruitsGrowing Asparagus
Find out how to grow your own asparagusArticle Published: 12:55, 18th May 2010grow your own | vegetablesCompost Tumbler
Find out about the benefits of a compost tumblerArticle Published: 14:40, 5th Apr 2006grow your own | recycleCompanion Planting
Find out about the benefits of companion plantingArticle Published: 09:27, 12th Jul 2008grow your own | vegetablesGrowing Shallots
Find out how to grow your own shallotsArticle Published: 08:06, 12th Jul 2008grow your own | vegetablesAllotment Gardening
Grow all you can eat on your own allotment.Article Published: 20:32, 10th May 2014grow your own | vegetablesTypes of Soil
Learn about the different types of soilArticle Published: 13:16, 6th Apr 2006grow your ownGreen Manure
Find out the benefits of green manure and its usesArticle Published: 10:25, 14th Aug 2008grow your ownCrop Rotation
Find out more about the importance of crop rotationArticle Published: 09:08, 5th Jul 2008grow your own | vegetables