Can You Keep Bees?

Keeping bees is a fantastically rewarding hobby - but how do you know if you can? There are several things to consider...


Time

Keeping bees requires small amounts of regular time with the bees. You typically have to spend around half an hour per week with a hive. You can do this at the weekend or, if the weather is still good, when you return from work. Most beekeepers would like to spend more time with their bees rather than less, as beekeeping is highly addictive. Unlike keeping other animals, the bees mostly look after themselves and will not notice if you go on holiday. In all, you might spend 20-30 hours over the course of a year with the bees.


Space

Bees can be kept anywhere from country orchards to urban gardens to small city balconies. It is a common misconception that you need a large garden or countryside nearby. Although this can make siting your bees easier, urban gardens are arguably better. Nectar and pollen can be gathered from a wide variety of plants. This means that there is often a constant source of food throughout the summer and a lack of harmful pesticides.


Neighbours

You might be worried what you neighbours will think. If you have a large garden, it is possible that your neighbours will not know you have bees. However, if space is tight, you need to carefully plan the beehive site and ensure you purchase bees that are good tempered (i.e. buy you bees from a reputable supplier). The beehive should be located in such a way that the entrance of the hive does not point into a footpath or busy area of the garden.


Equipment

Beekeeping requires a few pieces of essential equipment including clothing, tools and (obviously) a hive. These are covered later in the guide.



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Comments

Max, 12 July 2019

Hey all, I have been reading the comments and have noticed that many of you would like to keep bees but are scared to take the plunge yourself. Specifically for this need, I have developed a website which is completely free to use and connects beekeepers and gardeners so they can effectively share a hive. The website is called Host My Hive and has a live map, active communications and private chats, all for linking up gardeners who would like a beehive but are a little scared about bees, and beekeepers who just need the perfect location. Sign up for free and become a host for a hive! https://www.hostmyhive.co.uk


Cerys, 3 June 2019

I live in the countryside and wanted to do my bit for the bees. The only problem im not fussed on bees, I don't kill them or anything but I couldn't touch them. Could I have a hive and just leave the bee's to it with no intervention


Lucianne, 19 May 2019

I’ve been thinking of keeping bees, I have no clue. I have a bee hive the bees have decided to have it in a bird nest. I’m letting them carry on, as it’s at the bottom of the garden , with a woodlands at the back of the garden. Obviously I’m not gonna touch them, but have planted bee friendly seeds . So if I bought a bee hive, would the natural bees inhabit this , and would that be ok ?


Kieron, 10 March 2019

I’m looking for some local bee keepers and how I would get into it have not got a clue . My grandfather kept 16hives in Ireland and I have alwAys fancied it


Tammy, 19 May 2018

Brand new to beekeeper here on the Big Island. Make sure you get a good puffer..my husband and I seem to have problems getting that thing started..Educate yourself on starting it...my husband I spend to much time tryin to get it going

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