If you are thinking of starting to keep bees, we highly recommend that you join your local Beekeeping Association. The BBKA is a charity made up of over 63 local associations and has over 15,000 members. They are very helpful in getting new beekeepers started. What do you get for joining?
Many local beekeeping associations run beekeeping courses which cover the basics of good beekeeping. Many of the courses are over subscribed and it is often hard to get a place so you will need to book early.
Lectures And Bee Books
Most associations have a wide range of lectures covering all manner of beekeeping topics. They run throughout the year and cover interesting topics such a hive management to disease control. Most associations also have a really good book library which you can use free of charge.
You will get public liability insurance for all beekeeping activities and also product insurance. Product insurance covers you in the unlikely event that your bees catch American Foulbrood (a rare disease). In this unfortunate situation your hive would have to be destroyed by a Bee Inspector and the insurance should cover the cost of a new hive for you.
Last but not least - the beekeeping associations are full of like minded friendly people. You can get advice about your hives, find someone with bees to spare and make friends.
To find out more visit www.britishbee.org.uk.