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Thread: Advice on bee keeping wanted

  1. #1
    redkoatz is offline Germinator
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Advice on bee keeping wanted

    I have a decent size territory which im clearing of weeds and want them to stay gone, so I want to plant zone rhubarb and flowers and things to restrict weed /Brambles.
    I eat a lot of raw good quality honey and it's expensive. Also because of the bee population decline in the uk, I figured I can simultaneously 1. plant flowers and fruit trees to restrict overgrown weeds 2. Make my own expensive honey. 3. Help nature and my small budding allotment by helping the bees.

    The area I've designated is actually outside of my garden just over the fence. Which is technically the outskirts of a forest, but according to zoning rights, about 2 metres beyond the fence is mine anyway and there's a tree there right in a clearing (for a tree hive maybe ?)

    In my research I've noticed that a bee hive seems to cost about 300 but apparently you can get off around (tree) versions.
    There seems to be a few bees. I'm quite interested in the "Russian" bees.

    Anyone got any input, cost, where I can get the hive and bees etc.
    I have no carpentry skills so please don't suggest I saw out my own hive lol
    Also what plants are a good source if pollen for bees?
    Last edited by veggiechicken; 22-04-2017 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Title change

  2. #2
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is offline Warning, May contain nuts
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    May 2006
    Sunshiny South Wales
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    Hi Redkoatz - I've changed the title to attract more replies. You should be able to put your location on your profile now, if you wish.
    I would suggest you find your local Beekeeping group and go along to a few meetings - just to get a feel for beekeeping.
    A Chicken walks with small steps. Be more Chicken

  3. #3
    Snoop Puss's Avatar
    Snoop Puss is offline Mature Fruiter
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    Jun 2009
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    Definitely join your local beekeeping association and enrol on any beekeeping for beginners courses they might run. Tree hives are very difficult to manage, especially if you're new to it. For starters, imagine trying to harvest honey. You certainly don't want to be up a ladder, and lowering and raising a hive full of honey would be quite a weighty task. Plus, get whichever bees do well in your locality. Local beekeepers will be able to advise you on that.

    You'll also want to take advice on the location of your hive. I'm a bit concerned your hive might be on or near a public right of way, plus shade could be a problem.
    alldigging likes this.
    Note to self: Getting too old not to have a life.

  4. #4
    Norfolkgrey's Avatar
    Norfolkgrey is offline Mature Fruiter
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    Sep 2014
    it's that village you drive through


    Def. do a course (if this is a very new idea you may even be best to do a taster session - lots of buzzing bees is not for everyone). There is a lot to go wrong if you try to bypass this one (IMO necessary step) and it will cost you dearly. Once you do the course ask again, I fear anything said now will just panic you and make it seem overwhelming. Try getting the Haynes bee keeping manual from the library to read in the mean time.

    Good luck
    alldigging likes this.

  5. #5
    Greenleaves's Avatar
    Greenleaves is offline The Weed Fairy
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    Apr 2014


    What do you mean by zoning rights?

    As said a course is a must
    Mod with attitude!

  6. #6
    DWSmith's Avatar
    DWSmith is offline Rooter
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    Jul 2014
    Midwest USA


    Beekeeping is a very rewarding activity and watching a beehive is much more interesting than anything I've found on television.

    1. As stated already, take a course.
    2. As stated already, join a group of beekeepers.
    3. Read a lot and consider subscribing to a good magazine. The magazine can have good information and good advertisements.
    4. Youtube has an assortment of both good and not-so-good information. You'll learn which is which.
    5. If you can find someone to mentor you that would be great. Hands on experience means a lot before you pay for the bees and equipment.
    6. Be prepared for some failures. There are lots of problems facing bees today.

    I'm in the USA so I can't advise you on where to get equipment or bees but if you can find a group to join there should be plenty of advice there. I would suggest not buying any used equipment. Diseases can be spread and until you know what you are doing you may buy something you wish you hadn't.

    Best of luck!
    Nutter's Club member.

  7. #7
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Jul 2017


    Knowledge is the most important thing when dealing with honey bees. You can pay for it sometimes with money, but mostly you need practice and advice.

    I'm not sure what the precise figures are but I wouldn't be surprised if more than 50% of people who start keeping bees give up in under a few years.

    Precise cost figures are impossible as everyone's circumstances are different but I doubt if you could get going in the UK with spending under 300. Also having only one hive is generally a pain for various reasons - two hives is probably the workable minimum, unless you can share stuff with another nearby keeper.

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