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How to start beekeeping

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

The sharp-eyed among you will spot that the photo below isn't me....and I also don't run the type of hive shown behind the beekeeper either. That said, it was my first type of hive when I began beekeeping 35 years ago.

I found it in a field behind a house and after it was donated to me, I restored it and still have it to this day.

So you want to become a beekeeper ? There is a mountain of information out there on the web, with websites, tutorials, videos etc explaining what to do. However the failure rate for those going down this route is rather high.

In the UK the best bet is to join a local/county beekeeping association (Mine is Wiltshire Beekeepers) and enquire about beginners courses.

This will provide you with a good overview of what beekeeping is all about, and some hands on training too.

You can (if you want) continue to study beekeeping exams, but it isn't mandatory. I have only ever done a 'manipulation' exam in front of an eagle-eyed senior beekeeper when I was in my teens. The rest I have learnt from a mentor and then 35 years of keeping bees. Not that I want to discourage you from doing exams - it's just not my thing.

Good luck in your beekeeping adventures - and if you're going to splash out on kit, spend wisely and invest in a good beesuit ! I use Swienty Breezer beesuits. I wish they had been around when I started out all those years ago....

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