Becoming a Beekeeper

Getting startedcourses

It’s a very good idea to join an association before you get started with your own hives.
You will get good advice and some practical experience in addition to picking up tips from more experienced beekeepers.

The best time to start beekeeping is in the period April to June, when bees are actively building their colonies. If you start with a nucleus of bees then, they will have enough time to build new comb and stock it sufficiently with stores for the following winter.

Many associations, run beginners courses, and they are normally held early in the year so that new starters can complete the course before buying their bees.
You’ll probably find that there’s a local beekeepers’ association not far from where you live.

Links to other UK associations are available on the BBKA web site.

Books for beginners

We recommend two books for beginners:

The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping (ISBN 1472920899) by Ivor Davis and Roger Cullum-Kenyonby, which is now in its second edition. This is the best book for those starting to keep bees, and is stocked by all the major booksellers and beekeeping equipment suppliers.

The Haynes Bee Manual (ISBN 0857338099 ) by Clare and Adrian Waring, which gives a clear and concise introduction into the fascinating world of the honey bee and the addictive craft of beekeeping.

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