Gaining experience....by offer of help?

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N5776 

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Hi,

Im in the very infancy of looking to keep bees, I’ve joined my local club, I’m reading thro a couple of books, have attended some virtual lectures ....but can’t get on a course until next year.

I was hoping that I may be able to gain some experience with someone, I’ll work for free....but I’d like to know if bees are for me and thought it may be a way to get into it before I can get on a course. Is it. It naive of me to see if anyone in the Stafford area could do with a hand/could show me some ropes over a few months? beyond books I haven’t got anything yet....but am willing to buy a suit (recommendations welcomed)....but am having to reign in every urge I have to buy things to just get on with it as I want to get it right.

anyone any ideas or suggestions please?

Martin
 

drex 

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What you have done so far and future plans are really good. Better not to get into buying kit until you know whether beekeeping is actually for you, and also an idea of the basics you will need and the type of hive you want. I have introduced quite a few who were keen, but decided it was not for them when actually confronted by a cloud of bees, or when they realised the commitment involved.
Unfortunately I am nowhere near you, but some one on here will be.
I wish you well. Enjoy
 

B+. 

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anyone any ideas or suggestions please?
DrEx is completely right, of course. You'll learn that it's very easy to spend money on beekeeping bits - many of which you'll never use. Those that you'll use all the time, it's worth getting the best you can afford.

Stafford is a long way from me so I'm unable to help with the tuition - but, it's good to see that you're trying to get hands-on experience before spending too much money.

When you do decide to splash out, think about personal safety first: buy yourself a decent one-piece beesuit (e.g. BBWear/Sherriff). This will give you confidence, knowing that you're relatively safe. Don't waste your money on leather gloves. Blue nitrile (even normal household "Marigolds") are far better and you won't lose the sensitivity in your fingers that you will in leather gloves, which are best restricted to the garden IMHO. A decent hive-tool and possibly a smoker is all you'll need to get you started. Then, of course, you can start looking at hive styles, of which there are many, and think about getting some bees.
I think that's enough to be getting on with.

Good luck
 

madasafish 

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I am just North of Stoke on Trent - bit too far away I am afraid.

But if you want to come and see real live beekeeping Just PM me.
 

N5776 

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Thank you, I appreciate the offer...just a little far, but thank you none the less
 
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Hi new bee. I'm in the same position as you in that I want to become a bee keeper. I've just joined this forum to find out about what is involved. The temptation is to just go for it but like you I'm going to hold back and find out as much as I can. It's a great idea to hook up with existing bee keepers and I think I'll try and do that. I live in Co.Down, Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast.
 

N5776 

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Hi, I hope you find someone...there’s some good folk on here....just hard to find someone local to help is all...some very good advice on here to keep us going tho
 

Levitt53 

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Lots of areas have beekeeping sites on Facebook so have a look there. I know a lot of people don't like Facebook but it is a good for this sort of stuff.
 
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I was hoping that I may be able to gain some experience with someone, I’ll work for free....but I’d like to know if bees are for me and thought it may be a way to get into it before I can get on a course. Is it. It naive of me to see if anyone in the Stafford area could do with a hand/could show me some ropes over a few months? beyond books I haven’t got anything yet....but am willing to buy a suit
Martin
It's a great idea to hook up with existing bee keepers and I think I'll try and do that. I live in Co.Down, Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast.
I started out by assisting a friend using the oversized suit donated by her previous ‘assistant’. This morphed into jointly managing (sharing work and cost) as I gained experience. It was a massive advantage that she lived about a mile away with the bees on her land and neither of us worked. I only felt I became a true partner though when we lost all our colonies over winter and I became twitchy being beeless over the season. I managed to acquire two late season nucs and installed them while she was on holiday. Never looked back! When she moved house, the apiary moved to me and I am still going. I strongly promote shadowing mentoring before someone considering beekeeping forks out for equipment. I have known lots of first and second year beekeepers give up even with a mentor advising them. HOWEVER the biggest let down to shadowing mentoring is always AVAILABILITY. I check my bees when something needs doing and the weather is right and this frequently doesn’t suit the shadower. This makes it a truly frustrating situation for me and not very helpful for the shadower. Try to find someone whose situation is most likely to suit you.
 

Kaz 

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Hi new bee. I'm in the same position as you in that I want to become a bee keeper. I've just joined this forum to find out about what is involved. The temptation is to just go for it but like you I'm going to hold back and find out as much as I can. It's a great idea to hook up with existing bee keepers and I think I'll try and do that. I live in Co.Down, Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast.
I would really recommend getting in touch with your local beekeeping association. Most have a branch apiary and you can get valuable experience in joining activities there. They will also probably run a beginners course, or be able to our you in touch with someone who does. Of course covid has made things skiffle more difficult but the branches are a great source of support and advice
 
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