Hello, I'm new and want to learn...

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House Bee
Mar 12, 2009
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Hi there,
I stumbled across this forum while trying to find out all I can about keeping bees. I want to start it as a hobby, for two reasons really. I would like to think that in some small way I would be helping the honeybee as it is such an important part of the food chain... and secondly, I love honey. I think I would feel immense pride if I managed to harvest just one jar of it.
I have a gazillion questions and will try to browse the forum to find the right place to ask, but I wondered if any of you knew of a preferred reference book or "bee bible" that would be good for a complete beginner to read.
Thanks, Jen
Hi Jenxy,

The best book is possibly by Ted Hooper, "Guide to Bees & Honey", Northern Books £13.99 carriage paid from http://beedata,com.
First though, get in touch with your local BKA. If you mention your general location here, then someone will likely be able to direct you on the right path fairly quickly. A lot of BKAs run local courses and even if you have missed an opportunity this year, then you can perhaps find a mentor who will be able to advise and guide you through the myriad decisions you will need to make regarding bees, hive type, etc as these early decisions could constrain you (and waste money) if you decide to change horses later. Best to form a few opinions of your own, guided by conversations with a trusted mentor, before parting with money for any specific equipment configuration.

I imagine that you will have also found the BBKA forum. Between that one and this one, there is a wealth of information that will make your eyes sore with the reading and your brain will expand with the knowledge imparted. You might also have a bit of a weep when you notice that every now and then a powder keg blows up between personalities with opposing passionatly held views.
Enjoy, I'm sure more advice will be along a little later - Welcome to the forum.
I have already commented about fondant in your other thread. I too am embarking on the great adventure with much to learn and enjoy. :cheers2:

Just noticed your location is Hampshire, there is bound to be a strong contingent offering assistance.

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Hello Jenxy and welcome to the forum.

There is a thread under beekeeping books which covers "best book for a beginner"

Also look out for Admins list of beekeeping courses. Get yourslef booked in on one. It's the cheapest way to find out lots of information + putting you in touch with likeminded people and finding out if beekeeping is for you or not :cheers2:

My suggestion would be not to waste time with the BBKA forum, which is more a forum for the dissemination of the "chemical companies" viewpoint and propaganda - should you DARE to question their "orthodoxy" you will be censored, insulted, and eventually thrown out - stick with this forum (or Biobees) and you'll do fine - the people here are friendly and helpful :)
Of course, Brosville was thrown off that forum because *he* was the one insulting others and he refused to back down or apologise when asked to do so! You'll find good people and good advice over on the BBKA forum, just as you will find here. There is a difference of emphasis between the two fora, but it is not the ability or inability to have a rational discussion about the role (or not) of pesticides in bee loses - I'll leave you to explore such subtleties yourself!

Much as I dislike raking over old coals, the reason I was evicted was because I dared to stand up to a colonial who was "pushing the chemical company viewpoint" and found it appropriate to use phrases like "knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing environmentalists" and referred in a derogatory way to our "dependence" on the US of A during WW2, and then started chucking in biblical quotes....... I retorted with a biblical quote referring to arrogance, and politely set him to rights on the other matters - I refused to withdraw one jot of it, and had a great many messages of "well done", but a couple of days after the event, I was summarily ejected.
So, if you wish to swear blind that pesticides are good for bees, you can say what you like there, be as insulting as you like, and you'll get away with it.......
I prefer a forum where ALL beekeepers are welcome, and anyone being rude is treated the same.........:)
Jenxy welcome.

SO VERY GLAD you are looking for a good book which is an excellent idea. Hooper is hard to beat to be honest. And dear me I discover I have to buy it again myself as mine is AWOL.

I console myself by thinking some one else is getting the benefit.

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Hi Jenxy welcome aboard.

PH I have had so many awol books over the years that as I get older I am becoming a little stubborn regards lending them.
Thanks all for the hellos.. I am off to try and track down a copy of the book you mentioned. I have been in contact with the secretary of the Southampton Beekeepers club. She has given me the number of a guy to ring... apparently he is friendly and very helpful. There is also a chance for me to go to the apiary that is up near Romsey. I have been told that if I want to get "hands on" they will have a spare suit to use.
I have to admit, am a little bit cowardly when it comes to the thought of getting stung badly, but I am hoping as I get to know more, that will subside.
Jenxy shoot me a PM and you can come open up my bees with me at the weekend.

Your contact will be with young mr Willis ? hes a nice guy and Southampton have a nice Apiary on the Broadlands estate.
Hi Jenxy
Welcome, you will find this a great forum to learn from and get advice.
Yes it is Mr Willis... I called him today and I must say what a thoroughly lovely bloke to talk to. I could have stayed on the phone for another couple of hours and not have been bored. There is certainly a lot of information to learn, and quite a few choices to make re hive type, method of care etc, but I still feel very enthusiastic about it.
I have sent you a pm.

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