- Oct 16, 2012
- Reaction score
- Fareham, Hampshire UK
- Hive Type
- Number of Hives
To be fair I think you're doing most beekeeping associations a disservice. We'll train anybody who wants to be trained and are more than willing to support people with a wide range of disabilities, and certainly don't make any mentees feel stupid. And, you know something, we do it all for free because every single one of us is a volunteer.
I'm very much inclined to agree with this ... plus people trained locally by associations tend to have an inclusive and helpful support network around them, in the immediate vicinity. Whilst I absolutely applaud any initiatives that draw our injured service personnel into something that helps their rehabilitation, I can't help thinking that the stressful aspects of beekeeping really do require an experienced, local, mentor on hand - sometimes at very short notice in the season - to assist when it all comes on top.
I've seen too many new beekeepers (mostly able bodied and reasonably fit both physically and mentally) who have done a 2 day intensive course, got the kit and jumped in feet first ~ only to find that beekeeping is not the peaceful, undemanding, honey generating hobby it looked like initially.
It takes a lot of one to one time to keep these people in the fold.
I think the average association run course, over 10 to 12 meetings - with time to discuss and think about the theory, alongside a broad mix of other would be beekeepers, serves a far better entry to beekeeping. The association courses are inevitably followed by apiary time and sometimes provide low cost, proven, bees for the new beekeeper. They are run, largely, by very experienced beekeepers who give their time freely and guide the attendees into the association's mentoring system.
I really don't think the quick fix approach to learning the art of beekeeping is the way forward for any new beekeeper. Two days to learn beekeeping is a very ambitious timeframe.