Quantcast

hhhmmm

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

peteinwilts 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,757
Reaction score
5
Location
North Wilts
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Lots and lots
Hi Guys

Apologies if I ask any daft questions (probably), I am very new around here.

I have been looking for courses in my area, Wiltshire, but cannot really find a great deal.

I used to work on a farm who also kept bees, and used to handle the bees and hives on a regular basis, but that was about 27 years ago! :eek:

We have about 180 acres of pasture, hedgerows, copses etc and would like to keep a few bees as a hobby. We only keep a few horses and have sheep in once or twice a year to 'trim' the grass. Currently the fields are a sea of buttercups.

The question I have, due to lack of courses etc, and it is fairly late in the year (??) should I try and start a hive this year or wait until next?
I have a neighbour who used to keep bees in case I really get stuck.

I am looking forward to getting started, but want to make sure I do the right thing...

Any advice or recomendations would be very much appreciated
Cheers
Pete
 

grizzly 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6
Hi Pete
Welcome, never fear ask as many questions as you like, after all, its how we learn.

Have you looked at this site ? it may have some links to local associations, they could well have their own courses.

http://www.wiltshirebeekeepers.org.uk/


[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]email here: Pdgvickery@aol.com[/FONT]







[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[/FONT]
 

grizzly 

Drone Bee
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6
In the above pic - Who ate all the pies !!.
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
Looks like someone needs to teach them how to space there hives out.
 

Geoff 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
249
Reaction score
0
Location
Shropshire, UK
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
5
Hi Guys


We have about 180 acres of pasture, hedgerows, copses etc and would like to keep a few bees as a hobby. We only keep a few horses and have sheep in once or twice a year to 'trim' the grass. Currently the fields are a sea of buttercups.
Sounds like bee heaven to me. I am very envious. You definitely have to put bees on that, it would be criminal not to. Have you clover in there as well?
If you have access to someone who can give advice then I would go for it now, if you can find any bees.
 

peteinwilts 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,757
Reaction score
5
Location
North Wilts
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Lots and lots
we have clover as well as wild garlic, wild apple and cherry trees and thousands of wild flowers that I can't name as well as the usual blackthorn, hawthorn and countless trees, some of which a few hundred years old.
Used to farm beef, so no pesticides and the neighbours are beef farmers who also have shooting ground, so a lot of that is untouched also.
It also has a large stream\small river running through it and a marshy area where lots of wild plants grow also as well as a couple of natural springs.

On Sunday I was walking through a couple of fields, almost all of which have a sea of buttercups that are knee high and I was extremely sad that during my walk I did not see a single bee. I have been thinking about keeping bees for quite some time, but that was the final decision.

I thought about planting a small orchard next to the possible hive\s but that would take a few years to mature.
I also thought about 'sowing' a few more types of wild flowers to increase the variety. Is it worth also planting bi-annuals like wallflowers along some of the hedgerows to give the hive an early kick in the spring? Is it common to plant plants near the hive??

I would like to make a hive as I am a bit of a diy'er and get a kick about doing things myself... trawling through the forum at the moment!

Most seems quite straightforward and common sense plays a bug part but have not been looking for the little critters themselves yet. I am doing some heavy reading\research and might like to get some in a couple or three weeks... (if it is not considered too fast!)... although I am sure I will have masses of questions! (if thats ok!)
 

Widdershins 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 7, 2008
Messages
604
Reaction score
0
Hive Type
langstroth
Hello, and welcome to the forum! Never think you're being daft when asking questions, ask away - after all, we all learn from each other ;)

Your land sounds idyllic!!! If I were you, go for it - as has already been said, if you can get bees.
Let us know how you get on, and post pics too!
 

Jenxy 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
167
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
1
Do you feel you need to do a course then??? If you have handled bees, and been around hives then you have way more experience then I have and I couldn't wait to get started. Maybe I have jumped in a little too eagerly, but there are so many experienced folk on here that I feel quite confident if I get into apickle, someone will be able to offer advice. Your land sounds wonderful, I think the other posters have said it all really... Go for it. :)
 

peteinwilts 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,757
Reaction score
5
Location
North Wilts
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Lots and lots
I am not sure if I need a course... it just felt the right thing to do.

decision made!! :)

best get building and shopping! where is the best place to get the basics?.. as with all hobby's, I am sure there is expensive shops, good shops... and fleabay!

I should read some more faq's before posting questions (and I guess it would be good practice to open new threads for different questions!)
 

Geoff 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
249
Reaction score
0
Location
Shropshire, UK
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
5
If you are going to plant or sow wildflowers then use someone like Emorsgate seeds. They source their seed from the uk so its genuine British seed and not something slightly different from the continent which other seed companies might provide. Also they specialise in wildflower seed for councils, farmers, wildlife trusts etc so provide seed in more suitable quantities. I have also found that a commercial packet of seed from them can be as cheap as a retail pack of wildflower seed in the shops. And the seed is good. I have used their primose and their cowslip seeds and end up with more plants than I can sell.....or plant. Those would be good for early pollen. Primroses in the hedgerows and copses if its damp and cowslips on drier grassland . Forget the wallflowers. Go with the wild stuff that you can forget. Snowdrops - brilliant for early nectar. Get the single, Galanthus nivalis. I brought some home some years ago and it is taking over my garden. I have thousands of them now and the bees love them. Have you any blackthorn in the hedgerows? Good early flower and spreads by suckers.
The orchard would benefit you more then the bees. The nectar is relatively low in sugars so the bees don't get as much out of it as other flowers. But if you are going to have such superb pollinaters then why not? Strawberries and raspberries - you should end up with better fruit without those horrible malformed bits, that are due to poor pollination. Just noticed you have blackthorn.
P.S. On modern rootstocks the orchard will bear fruit earlier than you might think. I have bought apples from Adams Apples in Devon. They are good value and the trees were superb, 4 times stronger than the largest producer of fruit trees who advertise everywhere.
So how many dozen hives are you planning to have then? You are living in a beekeepers dream.
 

peteinwilts 

Drone Bee
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
1,757
Reaction score
5
Location
North Wilts
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Lots and lots
:)

Most certianly only one hive until a am 100% happy with what I am doing. I also would not want to create too large an overlap where they would compete for food.... are bees foraging sortee's dependant on the amount of food available? how far would a hungry colony fly to find food?

I have at least 7 locations shortlisted. All sheltered within small copses in under overhanging North facing tall hedgerows. All several hundred yards from the house.
 

planbee 

House Bee
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
182
Reaction score
0
Location
Staffordshire, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Two
I should think that there must be a dozen beeks within spitting distance of you that would be willing to site a hive, or ten, at your "Garden of Eden"!

If you invited one or two, I'm certain that they would either show you what to do, using their hives, or mentor you, on one of your own.

John
 

Geoff 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
249
Reaction score
0
Location
Shropshire, UK
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
5
Get two hives as a start. If something goes wrong with one then you can use the second hive to help out the other. I found that out last year.
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
Get two hives as a start. If something goes wrong with one then you can use the second hive to help out the other. I found that out last year.
Good answer Geoff !

How many times have we all been to help out a beekeeper who is queenless or broodless only to find they have a single hive causing them to have no "Get out of jail card".

I realise that you can always beg a comb of brood or buy in a mated queen to correct matters but just as important is the ability to compare 2 hives like for like to see whats right or wrong.
 

Nellie 

Field Bee
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
Messages
627
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
3
I should think that there must be a dozen beeks within spitting distance of you that would be willing to site a hive, or ten, at your "Garden of Eden"!

If you invited one or two, I'm certain that they would either show you what to do, using their hives, or mentor you, on one of your own.

John
I think this would definitely be an avenue worth exploring. I've sourced an apiary location on an Organic Herb farm nearby, my "rent" is that next spring, because they can't commit to it this year, that I help the owner establish a hive or two of their own
 

VEG 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
6,830
Reaction score
0
Location
Maesteg South Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
15+-some
Nellie will they let you keep your hive there when they have their own?
 

gtb 

New Bee
Joined
Dec 5, 2008
Messages
62
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
4
we have clover as well as wild garlic, wild apple and cherry trees and thousands of wild flowers that I can't name as well as the usual blackthorn, hawthorn and countless trees, some of which a few hundred years old.
Used to farm beef, so no pesticides and the neighbours are beef farmers who also have shooting ground, so a lot of that is untouched also.
It also has a large stream\small river running through it and a marshy area where lots of wild plants grow also as well as a couple of natural springs
Never mind the bees, I'd like to come and live there! Sounds great :cheers2:
 

Haughton Honey 

Drone Bee
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
1,239
Reaction score
5
Location
South Cheshire
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
Lots of Commercial hives.......
Sounds 'perfic' to me. The only thing that I'd add is to perhaps try and plan any new seeded areas to produce as long a flowering season as possible, so that there's as little hiccup in foraging as possible.....erm.....maybe....says the newbee.....*cough*
 

Latest posts

Top