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Queen Bee
Feb 28, 2010
Reaction score
Suffolk/Norfolk border
Hive Type
Number of Hives
5 ish
I'm sure this has been covered already but am I right in thinking most beeks are blokes?
Anyone have any thoughts as to why this is? I can't come up with a really good reason.
Hunter/gatherer? Lifting? Need to organise? Is it a shed thing?

my 15 year old daughter loves beekeeping.... also, my sister wants to be introduced to it this year
I think you would be surprised at just how many Ladies are taking up the hobby, i knew of quite a few last year.

But in general you are correct it does appear to be heavily populated with chaps, it may have something to do with the very heavy lifting, but the girls are perfectly capable of doing that too, an image springs to mind of an Association member, she was like a Russian Shotputter, possibly had a hairy back too but i didnt hang about for small talk.

So in answer i can only really attribute weight of equipment as a deterrant, will be interesting to have some feedback from the girls.

My old association member :

I'm not a bloke...........

I think traditionally (ie 50+ years ago) it was a male dominated hobby. I suspect these days that females won't yet make up 50% of the British Beek community but I expect we are getting there.

What gender are you cazza? You sound female :) (it was the "Is it a shed thing question?"....)

At the risk of upsetting a few people, I've seen plenty of male beekeepers that, to put it mildly are wimps -never done a physical day's work in their lives, so I don't think that strength/fitness has anything to do with it (maybe an imagined strength). No doubt why the 'single national brood' mentality is still so common -mediocre bees to suit lack of physical strength.

Also, I have a feeling that in days-of-yore there were probably more women beekeepers, as a ratio, than there are today -I base this on both anecdotal accounts which were conveyed to me as a child by my grandparents and on reading old magazines/books. Women just appear to have had a greater presence

Best Wishes,
I think it's the things involved that are attractive to men. All those tools, boxes, little bits and pieces appeal to men more than women. 1/2 the attraction of fishing and diy , other male dominated hobbies, is all the equipment you can collect.

Whatever the reason, it's probably a deep psychological one.
I reckon it's the gadgets, not the lifting.

Hi Frisbee, you were right, I am a girlie. ( the shed thing was a giveaway - however I have my own much loved shed which my husband is barred from.)
It probably goes back those many years when the females of the species were near disregarded other than as adornment for the male or the 'keeper of the chldren'. All the learned persons were males to the virtual exclusion of the fairer sex. Blame it on the church, even !

That has changed in the last century (Emily P, a couple of world wars and a 'grudging' acceptance that women were as good as, and often better than, men for many tasks) but, even now, still not totally adopted (sexual equality), even today.

There will always be differences between the sexes regarding physical ability, but that is less important these days (for beekeeping) with the variety of hive types becoming available. One area might have been the ability, or otherwise, of the ladies becoming carpenters (much of the hardware was homemade, I would think until the standardisation of a near-century ago). Very few ladies drove motor cars a 100 years ago (nor so many men either!).

All these things (and probably lots of others) have skewed the craft towards the males.

Hopefully it will become equal or the other way around. For a start we need more bees! Secondly the ladies can do it just as well as men. Some may now be better off, from a 'time available' consideration, for hobbies like beekeeping and a lot of 'utility' hobbies (sewing, knitting,cooking) have become less favoured.

Oh, and with only one bee suit around, the children had to be watched, and kept well away from the hives while inspecting.

I am sure there are an increasing number of female gardeners these days too, although I suspect that during the war periods there were far more women gardening than men.

It might be interesting to know how the hive numbers changed during the war periods and who were the keepers.

Hope this gives you a few ideas to consider.

Regards, RAB
I'm sure this has been covered already but am I right in thinking most beeks are blokes?
Anyone have any thoughts as to why this is? I can't come up with a really good reason.
Hunter/gatherer? Lifting? Need to organise? Is it a shed thing?


Its the beard, not many woman can grow one and most beeks I've met have a fine growth.....or is it just they dont have time to shave? :svengo: