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ilovemyheckler 

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Firstly hello to everyone and what looks like an excellent forum.

I am new to beekeeping (although I did keep bees many years ago) and I am looking at getting my first hive.

Firstly I am hoping to enrol on a course to refresh myself as I fear I have forgotton alot!

With regard to getting my first hive up and running I suspect that I am too late for this year as I don't think that I can get onto a course until August and as yet I have no equipment.

What would you advise I do this year?

Attend course and buy equipment ready to start in earnest next year?

What is the best way to start, buy a hive and equipment this year and look to purchase a nuc early next year to transfer into the hive?

What is the minimum equipment I need at thei stage (in readiness for next year) and should I buy new or second hand?

I am probably going to use National hives as I found them easier to use and transport than the "prettier looking" WBC hives.

I am going to start with one hive in the garden first (is a smallish garden and one dog a potential problem?) before seeking permission to put others on local farmland.

Many thanks
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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Hi and welcome

Firstly I am hoping to enrol on a course to refresh myself as I fear I have forgotton alot!

Good idea

With regard to getting my first hive up and running I suspect that I am too late for this year as I don't think that I can get onto a course until August and as yet I have no equipment.

If you (sensibly imho) want to do the course first then that would seem to be the case

What would you advise I do this year?

Attend course and buy equipment ready to start in earnest next year?


and gen up on the reading as well - Hooper's Guide to Bees and Honey is well regarded. Join a local BKA

What is the minimum equipment I need at thei stage (in readiness for next year) and should I buy new or second hand?

Double up the key equipment for spares or emergencys, eg 2x(brood box, floor, roof, queen excluder) + 3 supers, optional stand, frames (foundation can wait until you know when you are going to start), smoker, protective equipment. Th**nes do a good cheap Bees on a Budget range if going for standard Nationals, other suppliers exist, or nice handmade ones from Tom Bick and Hivemaker on this forum.

I am probably going to use National hives as I found them easier to use and transport than the "prettier looking" WBC hives.
May also be worth considering a 14x12 size national or a commercial from the outset, many find the standard national brood box too small and end up running a double brood system or going to a larger box.

I am going to start with one hive in the garden first (is a smallish garden and one dog a potential problem?) before seeking permission to put others on local farmland.

of more problem may be the neighbours. Until you get your bees you may not know what their temperament is like, and this can also change through successive generations. Not impossible to keep in garden, but some thought needs to go into it
 

drstitson 

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you've still got 3 months of "active" (educational) beekeeping available to you this year.

get down to local branch apiary and get hands on there.

then next year do the course and be ready to get a nuc early in season.
 

Moggs 

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Agreed - if you get bees this year, it won't be too long now until you are closing them down for the autumn/ winter (sounds crazy). It would probably be better to see a full year in the beekeeping calendar, when you will have ample opportunity to reaquaint yourself with brood build up, swarm control, honey collection, IPM (integrated pest management), etc.

I would suggest that if you were to obtain your colony now, there may be little opportunity to get to grips with it. Actions in the autumn have a very significant affect on what bees will be like in spring.

Better to get some reading material in and share in somebody else's trials and tribulations until that time!
 
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enrico 

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Please don't keep them in a small garden. You will regret it. Find a suitable place away from humans. there is nothing worse than when your bees are having a bad hair day/week/month and this WILL happen for you to be continually chased from your garden. It is NOT worth it. Despite all the media hype bees at the bottom of the garden means at least a half acre plot!
E
 

Rosti 

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Please don't keep them in a small garden. You will regret it. Find a suitable place away from humans. there is nothing worse than when your bees are having a bad hair day/week/month and this WILL happen for you to be continually chased from your garden. It is NOT worth it. Despite all the media hype bees at the bottom of the garden means at least a half acre plot!
E
:iagree:
tough message but pragmatically, bang on
 

Moggs 

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Bees in the garden debate again! There are many reasons not to keep bees in the garden. There are many reasons that make keeping bees in the garden worthwhile. Never say never.

I choose not to in general, but I am currently keeping my eye on a united swarm and weak colony - guess where.....

Facts must be considered, contingencies may have to be in place and decisions made on the relative merits. I would indeed caution against a novice running any risks through inexperience but a proactive beekeeper should have few problems if sufficient precautions are taken and provided that the garden is suitable. Ilovemyheckler (!) sounds as if (s)he is already aware of the potential for defensive bees - all other factors need to be evaluated.

By the way ILMH - one hive may limit your opportunity for dealing with 'problems' therefore as you may need two, will this influence your garden siting?
 
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ilovemyheckler 

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Thanks for the replies and advice.
I am going to get enrolled on a course, buy some equipment between now and spring and look for somewhere other than our small garden to keep my first hive.

Many thanks
 

Headnavigator 

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One item of equipment not mentioned, and probably the most important - buy a decent bee suit, and remember when you look at the options 'you gets what you pays for'.
http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=11379
Don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything against Sherriff, and their customer service is second to none.
If you're going to do a course you'll need it sooner rather than later.
Good Luck!
 

Steve Dyer 

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Buy a couple of colonies, hives and equipment all second hand from local beekeepers in the Autumn after they have taken their late honey crop. They will be fed up with beekeeping, maybe deciding to give up, and sell cheaply. You get to feed your bees and take them through your first winter while you are studying and reading the books and they start up early next year. If you leave it till the spring you will wait *forever* for your spring package of bees, you will be lucky to get them before May, and second hand prices will be significantly higher.
 

BabyBee 

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as someone who foolishly put a nuc in her veggie garden (thinking I'd get lots of pollinated things!), DON'T DO IT!

if they are in a bad mood you wont get anywhere near them..and if you need to do things in the garden - tough!

as others have said, find somewhere that's closeby but away from people and animals - if yu can
 

ladyrose1956 

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Hi And Welcome

Hi i have my hives on the allotment and are doing well, get your self some good books and read up, make sure when you buy your hive it is complete with frams and a mesh floor and just get your suit and tools for now, if there is a bee keeper near bye perhaps you could visit them and get some hands on good luck and welcombe bee-smillie
 

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