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sphex 

New Bee
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
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Location
Tamar Valley, Cornwall
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Hello all!
I've been thinking for a while about keeping bees on my allotment (and lurking on here and the other place) and have just been lucky enough to inherit a load of kit from the in-laws' neighbour who gave up seven years ago. This includes options on three (at least) Nationals, and one WBC, as well as suits and loads of other equipment. :cheers2: So, I have a few questions about starting out. Unfortunately, getting more hands-on mentoring from the neighbour isn't practical, as he lives in Salisbury.

Firstly, should I start with just the one hive, or should I go with two? Most things I've read say that keeping two is better, but does this apply even for beginners? My instinct would be to start with one of the Nationals.

Secondly, there's what to do first. I live in Bristol, and unfortunately, I seem to have missed all of the beginners courses run by the Bristol and Avon BKAs. Heading further afield is not really an option, due to transport issues. Should I just join the BKA, wait till spring when they have apiary meetings, and just head along and chat with members? Would I be best talking to one of them about getting my first nuc, or should I buy one from a supplier? If so, should I just spend the next couple of months reading, and cleaning the hives?

I hope some of you can help out this young 'un! :)
- Matt
 

Heather 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
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Location
Newick, East Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
15
Welcome to bee keeping:)

Two is better (heir and a spare) and yes, Nationals - I had WBC and Nationals -and although I love the aesthetics of my WBC did give myself extra headache with size differences. So try to keep all one type. Makes your life easier:cheers2:
And find your nearest Association, join and find a good mentor. However much you read,- watching makes more sense. I bet someone on this forum will be near you and advise.

All the very best of luck- and have fun
Heather
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
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13,655
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Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
There is a very sound reason for having 2 colonies.

If one gives you concerns you can take a "test frame" from the other one and insert in into the dubious one. If they produce Q cells on it they are q- and if they do not then you have some sort of a Q present.

That is the reason for 2 not one.

PH
 

sphex 

New Bee
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
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Location
Tamar Valley, Cornwall
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
@Heather and @Poly:
Thanks, that makes sense. Two Nationals it is then.

@Admin: Thanks, that's a good list. Far better than the hopelessly unintelligible calendar on the BBKA site. Unfortunately it confirms that I've missed the Bristol/Avon ones for this year. :(
 

hedgerow pete 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
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Location
UK, Birmingham, Sandwell. Pork scratching Bandit c
Hive Type
national
spehx, i keep bees at my allotment and as i expand several other to, but thats for later, can i make a point that to keep bees at my COUNCIL ALLOTMENT, i had to show proof of insurance to cover the councilers bums and at my allotments we are only allow to keep bees after asking permision, apart from that i have built a big shed to house them in because were i live is full of kids.

try going to the local library because thet have a copy of the clubs list there which will tell you about ever club in the area, its sad but i have read ours just for fun, but now i know we have a naturist rambling club and a male only, female awareness club too!!!!!

or how about the evening with the church organ appreshasion club, great days out !

and lastly i have never taken a leason on bee keeping outside of school, all i do is find anyone in the area who keeps bees and hammer there door down pester them evan after the court order tells you to stop and i have always been taken along to there bee hives and i have never meet a keeper not willing or wanting to pass on there knowlage
 

sphex 

New Bee
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
83
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0
Location
Tamar Valley, Cornwall
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Thanks for the welcome, everyone. Permission shouldn't be a problem, as I understand that other allotment holders have kept bees in the past, and our neighbours seem supportive.
 

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