Bees and Beekeeping FAQ

Home  »  Bees and Beekeeping FAQ

Keeping Honeybees

You aren’t required to have a license to keep bees in the UK.

 

Often, local landowners will give you permission to put bees on their property.

 

If you’re looking to keep bees on an allotment you should check with your allotment association or local council as they often have specific restrictions.

 

At The Bee Centre we always promote socially responsible beekeeping. We suggest you speak with you neighbours beforehand to let them know that you plan to keep bees. They usually get interested themselves, especially when they realise the importance of bees and pollinators.

 

An occasional jar of home-produced honey can go a long way to getting people on board with your beekeeping activities.

You do not need a lot of space to keep honeybees. they will fly up to 3 miles in each direction from their hive to find food. 

 

There are many hives which are suited to use in small gardens, yards, roof terraces (and even on top of flat-roofed buildings).  Get in touch with us if you need help or advice.

 

Beekeeping in an urban environment is a great way to improve biodiversity in towns and cities. also, urban honeys are amazing since they are made from nectar from the real diversity of plants we grow in our gardens and window boxes.

 

At The Bee Centre we always promote socially responsible beekeeping. We suggest you speak with you neighbours beforehand to let them know that you plan to keep bees. They usually get interested themselves, especially when they realise the importance of bees and pollinators.

 

An occasional jar of home-produced honey can go a long way to getting people on board with your beekeeping activities.

Beekeeping does not need to be expensive. Like most hobbies, it can be as costly or inexpensive as you want it to be.

 

There are many options for buying, and even making, hives and equipment. You can also invest in good quality bees or try catching a swarm (although the latter does present some risks).

 

A basic hive can cost as little as £165, but you do get what you pay for and will probably end up replacing this after a very short time. Our starter kits are around £895 and include descent quality equipment and our specially bred honeybees.

 

As a general rule, we suggest a ‘buy well and buy once’ approach.

 

If you’d like more advice or help, why not get in touch?

Keeping bees does not require large amounts of time. It won’t stop you from going on holiday either.


Unlike keeping other animals, honeybees largely look after themselves.

 

Beekeeping requires small amounts of regular time with your bees. The amount of time will depend on the season, the weather and how well you plan your activity. In all, you might spend 20-30 hours over the course of a year with the bees, although most beekeepers enjoy spending more time with their bees (but that’s more for the benefit of the beekeeper than the bees).

 

Typically we may check our own hives every 2-4 weeks in the Spring, Summer and Autumn and perhaps once or twice over Winter. That said, we have some hives which we have not looked at for a couple of years. Bees have been looking after themselves for millions of years.

Beekeeping requires a few pieces of essential equipment. This includes:-

– A hive
– Bees (obviously)
– A beekeeping suit or jacket
– Gloves
– A smoker
– A hive tool
– A bee brush
– Frames or top bars (depending on your type of hive)

Of course, there are many other bits and bobs you might want to add to your collection of beekeeping toys, but keeping does not need to be expensive. Like most hobbies, it can be as costly or inexpensive as you want it to be.

As a general rule, we suggest a ‘buy well and buy once’ approach.

If you’d like more advice or help, why not get in touch?

If you are going to keep bees you will, at some point, get stung. This is not because bees are aggressive (which they shouldn’t be). It is more often because you do something that might hurt or threaten them.

 

You can minimise the chances of getting stung by working gently with your bees. If you treat them with thought, care and respect they will work happily with you. 

 

You can also wear a beekeeping suit or jacket (or perhaps just a veil). Invest in a good quality one and you will enjoy many happy hours of sting-free beekeeping.

 

Gloves are useful to wear. We suggest to avoid the heavy, leather gauntlets that you find at many beekeeping suppliers. They are not necessary. They make you clumsy (which can hurt the bees) and you can’t feel what you are doing.

 

Rubber, surgical-type, gloves are an excellent option. They keep your hands from getting sticky with honey and can help to stop the spread of disease. You can also feel what you are doing. They do not fully protect from stinging but, being less clumsy, the likelihood of winding your bees up is greatly reduced.

 

Our head beekeeper is badly allergic to bee stings. She uses heavy duty ‘washing up’ gloves (the thicker, black ones, not the thin, yellow ones). These provide for good hand control with increased protection.

 

Many beekeepers don’t bother with gloves at all and may be stung only rarely.

 

Another great way to avoid stings is to invest in good quality bees which have been bred to have a good temperament. We breed and sell our own bees. One of our main criteria is to select for ‘well behaved’ bees. We work with schools, young children and the public so we like our bees to be happy and good with people.

No. Beekeeping is a highly accessible and relaxing hobby.

That said, it does depend on how, why and where you keep your bees.

Some types of hives require you to lift potentially heavy components on and off, you may need to do some bending (to ground level) and you may need to carry equipment. For example, a ‘super’ full of honey can way 30 lbs (13 kg) or more; and a brood box may be closer to 40lb (18kg). there are however other types of hives which are made from lighter-weight materials or which do not require any heavy lifting. 

 

At our bespoke training apiary we run a wide range of hive types so that customers can experience and make an informed choice about which options best suit their needs.

 

We work with customers with a wide range of physical abilities, including mobility restrictions, to help choose (and even develop) options that will ensure enjoyable, stress-free beekeeping.

 

For more advice or information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Beekeeping is a very accessible and inclusive activity. 

 

There is a wide range of beekeeping equipment and techniques. Many more than you will normally find out about from beekeeping suppliers and local clubs. By carefully choosing appropriate equipment, setting up your apiary to suit your needs and applying (and adapting) techniques which work with your abilities, it is possible for everyone to enjoy the company of honeybees.


At The Bee Centre we consider every beekeeper to have their own strengths, challenges and needs. We don’t really think about disabilities but rather, different abilities.

 

We have been fortunate to work with thousands of customers, some of whom have needed to accommodate mobility challenges (including wheelchairs and limb splints), visual and/or auditory impairment, learning challenges, breathing restrictions and even permanent oxygen supply. We also work a lot with the care sector.

 

If you would like to explore beekeeping and think you would benefit from some friendly help and advise, get in touch. We’ll see what we can do to help you get started.

Popular articles

Honey and Health

Pure, raw honey is excellent for alleviating the symptoms of hay fever. 

We have many customers who find our honeys very effective at treating the misery of itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, breathing problems, etc. In fact, our son, who used to suffer very badly from hay fever, takes our honey daily. He has not taken any artificial medication (antihistamine tablets, inhalers, etc) for over 10 years. If he fails to take his honey for a few days in the summer his eyes start to itch again. A few spoonfuls soon fix him.

Ingesting real honey, including the pollens which are entrained in it, helps to desensitise us to the pollens which we inhale and which cause the hay fever responses (itchy eyes, sneezing, etc).

To be effective the honey needs to be unprocessed, raw honey, as it would come from the hive. It also needs to be from a UK beekeeper or bee farmer. There are common pollens across the country which will certainly impact on allergies such as hay fever.

Within reason, the more local and seasonal the honey is the better, as it will better reflect the pollens which are causing your allergic response. But, don’t be fooled into believing you need honey from close to home. It is more about the quality of the honey and that it comes from UK sources and has not been pasteurised, heavily filtered or blended with imported honey (or sugar syrups). This discounts most of the product you will find in commercial shops and supermarkets.

We find that our ‘wildflower’ and blossom’ honeys work brilliantly for customers from Blackpool to Yorkshire and Cheshire to Carlisle. We even have satisfied (and relieved) customers in London and other parts of the UK.

Pure, raw honey is excellent for alleviating the symptoms of hay fever. Ingesting real honey, including the pollens which are entrained in it, helps to desensitise us to the pollens which we inhale and which cause the hay fever responses (itchy eyes, sneezing, etc).

 

So called ‘postcode honey’ is a term used to describe honey which comes from ‘very close’ to your home. The urban myth is that you need honey from within 3 miles of your home for it to be good at treating hay fever. This is false but, like all good myths, it contains an element of credibility. Honeybees typically fly up to 3 miles in each direction from their hive. The theory is that, if you get honey from an apiary within 3 miles of home it will be best for treating your hay fever. In reality, this is not essential and does not tell the whole story.

 

To be effective the honey needs to be unprocessed, raw honey, as it would come from the hive. It also needs to be from a UK beekeeper or bee farmer. There are common pollens across the country which will certainly impact on allergies such as hay fever. Within reason, the more local and seasonal the honey is the better, as it will better reflect the pollens which are causing your allergic response. But, don’t be fooled into believing you need honey from close to home. It is more about the quality of the honey and that it comes from UK sources and has not been pasteurised, heavily filtered or blended with imported honey (or sugar syrups). This discounts most of the product you will find in commercial shops and supermarkets.

 

We find that our ‘wildflower’ and blossom’ honeys work brilliantly for customers from Blackpool to Yorkshire and Cheshire to Carlisle. We even have satisfied (and relieved) customers in London and other parts of the UK.

Popular articles

About Bees

Popular articles

Planting for Bees

Popular articles

Other

Popular articles

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Apply Coupon
      Available Coupons
      beeadmindiscount10 Get 10% off 10% off for all Bee Centre Admins! :O

      Like This Site?

      Tell us what you think and what you’d like to see added!

      Buzzin'

      OK

      Shabby