Blandford and Sturminster Beekeepers Association
Blandford and Sturminster Beekeepers Association

Starting to keep bees and what you need

The first requirement is a good site for an apiary. You need to think about accessibilty, nuisance value to others and a quiet area for the bees.

 

Starting beekeeping requires:
    1 A hive,
    2 A colony of bees,
    3 Protective gear for you, and
    4 A couple of tools.

 

Before you buy anything, the best thing to do is to get advice from a club member. It can save a lot of regrets

 

1 A Hive

 

The best start is to ask someone who knows. At our club there are a lot of very knowledgeable people who can advise you a to the best option. It is difficult to make your own hive from scratch, but companies do make flat-packs for self assembly which are very satisfying to put together (about £285 inc VAT).Some even do budget flat-packs (medium quality) for those who do not have much to spend (about £160 inc VAT). For the well-off there are ready assembled hives which you can buy (about £397 inc VAT).

 

 

2 A colony of bees

 

There are professional companies some oh which will even deliver bees through the post. It is cheaper to collect them yourself and most will provide overwintered colonies with marked and mated queens. A full colony will be about £300 and a half colony (which will take longer to build up to a full colony) will be about £150.

 

An alternative is to buy a swarm which has been collected by a beekeeper. Most associations have members who collect and sell swarms. Some think that a colony which has swarmed will be more likely to swarm again, but others are very happy with energetic strong swarms. The price is very variable from about £100 to £175

 

3 Protective gear for you

 

Some people want a full body suit (about £132) but many use a jacket with veil (about £83) You will also need gloves (most use vileda type gloves and wellies are a must.

 

4 A couple of tools

 

The most important tool is a smoker. There are various types (£15-£60). You will also need a hive tool (£10-£15).

 

Later you will want to use an extractor to remove the stored honey. A number of clubs lend them to members.

 

 

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