Want to be a beekeeper?
Beekeeping is a fascinating and rewarding hobby but should not be entered into without careful thought and proper training.
Bee behaviour can be complex and sometimes difficult to interpret. Only with proper training and some hands-on experience is it possible to understand and manage a colony of bees to prevent them being a nuisance to others. Badly managed honeybee colonies can spread disease and stings can be life-threatening.
Just like livestock, honeybees need to be regularly checked - at least once a week from April to September. This is to monitor health and anticipate swarming, so the beekeeper can take swarm prevention measures if required.
So, to be a beekeeper you should:
Undertake a reputable training course before you get any bees, preferably with an organisation that's part of the British Beekeepers Association.
Try and get some support from an experienced beekeeper - at least for your first couple of seasons.
Identify an appropriate place to keep your bees, one with enough space where they will not present a hazard to neighbours or passers-by.
Ensure you will have enough time to do inspections every 6-7 days during the summer.
Be aware that it will cost at least £500 to buy the necessary equipment to start with, even secondhand.