I’m All Covered in Bees!

Rich and I have been thinking about getting ourselves some bees. Well, why not? Our Smallest Smallholding is now void of hens, and we were thinking it would be good to get into something that would take us a little step further towards the good life. Bees seemed a good answer.

Although they do need regular check-ups, they do, for all intents and purposes, look after themselves. And the reward – oh, the reward! Honey! I love honey. And to imagine being able to procure our own fresh, local honey…

And then there’s the other perspective – the fact that our humble British bees are under threat. If you want to know more, take a look at this rather swanky, yet informative website: www.helpsavebees.com

Having at least a couple of beehives would go a small but significant way to help keeping these guys going. Imagine if beekeeping became as commonplace as keeping cats and dogs…

Our family friend has a field where she’s growing vegetables and has a rather impressively large wildlife pond too. We ran into her a couple of days ago and put to her the idea of keeping some hives on her field, and she was more than happy for us to do it. We were thinking of putting a couple of hives on there at first and planting up a big ‘nectar bar’ nearby. Of course, the bees would go much further afield too, and our friend’s field is surrounded by open countryside, so more than suitable. She also knows a guy that has around 40 of his own colonies, so we have an expert in our midst too.

So what we need to do now is have a good, long, hard think about whether we think we can commit to the responsibility of looking after these hives. Rich has done a little beekeeping in the past, but we’d have to brush up our knowledge before even thinking about the financial aspects too. So that would mean either doing an awful lot of reading, or going on a course next spring.

What about you? Have you ever done any beekeeping? Know any beekeepers? Got any interesting stories to tell or advice to give? I’d love to know!