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Thread: Thinking about keeping bees one day...

  1. #1
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    Default Thinking about keeping bees one day...

    Hi everyone!
    I was hoping for a little advice from some of you any tips would be much appreciated. I recently moved to a house in the southside of Glasgow and have a reasonably large garden and I've always since I was a child wanted to keep bees.
    My garden is basically just a lawn at the minute so I know I have a bit of work to do re planting bee friendly flowers etc. I've been lurking on this forum for a bit and honestly had no idea how much was involved!
    I suppose I'm looking to maybe do a course, get some books etc? I'm pretty determined and am fully prepared to put in the time and effort (and money) to get some bees of my own and give them a good home.
    I just have no idea where to begin! I'd like to establish my garden first and make it hospitable although it's my first garden so I don't even know if I'm green fingered or not
    Does anyone know of any good courses I could do in the Glasgow area? I don't mind travelling if necessary.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    http://www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk...ociations.html
    Quote Originally Posted by bustercat View Post
    ... I've always since I was a child wanted to keep bees ... I have a bit of work to do re planting bee friendly flowers etc. I've been lurking on this forum for a bit and honestly had no idea how much was involved! ... Does anyone know of any good courses I could do in the Glasgow area?
    Welcome to the world of beekeeping bustercat ... yes, lot's is involved though starting by taking a course is a good move. If you look here: http://www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk...ociations.html you'll be able to find the beekeeping association nearest you. They will probably be running a course in the Spring to help you get started. They may also be able to help you source your first bees once you have learned the basics and had some hands-on experience with bees.

    I suggest the gardening can be done alongside your learning and not necessarily before you have bees, though adding lots of pollinator-friendly plants is an excellent plan. The bees will fly up to 3 miles if they need to, for forage, and there's probably plenty around for them in your area, south of Glasgow.

    Good luck ... you know where to turn when you have more questions!

  3. #3
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    Hi Kate thanks for your reply😊 I'll contact my nearest association and start from there. Good to know about the garden I assumed the bees would up sticks and move if I didn't have an established one! But I suppose my neighbors do have mature gardens so that would keep them happy. Can you recommend any good books to get me started? Thanks again.

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustercat View Post
    ...Can you recommend any good books to get me started? Thanks again.
    I liked "Bees at the bottom of the garden" by Alan Campion when I started, after that move on to something like Ted Hooper's "Guide to bees and honey". For something to impress you about bees and how they work, and to enjoy good photos, read Jürgen Tautz, " The buzz about bees".
    Kitta

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    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    I would agree with Kitta that the above two book are both good. You may be able to borrow books from your local library too. Some may be old and describe different practices to what we need to do now (post varroa and all) but they will be worth having a look at. A theory and practical course by your local association - if they do it - can be a great way to start. And if you can, try to get local bees as they will be better suited to the local Glasgow environment than some.
    A colony of bees needs something like 20 - 25 kg of pollen each year plus the nectar they need - they'll get some of it from gardens but also trees and hedgerow plants from a wide area. No need to worry about the garden although a wide variety of pollens will benefit the bees. Many nursery-bought garden plants are not particularly good for bees, so check as you stock your garden to buy pollinator friendly plants that produce nectar, pollen or both.

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    Contact glasgow beekeepers
    They were advertising a beginners course recently
    They should also be able to supply you with local bees


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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellifera Crofter View Post
    I liked "Bees at the bottom of the garden" by Alan Campion when I started, after that move on to something like Ted Hooper's "Guide to bees and honey". For something to impress you about bees and how they work, and to enjoy good photos, read Jürgen Tautz, " The buzz about bees".
    Kitta
    Agree that you can't go wrong with Ted Hooper's guide and you won't outgrow it as you gain experience. The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping is a good beginners' choice.

    Has anyone read Adrian and Claire Waring's book published this year: Get Started in Beekeeping? Should tick the box for those starting out.

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    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kate Atchley View Post
    Agree that you can't go wrong with Ted Hooper's guide and you won't outgrow it as you gain experience. The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping is a good beginners' choice.

    Has anyone read Adrian and Claire Waring's book published this year: Get Started in Beekeeping? Should tick the box for those starting out.
    I have one of their books (Has a dead bee on the front cover). They write extensively so I expect that the same information is regularly regurgitated!

  9. #9
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    Thanks so much everyone great info! I'll definitely look into getting some of the books mentioned. I have one which looks pretty on a bookshelf but quite basic. Will check out Glasgow beekeepers too for some weegie bee advice I noticed a good few honey bees in my garden this summer which was encouraging given that I only had a few sad plants from B&Q in pots! In saying that there are plenty of trees nearby and brambles and I have loads of conifers along one side which I've read they like? I'm going to plant some wild flower seeds next year and look into other good varieties too.

  10. #10

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    Hi

    Your nearest local Association is Eastwood Beekeepers
    They meet upstairs in Thorntree Hall Main Street Thornliebank G46 7SF
    Every 3rd Monday of the Month at 7.30pm
    You will be most welcome

    Glasgow Beekeepers meet at Heart of Scotstoun Center Balmoral St Scotstoun every second Wed of the month at 7pm
    Its a good association

    The Glasgow Beekeeping course starts in OCT
    9 evenings, £40, Partick Burgh Halls Room 9 / 10, from 7.30pm – 10pm (the room is open from 7pm)
    FORMAT: Lecture (1¼ hr) tea break (15mins) Lecture (30mins) Question Time
    (tea and biscuits will be provided)

    Dates:
    Practical Beekeeping with Ian Craig
    15th October
    29th October
    5th November
    18th November – Please note, this is a Wednesday
    3rd December


    Bee Biology with Charlie Irwin
    21st January
    4th February


    Bee Disorders and Diseases with Peter Stromberg
    18th February
    17th March

    If you want to keep bees the course is invaluable

    There's also a beekeeping lecture at Heart of Scotstoun centre next wed 29th at 7pm on Bees under the microscope again you'd be made most welcome

    I also know a guy who could hook you up with some good local bees once you've completed the course
    Last edited by EK.Bee; 23-09-2015 at 04:27 PM.

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