Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: I WANT BEES!  (Read 15148 times)


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Fife
  • .
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2012, 10:06:32 pm »
Perfecto, Bad Baby. I'll give you two pounds fifty for the lot.  ;)

robert waddell

  • Guest
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2012, 10:24:14 pm »
you should be so lucky with your rubber ducky ;) :farmer:

Tiva Diva

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Scottish Borders
    • Thornielee Cottage
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2012, 10:05:16 am »
I would absolutely recommend joining your local BKA as they are usually a mine of advice plus often have kit they can lend, or can put you in touch with someone wanting to sell kit. If you're short of cash, try bartering! We've done some great deals that way!


  • Joined Jan 2012
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2012, 10:09:01 pm »
I started with bees last year and would definitely recommend mentor at the minimum and your local BBKA is a great place to start.

I have been dropped in the deep end, stung to buggery, stressed by unpredictable behaviour, paranoid they won't make it through the winter and cannot imagine being without them for a second (120lbs of honey helped!).

New set up is not cheap but I decided to go that way as looked after the kit will last for decades and I know exactly where it came from. There are alternatives and your local BBKA is the best way in.


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Fife
  • .
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2012, 10:42:37 pm »
Great advice, all, thanks a mill.  :thumbsup:

Roberto, as always....  ;)


  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Forfar
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2012, 09:13:09 am »
I'm starting a course in Dundee next month with the local beekeepers association - 30 and it includes membership, mentoring and assistsance with purchasing and everything else you would need.  While I can't help with the mentoring bit, I'd happily give you a copy of all my notes and maybe you could pay the 10 joining fee (Ithink thats what it is) if you wanted to get mentoring etc yourself.  It is a night time course so I know you can't go but the notes would maybe help??


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2012, 03:07:22 pm »
I am currently doing a course down here at Cornwall College. Our BBKA association basically don't look kindly on you if you don't do the course - though the cost is quite hefty (150) it is run over 6 months, 2 hours a week. We have 10 theory sessions and then 8 apiary sessions apparently.

I was talking to the lecturer last night and asking about whether to take on keeping bees this year (ie while still doing the course) or waiting til next year. He said he advises that you can either:

1. Get a colony in July/August and then take them through the winter, to be ready for next year  - cost of nucleus likely to be 175 ish

2. Reserve a colony to be supplied in April next year, therefore not risking losing them in the 1st winter as a newbie and gaining from the honey production net year - downside is cost is significantly higher eg 280 or so

I have no idea about costs and stuff - is that pretty much ballpark?

BTW I am enjoying the course, though the lecturer does blow his own trumpet quite alot which gets a bit tedious....


robert waddell

  • Guest
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2012, 03:28:30 pm »
a swarm in may is worth a load of hay
a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon
a swarm in July isn't worth a fly
yes they wont take kindly to you  not doing a course they are missing out on the money
my venture into bees was with a swarm i had it for approx 4 years it reswarmed in June and the colony never recovered   plus the area we are in is to damp with to many trees that was over 20 years ago :farmer:


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2012, 04:54:12 pm »

July/August sounds pretty late to be getting a first nucleus.  I wouldn't do it just to nurse them through the winter. If they were an established colonoy they have more chances of sucess over winter.

Our nucleus (cost 150, 2 years ago) didn't make it through their first winter.

Why is the cost so much higher if you get them the next year?

If you are keen to start you could put your name down on the swarm list at the local bee keepers club. There is no guarantee that you will get a swarm but there can't be any harm in being on the list.  If a swarm does come up and you don't feel ready then they will just contact the next person on the list.

Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

robert waddell

  • Guest
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2012, 05:35:00 pm »
why not get friends with your local pest control officer they will be dealling with swarms as well :farmer:

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2012, 05:17:27 pm »

Why is the cost so much higher if you get them the next year?

Because someone else has had to get them through the winter, thats why.  Producing a dozen nucleus boxes is a big logistical challenge for a local association.

A couple of points on the thread so far

1. 150 for 50 hours of training sounds very good value to me.   I've seen one day starter courses being sold for 120

2. You can spend a lot of money doing things on the cheap.  Round here all colonies have varroa infestation but there are much worse pests.  Managing pests is a continuous war which you have to be on top of or you lose first production and then the colony

3. The tories at our local authority privatised the pest control service some years ago.  By privatised I mean that they give you a list of blokes with a van and a ladder and you pay.  Bee swarms are referred the local BKA.  A member will go out to collect it, but by June there's rarely any spare kit to house them. 2011 was a record year for swarms around here: they started early and went on late.  So that's why it can be cheap and easy to get bees in July.

4.  It's easier if you share some of the kit and bulk buy.  A big extractor is so much easier to use but is expensive and needs storing.  Labels and jars are cheaper bought in bulk etc etc.

When you get past the early spend Bee keeping can be done very cheaply.  But everyone needs help to get started and handle the setbacks, confusions and complications.  I remember when we first went to the apiary seeing a mountain of supers on one old codger's hives.  He was producing 2 to 3 times the honey output of any of the new beekeepers while apparently doing the same work.  What he was also doing was offering 30 years of experience for nothing so that others might do the same. 
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts


  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2012, 11:57:53 pm »
Small Farmer

 WRT your last two sentences.
  I used to do mad things with bees , uniting  two collected varroa treated swarms that were housed in framed supers with two sheets from a broad sheet  newspaper . leave them alone for ten days and go looking for the queen in the top super , snuff her out , find the queen in the bottom and put her on some drawn comb in a queen  brood box fitted with a round bar queen excluder . The rest  migrated to the brood box  and carried on from there , the brood in the suoers hatched and the empty cells got filled with honey.

 Come just before the end of season I used to run brood & a half by the same method & feed them like mad  with crown board feeders that held 3 gallons of syrup & thymol , so they had  a completely full super & some of the brood box of "expresso " for winter .  What was extra  was mine .

 your last sentence ..
 I suspect he ran brood and ahalf and left four supers or more inplace  just incase there if there was a " flow "  .
 He might have also been leaving two full supers on the hive for there is nothing better for the bees in a nectar gap to have enough of their own stores to consume .
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country

Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2012, 09:13:43 am »
The last swarm OH collected last year went into a wicker laundry basket covered with a feed sack while we hunted around for kit.   I don't think there was a spare hive left in the county.  They turned out to be very grumpy bees so we were happy when they departed a week or so later.  Friendly bees are much nicer.

Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts


Releasing colonies into the wild - bees for bees not honey

Started by Laurieston (9.02)

Replies: 10
Views: 10046
Last post March 19, 2012, 09:21:20 pm
by Plantoid
At last bees !!!!!!!

Started by Hagrid61 (6.34)

Replies: 0
Views: 3213
Last post May 10, 2012, 12:20:34 pm
by Hagrid61
Just got some bees

Started by Sudanpan (6.34)

Replies: 19
Views: 10870
Last post August 03, 2012, 01:44:30 pm
by Beeducked
wild bees

Started by Fleecewife (6.27)

Replies: 21
Views: 15489
Last post May 19, 2011, 08:46:57 am
by Hatty
Trees for Bees

Started by Shnoowie (6.27)

Replies: 11
Views: 9285
Last post January 25, 2011, 10:16:03 pm
by Anke

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2023. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS