Frequently Asked Questions

I have a wasps nest what can I do to get rid of it?

These will all die off as the cold weather arrives in late autumn. If you cannot leave it to die on its own then you need to get a Pest Control company in to deal with it. This may be obtained by contacting your Local Authority or by Yellow pages under ' Pest Control. The charge is about £50- £60. 

How much does it cost to start beekeeping? 

To buy all the equipment you need, to join an Association and buy some bees may cost you £500 but it could cost less if you start with a swarm of bees which your local Association will help you collect. Buying equipment in the 'flat' and building it yourself will also save money. HBKA can help you buy more cheaply  and show you how to put it together... then the cost may be as little as £200.

When is a good time to start? 

HBKA run a course in the spring (Check the Events & Diary Page for dates.) If you start in spring you will be able to begin with a swarm and have the pleasure of watching your colony grow. It is not a good idea to start in autumn as you may lose the bees during a difficult winter.

Will I get any honey? 

If the colony builds up to be very strong by early May then you will probably be able to take some honey away by early August. The amount of honey will depend upon the weather, the type of forage, trees, shrubs etc in your area and how healthy your bees are and if you have prevented them swarming. These are all factors to be considered when expecting honey from your bees. If you take honey away you may need to think about feeding them in compensation.

What sort of bees are the best to keep? 

Try to buy gentle easily handled bees from a reputable dealer. British bees are best but most bees are mongrels and may be New Zealand, Carniolan or Caucasian cross bred.

Can I keep bees in my garden?

Yes there is no law to say you cannot keep bees in your garden and you do not need a license. There are of course obligations to keep a gentle strain of bees and to be a good neighbour. There is an advisory leaflet prepared by the British Beekeepers Association to give you guidance. Your local Beekeepers can help you with siting your hive.

Do you ever get stung?

Beekeepers must inevitably get stung occasion when handling bees. Although we wear protective clothing, we often use fine disposable gloves to make it easier for manipulating the frames. Lifting super boxes can be quite heavy work and it is easy to accidently trap a bee which may sting in retaliation. Bees generally do not want to sting as they will die shortly afterwards. Their sting is a defence mechanism and is not used readily. Removing the sting immediately will prevent much of the venom gaining entry to the blood system .