What do you need to be a beekeeper?

The fantasy of keeping bees.

The reality of keeping bees:

So what attributes will a successful beekeeper have - or will develop?

◦An interest in the natural world:
If the answer is 'yes' then perhaps beekeeping is for you.

◦An enquiring mind:
If the answer is 'yes' then perhaps beekeeping is for you?

Can you do all this and still stay calm?

A tolerance of setbacks:
  • Can you tolerate setbacks?
  • When half your bees fly off to another location will you soldier on?
  • Are you keen to know why it happened?
  • Are you keen to prevent it happening again?
If the answer is 'yes' then perhaps beekeeping is for you?

◦Strong arms: If you can mange this amount of lifting, either alone or with help, then OK.

◦Deep pockets:
Few hobby beekeepers make any money unless they are very lucky To set up your apiary will cost in excess of £400. One well known supplier does a complete beginner's kit for £564 including one hive, gloves, a mouse guard and a manual.
Later you will need: Many of these items can be obtained second hand - though it is best to take advice from an experienced bee keeper.

Keeping bees takes time:
◦Apiary site:
◦Storage Space:
In addition you need space to keep the equipment.
This may be a dedicated garden shed or it may be a corner of the garage.
You do need somewhere to keep spare empty supers, the made up frames, the smoker, the spare queen excluder...

◦And do I get stung?
I am often asked if you get stung? The answer is "Yes - but not often." When I have been stung it was either because: Take simple precautions and you will not get stung - well not much and not often.