How To Start Beekeeping

There is a lot of information explaining how to start beekeeping both on the internet, and available in books.

On this site, you’ll find some useful introductory information, as well as links to more in-depth sources, and free items to download and use, including a beekeeping book and bee hive plans.  The audience for this website is very varied, but hopefully there will be something to suit you.

This website is being updated on a regular basis, so please return - or why not subscribe to my RSS feed (see navigation bar left) for updates.

how to start beekeeping Beginning Beekeeping
I recommend that before you take any steps, such as purchasing honey bee hives and other equipment, it would be a good idea to decide what kind of beekeeper you want to be. This will influence the approach you take, which in turn will determine how you equip yourself with beekeeping supplies.

honey bees on honeycomb Natural Beekeeping
This is a growing movement. It focuses on beekeeping in a way that supports the natural behaviours of the honey bee (such as how the bees naturally build honeycombs). This approach uses natural methods of dealing with issues such as varroa, and advocates sustainable honey harvesting (i.e. not being greedy by removing all the winter stores of honey from the bees, and instead, only taking an amount that is not detrimental to the bees). But there’s much more to it than this. It may or may not be for you, but why not take a look at this introduction to a few key principles.
Here you will also find a free book to download.

Urban Beekeeping
Considerations for keeping bees in the town or city.

honey bees on honey comb Used Beekeeping Equipment
Advice about purchasing second hand beekeeping equipment and supplies, including how to clean it.

Beekeeping Equipment
If you want to know how to start beekeeping, you'll be keen to understand what kind of beekeeping equipment you need. Information here.

Honey Bee Hives
Whether you want to be a natural beekeeper or a traditional (conventional) beekeeper will determine the kind of hive you choose. A quick overview of the types of beehives available.

bee hive plans Bee Hive Plans
Bee hives are expensive. Download free plans to make your own beehive. Several versions to choose from.

Honey Bees For Sale?
If you are about to start beekeeping, perhaps you will be given a swarm. If not, you will have to purchase some bees to start you. Go from How To Start Beekeeping to these guidance notes here.

Varroa Mite
Background information on Varroa mite (or Varroa Destructor). There is a link to treatments, including non-synthetic, natural options and a study to download.

Feeding Honey Bees
Recipes for fondant and syrup for the times when your honey bees need to be fed.

picture of bees on honey comb Bee Hives For Sale
Go from How to Start Beekeeping to this page listing things to consider before you splash out on the purchase of a bee hive.

honey comb and bees Beekeeping Videos
If you want to know how to start beekeeping, why not take a look at this range of great beekeeping videos showing Natural Beekeeping in action. You can always take a look at them again later. There is a nice short clip featuring popular BBC TV gardening presenter, Carol Kelin.

honey bees Beekeeping Links
Some of my favourite links to other great beekeeping sites, with lots of information.

History Of Beekeeping
Beekeeping and honey gathering go back many years. Here is a brief history.

how to start beekeeping Books
Some great beekeeping books, as well as books along related themes.

honey bees on comb Organic Beekeeping
Find out how to start beekeeping organically. However, you'll find that organic beekeeping is not so simple as it may sound! In general, beekeepers who choose to start beekeeping in an organic way, simply follow the principles as closely as they can, but in terms of reaching a certifiable standard.......well, this depends on which country you live in, but most beekeepers would find this impossible. Nevertheless, avoiding chemicals in the hive, using natural untreated wood, and keeping your bees on an organic allotment or garden plot are perfectly achievable standards for many beekeepers. You may also be interested in this feature about Organic Honey.

A-Z of Honey Bees And Beekeeping
Brief descriptions of terms used in beekeeping.

Other subjects of interest:

honeybees on honeycomb Honey Bee Deaths Explored
Take a look as some of the issues around honey bee deaths.

honeybees on honey comb Bee Plant Lists
You’ll want to make sure you have as many foraging opportunities for bees as possible.You’ll find some calendarised plant lists here, including garden plants, herbs, wildflowers, shrubs, trees, and even fruit & veg!

Beekeeping Articles

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Create a beekeeping business plan

Gardening For Bees

Click on the button below for resources.

The Strange Disappearance of the Bees

To read an interesting interview with producer of the film, Mark Daniels

click here