There are a number of ways to learn about beekeeping on line. Many tips and ideas can be picked up from YouTube, but there are more structured courses available, from respected and experienced teachers.
Regular readers may have come across my pages on this website featuring pioneer beekeeper, Phil Chandler - also known as the Barefoot Beekeeper.
Phil is the author and creator of a number of beekeeping books and videos. His books include 'The Barefoot Beekeeper' written in 2007, and a follow-up - 'Balanced Beekeeping'.
Phil is a recognized teacher and expert, who has provided guidance to beekeepers all over the world.
You can start the course whenever you like, and the course includes tutor access, certificate of completion, lessons, online classroom, lifetime access to videos and notes and more.
Gift vouchers are also available, and learning how to keep bees from an experienced beekeeper like Phil might help a loved one or friend get started in this wonderful hobby.
In the early years of learning his craft Phil spent a year working at Buckfast Abbey, famous home of the 'Buckfast Bee'. He then became a pioneer of what he terms 'natural beekeeping' - but something that could easily be referred to as 'Api-centric beekeeping' or 'bee-friendly' beekeeping.
I find it interesting that one of my heroes, Thomas D. Seeley in his book The Lives Of Bees, proposes the basic philosophy of learning from wild bees, in order to enhance and promote colony well-being and health in managed colonies. This is exactly what Phil had already been doing some years earlier. Seeley supports his ideas with a mass of scientific study and evidence.
As an interesting aside, so trusted is Phil, that he was invited to teach beekeeping at Highgrove, home of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Charles is an organic farmer, and used his prominent position to help raise awareness of the plight of bees in the early days, such that many beekeepers from all over Britain and Europe sent the Prince jars of their honey (unfortunately, Prince Charles can't eat food items sent in, because of security risk, but the Prince let it be known that he appreciated the sentiment).
I first became acquainted with Phil through our mutual campaigning efforts for bees. Back then, very few people had heard about the threats to bees, and certainly there was hardly any noise about it.
A small group of us were raising awareness of the plight of bees, and part of this was communicating the danger of neonicotinoid insecticides. Phil and myself were part of that small, trailblazing team. However, years earlier, he had campaigned against GM crops, and after that, he had turned to beekeeping.
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