top of page


Beekeeping, or apiculture, is the practical management of the honeybee (Apis mellifera). They live in large colonies of up to 100,000 per hive! The joy of keeping bees is that they never fail to surprise you. Observing bees working in their hive and organising their lives around the changing year is simply fascinating. 


The best way to find out if beekeeping is for you, or to start to learn about beekeeping, is to attend a short course. This will give you some insights into the craft and give you the opportunity to get close to the bees. Some people find it is not for them, but for many it is the start of a life-long journey. Most British Beekeeping Association divisions run taster days or longer in-depth courses (see our 'Courses' page above). In the UK there are approximately 44,000 beekeepers looking after around 240,000 hives and they all started somewhere.

One of the rewards for the beekeeper, of course, is honey. Honey produced by your own bees undoubtedly tastes far superior to almost any that can be found in the supermarket.

While you are deciding if beekeeping is for you, the association can lend you a bee suit and all the equipment you will need. You will just need to provide your own footwear – ideally wellies, but if not, stout shoes and thick socks. Stings on the ankles are very painful!

Will I be stung?

Yes, you are likely to have an occasional sting.  Some bees are more feisty than others which can be the result of bad handling so it is important to learn and develop good handling skills right from the start.  If stung, most people will experience some degree of swelling or itching for a short time and then will gradually become more immune to the occasional sting.

If you suffer from an allergic reaction to stings, it is important to let whoever is running the apiary know.

bottom of page