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For my grand mother

 
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4nd73j
New Bee


Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 5
Location: England, Nottingham, Stapleford, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:13 am    Post subject: For my grand mother Reply with quote

Hey guys,

First off i just want to say that it's great to be here and that i am grateful for being added to this forum. Ever since i was a child my grand mother would tell me about the importance of bees and the impact they have on the world, i remember being mesmerized. Anyway about 4 months ago for her birthday i brought her a "bees and beekeeping" book which she loved and has not put down. The link is below if you are interested. Now she has her heart set on starting beekeeping. http://www.for-sale.ie/beekeeping

So i'm here to find out how much work actually goes into this and what kind of maintenance beekeeping will require. My grand mother in 69 years of age but pretty fit to say the least. I am willing to help her as much as possible, if there is any heavy lifting i can be there to help her out no problem. But at this point i'm clueless and where better to get good information than a beekeeping site.

Looking forward to speaking with you all!


Last edited by 4nd73j on Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:44 am; edited 3 times in total
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Adriaan
Guard Bee


Joined: 18 Jan 2016
Posts: 95
Location: central Belgium

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi 4nd73jj,

Welcome to the forum, it is a bit slow sometimes but I hope you get the help you need. I guess one is never to old to start something new.

My best advice is to read a lot and to seek practical help from an experianced beekeeper (preferably one that is into natural beekeeping). As I am located in Belgium, I can't be of any help there.

I personally don't think beekeeping is a lot of work. At the moment I have seven hives and have been keeping bees for 40 years, The more experiance you get, less time in needed to do the job. Also the more hives you got, less time is needed per hive.

A lot of it comes down to the way you choose to manage your bees; if you go natural, hardly any time is needed as manipulations are down to a minimum.

For me the most time is spent in observing the bees (which is great fun), making plans for next season, having fun meetings with like minded beeks.

One warning: If you are going to keep bees you are going to loose bees. That happens to all of us and it is part of the deal. If you only have 1 hive and you loose it, the inpact is bigger than when you have several hives. So I suggest you start with three. anyways: loosing bees is no reason to quit.

friendly greetings

Adriaan

ps swarming is not loosing bees, swarming I consider to be a good thing.

pps Do you go to sleep late or rise early?
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 304
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome.

My best advice is for her to join her local BKA group and learn beekeeping using National hives and framed foundation, that Is far and away the most widespread system.

Then when she has confidence in handling bees and has some idea of the pitfallls and relative advantages and disadvantages of that system, she will be in a position to better make decisions for herself about what type of hive suits her best.

Starting with a low-intervention system i found very difficult unless a mentor can be found in that type of hive locally who can give the time needed in the early days/months.

She's the same age as me so not too old to start.

Good luck.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1582
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome

I think it is wonderful that you are encouraging your grandmother to take a more active role in an interest that she has obviously had for a long time and also prepared to help her with it.

I would highly recommend one of Phil's courses at Brinscall Hall in Lancashire. I know it isn't quite on your doorstep but she would meet likeminded people as well as gain basic knowledge and skills. National hives are an expensive way to get started and involve heavy lifting....I appreciate you are prepared to help her.... but a top bar hive is relatively simple and cheap to make, so the money she would save on buying a National hive could be spent doing the course. I would also recommend Phil's book the Barefoot Beekeeper as a good introductory read to the basic ideas of Top Bar Hive beekeeping.
If I lived closer I would have been happy to mentor you both, but I too am a bit far away. Hopefully someone else will come along who is more local. I think it would be helpful to join a local group whether that be a British Beekeepers Association group or a Natural Beekeeping group, to at least get some experience of handling bees, whichever hive and management style your grandmother chooses to adopt. Just don't be pressured into spending vast sums of money or think that it is not possible to beekeep on a low budget. There are also many you tube videos which might give her some insight into the different hives and management styles.

If she is mostly interested in keeping bees for the sake of the bees rather than getting as much honey from them as she can, then there isn't a great deal of "work" but more observing and enjoying watching them with occasional inspections. Some people build a hive, prepare it, by making it as attractive as possible to bees and a swarm finds it and moves in of their own accord. If you have patience, this is the best way in my opinion, but it may take several years before it happens or it could happen in your first season... I certainly know of people that have had success like that within weeks of putting a hive out and those people had never even seen a swarm of bees before.

Anyway, we are here at the end of a keyboard to offer whatever advice or encouragement we can, so shout up with any specific questions you may have.

Best wishes and good luck to you and your gran.

Barbara
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4nd73j
New Bee


Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 5
Location: England, Nottingham, Stapleford, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the idea of Brinscall Hall in Lancashire, it's not too far away and it will give me a day out with her! this is something that might also bring on more of a social life for her which would be a bonus.

I will go and see her today with the proposal of going to Brinscall Hall and learning a few lessons from Phil, i'm sure she will love the idea. From reading everything on here i see it's best to go and do the practical at a natural bee farm and see where you are after that.

Thanks for the reply's i will have a chat with my grand mother and get back to you asap!
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 304
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no reason why national hives run free of foundation and in a low intervention management scheme should be any more expensive than a top bar hive.
They cost about the same to buy and I somehow doubt a GM will want to make her own.
Doing the courses and making your own decision from a position of first hand knowledge is the best option.
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4nd73j
New Bee


Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 5
Location: England, Nottingham, Stapleford, Nottinghamshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brinscall Hall in Lancashire is booked on her calander and we will be visiting mid next week. I am actually kind of excited to be spending time with her and learning a little for my self. And hard labour or heavy lifting etc that comes into keeping bees i will be there to help her out when needed!!

http://brinscallhall.co.uk/
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1582
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is wonderful that you are so enthusiastic about learning a new skill and particularly sharing that experience with your Gran.
Oddly I can't see any beekeeping courses listed on the Brinscall Hall website at the moment....have you confirmed with Avril that there is something on? It is a wonderful place and I'm sure you will both enjoy it although it's the wrong time of year for doing any practical beekeeping of course. Hopefully you will be able to go back in Spring and do that.

Please keep us posted with how you get on.

Very best wishes

Barbara
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any courses booked in at Brinscall yet this year. If and when I do, they will appear here http://biobees.com/training.php

John Vendy also teaches there and at his place in north Lancs.
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