© Kelvin Valley Beekeepers’ Association 2017 | All Rights Reserved
Q. Do I need a large garden to keep bees?
A. Your garden does not need to be large. A south-facing corner is ideal with some hedging or fencing to guide the bees above head height. If you don’t have a suitable garden, you can always ask a farmer or landowner for a small corner to accommodate one or two beehives. You can offer to pay a rent with some of your produce.
Q. Will I get stung?
A. Occasionally, but with good protection, it should not happen too often. Also the protection tends to cut down the amount of venom you may receive, which in turn reduces the pain.
Q. Will the bees cause problems with my neighbours?
A. Bees which are looked after properly should not cause problems. Bees that are allowed to swarm can cause friction with neighbours, especially if they settle in their garden. The swarming period is normally from the beginning of May to mid-July. During this period you need to inspect each hive every seven days to check for signs of swarm preparation.
Q. What are the signs of swarm preparation?
A. The bees will start to build queen cells. These are easily seen when a hive is opened; they are long cells which hang down from the side of the comb. When you find these cells, there are several actions you can take to prevent a swarm from leaving the hive.
You can find out what to do by coming along to an Association meeting – we’ll be glad to give you lots of expert help and indicate any training courses available.
Q. Is beekeeping time consuming?
A. It is really up to you. Apart from the swarming period when you must check the hives once a week, an hour every few weeks should be sufficient. Over the five months of winter, you need to do very little apart from the occasional check to make sure your bees have enough stores.