So ... you've already taken the first steps to becoming a beekeeper by finding us and viewing this page. If you've got this far then you're probably wanting some more information before taking the plunge and becoming a beekeeper. So here goes ...
One of your first considerations before embarking on this venture, is where would you keep your colony(s) of bees? Do you have a suitable location in your own garden? Do your friends have large gardens or padocks who might like to help? Do you have a flat roof that could be used? By a suitable location, we mean out of line of sight of public footpaths and away from where they could become a nuisance. Do your neighbours have children? You should speak to your neighbours and let them know of your intention. Reassuring them that honeybees are not aggressive insects goes a long way ... especially if you treat them to a jar or two of your honey at the end of the year! And remember that bees have a habit of multiplying. You might think that you only want one hive at the bottom of the garden but don't be surprised if you finish up with two or more!
So having given some thought to where you might keep your bees, it's time to get yourself on a beekeeping course for beginners. You'll find that pretty much all beekeeping associations offer this service and it's usually 5 or 6 theory sessions on different evenings. However, there may be a nominal charge for this as this is one way associations can raise money for their coffers. Barkston Ash Beekeepers offer this service free to it's members and we usually run these courses starting in February of each year. You can view details of our latest course here. You can find your nearest beekeeping association here.
Be aware that the stuff you will learn is not even the tip of the iceberg and is simply the starting point of years of learning!
Once you've got the theory behind you, you'll be getting ready for practical sessions at your association apiary. Some associations may provide you with the protective clothing and equipment you will require for this. You need to ask if this is an option available to you. If not, then see the equipment page for further information on essential equipment and clothing you will be needing.
At the apiary, your first experience of opening a bee hive and handling a frame full of bees is a milestone event in your new pastime/hobby. Enjoy the moments!