Submitted by: Chriss Line - 19/01/2016
Having delayed the decision for long enough, I finally decided to become a beekeeper and contacted Barkston Ash for guidance. Having completed my week theory sessions with John Whitaker, the next step was hands on manipulations at Old Park apiary. During these sessions, I started to plan how I wanted my own apiary to be laid out. In doing this, I needed to consider the needs of "she who must be obeyed" and remember that my young grandchildren will be running amok in the garden.
I am fortunate to be blessed with a long garden and with a small area at the very bottom not really doing anything useful. With an 8' high conifer hedge on one side and 2 useful sheds on the rear boundary, this was the perfect position in which to place my future hives. One of the sheds now contains all of my beekeeping equipment so everything I need is at hand.
Thinking about the grandchildren and needing to protect them (and everyone else!) I decided to erect a 2 meter high screen between bees and humans. The screen would also need 1 meter high side sections (gates) on 2 sides to stop the kids from running straight down the garden and standing in front of a hive!
Whilst undertaking this project work, I also decided to remove all the turf from my apiary area and replace with flagstones for easy maintenance. It was only when this work was completed that I decided to add 4 low level glass windows to allow visitors to get that real close up connection with the bees at the hive entrances.
I'm glad I did all of this work. The bees are now forced to fly high before leaving and returning to the apiary. And my visitors to the apiary ..... well they are in awe with the close proximity they have with the bees and so happy with how safe they feel.
I'm proud of my apiary and without a doubt all the hard work has been well worth it.