Thinking that keeping bees would be a pretty straightforward hobby, I acquired a nucleus of bees from Peter Coxon and tended them for over a year before realising that there was a huge amount I needed to know if I was to stop them swarming and actually harvest any honey.
Having come to the realisation that keeping bees properly is a serious commitment and feeling completely inadequate to the task, I decided to enrol on the beginners beekeeping course and really get to grips with all the intricacies of the life of an apiarist.
The course has been really inspiring and I now appreciate what an amazing thing it is to be able to understand what is going on in the hive and provide a flourishing environment for each colony. There is an infinite amount to learn about these amazing creatures and having access to experienced beekeepers to ask advice from is a great boost to the confidence and the bee buddy system is wonderfully reassuring in times of panic.
Any one interested in keeping bees should not under estimate the commitment they are undertaking. It is not so much that that they need a huge amount of time during the whole year, but they must not be neglected - there are certain crucial times when failure to act will result in your bees swarming or starving so regular action and informed consideration of what they might require to thrive is really important.
Malcolm is infectiously enthusiastic and provides constant support throughout the duration of the course and beyond. The camaraderie amongst the group was a great encouragement and the combined joy of harvesting our first crops of golden honey cannot be underestimated.