Q. What are the benefits to my garden?

A. Pollination is critical to fruit and vegetable production and many areas are severely lacking in pollinators. Having your own beehive will give you your very own work force of pollinators. Imagine having 50,000 plus bees working hard in your garden. The honeybee accounts for 80% of pollination done by insects and the honeybee pollinates most of the crops and one-third of the food we eat. In short, get a Beehive and watch your garden thrive!

Q. Is there a certain age that you would recommend for the children who will work with a beehive?

A. I have several friends who are using a Beehive as a learning and bonding experience with their children. The children are 8 & 10 years old and are working with their parents, tending the bees. Tending the beehive covers many learning opportunities, including ecology, nature, maths and a general body/mind awareness. When you work with the hive, you learn to monitor the feedback from the bees, which in turn encourages the bee keeper to be graceful and relaxed.

Q. You seem to like keeping it small. How much space does your hive have?

A. The size of the Beehive is based on several considerations. A single Beehive takes up an area of around 600 square millimeters (24″) There are a number of different types of Beehives but none of them are large and most gardens will have space for one or two hives if placed correctly.

Q. Will I have to wear a bee suit?

A. It is certainly advisable to wear some protective clothing when handling Bees and a Veil should always be worn when dealing with Bees. Ideally you should also be wearing a Veil and Bee jacket, some Overtrousers and a pair of Wellington Boots with the Trousers tucked into them. A pair of Gloves are worth wearing. I usually wear a pair of Rubber Washing Up gloves and these work well.

Some experienced Beekeepers don’t wear gloves, over-trousers, wellingtons but nearly always wear a veil for safety.

Q. How much do bees cost?

A. You can expect to spend from £100 to £300 for packages of bees that include a queen. Bees are free if you rescue them from an swarm. It’s really worth joining your local Bee Association as they will help you with setting up your Hives and possibly a Swarm of Bees if they have some available.

Q. Where can I buy beekeeping equipment locally?

A. Our local Thorn’s agent is Mike and Liz Duffin. Tel: 01425 474552.