Covid-19 has made it difficult for me to run my courses, and given that the current restrictions are likely to be in place until June at the earliest, this means the beekeeping season will be past its peak and those wanting to get started this year might have missed their opportunity if they are wanting to start with a swarm.
I always recommend starting your beekeeping journey with a swarm, partly because it is a great way to bond with your bees, as you can see how they respond and build up from the beginning, and partly because nucs or colonies can be expensive, and the bees tend to have been commercially bred and reared, and will most likely be from vigorous production stock and not best suited to more hands-off methods. Swarms can fail, but it will still have been a valuable lesson in observing how bees work.
With these restrictions in mind, I am offering a Bee Course in a box, consisting of a 32-page manual in an A4 folder to give you information on the following:
- the bee colony
- the equipment you’ll need and where to find it
- how to get started and set up your hive
- how to make frames
You will also receive a small box containing some old and new comb, and a nugget of propolis and a small strip of foundation, which you can melt down to use as a ‘paint’ on the inside of the hive to season it if it is a bit new and shiny. As I suggest using lolly sticks in my frames, you will also get 11 of those to put in your brood frames. In order to bait your hive, I include a small bottle of lemongrass essential oil which is the best one for attracting a swarm. There is also a handy Pollen Load Guide so that you can see where your bees might be foraging.
This box should give you the information you need to find out if you would like to go ahead. It is designed to be a starter kit to give you the basic theory, and the practical aspects are covered over on my Patreon site. This is a £3 a month subscription site which will give you access to apiary activities and more detailed learning. I am a great believer in learning-by-observing, and individualised tuition so I am always available to be contacted via the usual channels if you have specific enquiries.
The cost is £50 for the Introductory Box, posted to your address. This includes an (optional) 1 hour audio or video chat with me to cover anything that you feel needs more clarification.