I’ve always been a bit of an animal lover, and the number of resident and visiting animals round Motley Manor (as my house should be called) has always been quite high, but now I want to introduce another 10 – 30 thousand. I want to keep some bees.
I encourage insect visitors to the garden, but I’ve never kept bees before so I imagine it will be quite a learning curve. I went to a Bee Day (don’t say that aloud!) event at a Co-Operative farm last weekend, and after years of procrastinating, I’ve definitely been stung by the bug.
I’m waiting on tenterhooks (whatever they are) for Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guide-Bees-Honey-Selling-Beekeeping/dp/1904846513/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279271620&sr=8-1 ) to arrive. Meanwhile I’m reading books on the best plants for bees and butterflies so I can prepare for their arrival, which will probably be next spring. I also need to get myself registered on a course to learn more of the art of beekeeping. It seems to me that while science is involved, much of the skill is down to art, like most animal rearing. When I first bought some chickens I’d read a lot about how to keep them, but it’s not the same as actually having the animals there and getting a ‘feel’ for how to keep them happy. I’m sure it’s a similar story with bees, but I think I need to know more about how to assemble the hive, apart from anything else, before I start. I’ve sussed the jargon about ‘supers’ and ‘frames’, but trying to negotiate my way around a bee equipment catalogue seems a bit like trying to buy spares for my Toyota from a catalogue written in Japanese!