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Get Started

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Getting Started

Do You Want to Keep Bees?
How will you know if beekeeping is for you? Before you start buying equipment, there are some things you can do that will give you a taste of what is involved.

Non-members may come as a guest to one East Devon Beekeepers meeting to get a taste of what we do. Contact any committee member and we will be delighted to welcome you.

Beginners at the teaching apiary
Beginners at the teaching apiary

For those intending to get started, members can access our wide-ranging beekeeping Library.

For those not sure or who would like a more broadly based and personal introduction to the craft you can join our annual Beginners Course.

We can provide a beekeeper’s suit to start you off; you provide the Wellingtons and washing-up gloves. The programme as a whole will give you a solid understanding of what’s involved and, if you don’t already know one, may introduce you to a nearby beekeeper who can help you develop your experience. It is always helpful to know what is likely to develop in your hive next week, next month, next year, and be prepared for it.

Bee keeping has a popular public profile and attractive images to go with it: the hive at the bottom of the garden, a harvest of many jars of home-produced honey. There is also the satisfaction of knowing that one is working with nature, not against it.

Brood inspection
Brood inspection

Every venture begins with a first step. What is your first step? Contact us! Talk to us about beekeepers in your area, about Beginners’ courses. Meet beekeepers. Meet bees. Read the FAQs.

Sub-pages:  | Beginners | FAQs | Kit List | Which Hive | Frame Making |

News & Events

Pesticide made from spider venom kills pests without harming bees
Funnel-web spiders have neurotoxins in their bite that can kill an adult human yet they might turn out to be our allies if the small hive beetle ever reaches the UK.
Scientists at the University of Durham and Fera Science think the spiders may provide the weapon we need to stop the beetles.
The spider venom contains a cocktail of ingredients and one of them – Hv1a – is toxic to most insects, including the small hive beetle, but does not seem to affect bees or humans.
Hv1a needs to be injected to be effective. Just swallowing the toxin is ineffective as it is degraded in their gut. To get round this the team have bound Hv1a to a molecule from the common snowdrop which effectively carries it through the gut barrier.
In the laboratory the team fed the “fusion protein” in a sugar solution to beetles and their larvae. Within a week, all the beetles and larvae were dead.
Next step was to put beetle eggs on bee comb with brood, and spray with the compound. The honeycomb and bees survived virtually untouched, but most of the new beetle larvae died.
The selfish case for saving bees: it’s how to save ourselves
These crucial pollinators keep our world alive. Yes, they are under threat – but all is not lost.  Click here to read the article.
World’s largest bumblebee under threat.
The Patagonian bumblebee, the worlds largest bumblebee, is under threat from the import of species native to Europe.The growth of the bumblebee trade for agricultural pollination since the 1980s has been identified as one of the top emerging environmental issues likely to affect global diversity.Follow this link to read the article.
Best plants for bees: 5 yr study results by RosyBee
Follow the link to see the results of 5 years of monitoring which bees visit a variety of ‘bee-friendly’ plants.
http://www.rosybee.com/research
What’s that Buzz? Plants hear when bees are coming
New research has shown that plants can ‘hear’ sounds around them and flowers respond to the buzz of approaching bees by producing sweeter nectar. The research biologists from Tel Aviv University played recordings of flying bee sounds to evening primrose flowers and found that after a few minutes the sugar concentration in the flower’s nectar had increased by 20% on average when compared with flowers left in silence or submitted to higher pitched sounds.
The authors of the report say that, for the first time, they have shown plants can rapidly respond to pollinator sounds in an ecologically relevant way.
Producing sweeter nectar in response to the sounds of bees can help entice the insects to visit the flowers and increase the chances of its pollen being distributed.
Thanks to Ann P. for spotting this article in the Times.