Queen marking colour for 2017 - YELLOW

BeeBase British Beekeepers Association

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.


Come along to an East Devon Beekeepers summer meeting. Non-members are welcome to come and see what we do, but this is limited to one meeting to conform to our insurance. If you wish to attend please contact a committee member. Non-members may also come to one winter meeting without joining to get a taste of what we do.

Beginners at an apiary meeting


If you decide to join us then get to know a bee keeper and accompany them when he or she visits the apiary and opens hives. We can provide a bee suit. You will need to provide wellingtons and gloves (household washing up gloves are fine). Find out about the work involved during the course of a year.

Hive inspection in progress

Beginners Course, 2018

The course will begin in the classroom, moving to outdoor practical experience once the weather permits.

Meeting dates will be on Saturday mornings initially, starting with 10th February at 10am.   2 - 2½hr per session.  Subsequent dates will be 17th Feb, 24th Feb, 3rd Mar, 10th Mar, 17th Mar then either Saturday 24th Mar or Sunday 25th Mar at your choice.  The venue will be at our new Apiary Building at Hunthay Farm, EX13 5RJ, between Kilmington and Axminster (see Maps).

The cost will be £95 which includes the initial course, plus:

There is a discounted rate of £45 for second members of the same household, if applicable, as they will not get another book or magazine copies.

The course is aimed at people with no, or very little, previous experience and is designed to enable you to take your first steps in beekeeping with the benefit of tuition and support.

Contacts and more details on the Beginners page

Read books on beekeeping. Members can borrow books from the branch library.


Look at suppliers’ catalogues to get an idea of necessary equipment and costs.


You can also take advantage of our Beginners Course, usually held from January to April. This will give you a good grounding in the management and handling of bees. See opposite

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.

Before you acquire your first nucleus colony and transfer several bee-covered frames into your own hive, though, you will need to know what is likely to develop next week in your hive, and next month, next year, and be prepared for it. The assistance of an experienced colleague in your first year will be of enormous help.

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.

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