Is Beekeeping the Right Hobby For You?

A beekeeper surrounded by bees tends to their hiveAre you interested in keeping bees?

Is your motivation based on the fact that you have heard in the media that bees are facing hardship due to climate change, loss of habitat, pesticides and ecological challenges?

Torbay Beekeepers Association only deal with honeybees who are looked after by beekeepers.  Their numbers are stable.  They face various challenges from pests and diseases but the beekeepers look after them and they are not under threat.   However, more honeybees in the environment will put even greater pressure on wild pollinators such as bumble bees, solitary bees and hover flies.  They all compete for similar forage.   If there is a shortage of flowers the beekeepers will feed the honeybees.  There is no-one to feed the wild pollinators.

So, if your motivation is to ‘save the bees’ then please, don’t keep honeybees.  Plant flowers.

It is relatively expensive to set up as a beekeeper and a lot of work goes into learning how to do it.  We then find that some people realise that keeping honeybees was not what they intended at all.  They primarily wanted to support wild pollinators.  The best way to do this is to provide them with suitable habitat and ensure they have a good supply of flowers on which to forage.  You can join the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust which will tell you in detail how you can do this and support both bumble bees and wild pollinators.

For those of you who have a desire to keep honeybees, we are running an Introduction to Beekeeping Course where we will be happy to welcome you.