Welcome - to my collection of support notes that help my day to day beekeeping activities, kept online so I can access them whenever I need to refer to them (which is often!). Started as a few pages of essential info they have gradually grown as more are added as time and opportunity allows.
Key Points - in the notes are responsible beekeeping, using best practice, conservation of sustainable native honeybee populations, maintenance of healthy colonies, environmental awareness, and embracing the natural world. Whether an old hand or new to beekeeping I hope you'll find these regular beekeeping support notes helpful. There are pages on just about every aspect of keeping our native honeybees, info on other related species, some interactive quizzes to help keep beekeeping knowledge sharp, and a search facility to look for specifics in the notes.
Note - Links and references to regulations are generally to Scottish Government Legislation however there are similar regulations in place for other areas of the UK available by web search.
Eric McArthur MBE ©
Beekeeping is a rewarding activity, with little limitation on how involved you can get. It can be as low key and simple as a couple of hives in the garden, to five or six in an out apiary, or for the more serious with dozens of hives in several apiaries, or you might like to delve deeper into the scientific side of things, or concentrate on specialisms such as queen rearing. Whatever you become in beekeeping you will have the opportunity to directly help sustain native honeybees, nature and the environment. The world of beekeeping is a fascinating one, it never fails to surprise and will certainly broaden understanding of our natural world. If you are interested to know more or want to give it a go have a look at the Basics page for an idea of what's involved and a how to start beekeeping but please don't think about getting bees until you are sufficiently trained and competent enough to look after their health and welfare properly.
Health and Safety, yours, your bees, and those affected by your beekeeping practices, are your primary concern. There are many things to be considered to ensure safe practice in beekeeping, most of it is common sense and developing good habits. Use the Health and Safety page as a guide to maintaining good safety standards.
Beekeepers visiting a local apiary to share best practice.
Beekeepers rarely work alone, its always an advantage to have access to another's experience, an expert opinion, an extra pair of hands or eyes, and it is the most effective way of sharing best practice. Membership of a local beekeeping association, community, club or group can have many benefits: beginners classes; examination for beekeeping qualifications; expert advice and support on all aspects of bee-craft; exchange of ideas and experiences; keeping up to date with developments; and access to a network of beekeepers throughout your local area. Exchange of local beekeeping news and of colony productivity and health status is invaluable in keeping a successful apiary. Networking can and does save you a lot of time and wasted effort!
When keeping honeybees you quickly discover that there are many other pollinator species in our natural world, some of which you will encounter in and around your apiary, some you can mistake for honeybees, and some that interact directly with honeybee colonies. Information on other UK bee species and wasps can be found here at the Bee Species page, and at the Wasp Species page
Keeping records is an important aspect of beekeeping, traditionally hive cards or diaries are written up and kept under the hive roof or at home. Alternatively, storing apiary records online using a mobile device is a convenient way to view, add and edit colony records while out in the apiary saving the hassle of guesswork or forgetting things. 'My Apidata' is my own online recording system and is not available for public viewing however mobile beekeeping 'Apps' are becoming more popular and are available for IOS and Android devices from the usual sources and may be worth a look.
About the 'My Beekeeping Kit' website.
Enquiries, suggestions, corrections and contributions for improving the notes are always welcome, please Contact Iain