Common questions about beekeeping

Common questions about beekeeping

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Dinah Sweet is the Chairman of the Cardiff Vale and Valleys Beekeepers Association and has been keeping bees and training new beekeepers for many years. We are pleased to have Dinah as our tutor for our Beekeeping for beginners workshop on April 1st, where she will be teaching participants about the lifecycle of the honey bee, housing your bees and the husbandry tasks involved in caring for them. Dinah and John Sweet also run Sensible beekeeping courses, including candle making, photography and microscopy related to bees, mead making, as well as online beekeeping courses.

We asked Dinah to answer a few myths and common questions about beekeeping…

Remember bees are animals
It is really important to learn about the animals you are going to keep and honeybees naturally live in complex social networks. They keep going all the year round (unlike bumblebees that only live as a colony in the summer) and collect honey to keep them going through the winter. They do need looking after properly and responsibly.

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Bees have been dying
Starvation is the main reason for honeybees dying over the winter but by looking after them carefully they will survive. All types of bees still need help so conservation of land and planting wildflowers as well as trees are essential for their continuation.

Can bees be kept in the city?
If you live in town or very near other people it is possible to keep bees in your small garden, on the roof or on top of a shed but unless skilled in managing them, they can be a nuisance to the public and neighbours.

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How much time do they need?
One or two hives will only need about one to two hours per week of your time, inspecting them and making equipment for them. Starting in April and finishing in September, with a few checks on them from the outside over winter.

Will they sting me?
All bees will try to defend their hive but you can avoid stings by wearing the correct protective gear and handling them gently so that they don’t see you as a threat.

Beekeeping for beginners – Wednesday 1st April – The Abacus, Cardiff

Get in touch if you have any questions or would like to request a discount for a group booking.

You may also be interested in our Cosmetics from the beehive workshop.

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