beekeeperMy name is Sarah Cowell and I started Beeginner Beekeeper as a free resource for others who wish to explore the natural, chemical free way of keeping bees as a hobby.

By sharing my voyage of discovery into the fascinating world of bees and the aim of keeping them ‘naturally’, I hope to save you making some of the same mistakes and worrying about some of the decisions you may face as a new beekeeper.

The first advice for new or aspiring beekeepers is to join the local beekeepers’ association. While that’s good advice you may find that the orthodox ways of beekeeping don’t chime with your gut instincts and after all, it was probably the same instinct that led you towards beekeeping in the first place. You may find you want to question advice to feed sugar solution or medicate the colony for Varroa but feel your inexperience doesn’t earn you the right.

Here I want to present alternatives so that you can make your own decisions about how to keep your bees, despite your relative inexperience.  With a good understanding of the way bees operate without man’s intervention and why modern practices have developed as they have, you can make your mind up with confidence about how you wish to proceed.

As a simple introduction to the subject I’ve put together a mini-course of 10 quick e-mail lessons.  To sign up just enter your first name and e-mail address in the box in the right hand sidebar.

The Mini-Course will show you:

  • What to consider before buy a hive, that could prevent you from wasting money
  • How the type of hive you buy (or make) can determine whether the bees thrive
  • How you can keep a hive, even in the most unlikely situations
  • How to avoid you or your neighbours being stung
  • What to be aware of so that you can relax the rest of the time
  • How to keep bees without using chemicals
  • How to help get your bees through their critical first winter
  • When you need to open the hive and when you don’t
  • Much, much more!

The longer I keep bees the more I am persuaded that the quality of their diet is crucial to their health.  Surely by substituting virtually inert refined sugar for the complex organic mix that plants provide in the form of nectar and pollen is not going to help bee health?

I wrote Honey Bee Plants to share the information I collected whilst finding out about this subject.

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