You can start keeping bees at any time between March and October. Most people like to start with a colony in the spring or summer because in the winter the bees are hibernating. It is possible to move start keeping bees in winter by purchasing an estabilished colony however you should not open the hive to inspect them because the cold will kill them.
An ideal spot is against a hedge or fence. This will protect flying bees from the wind and rain. You should position the hive entrance so that the bees can fly in and out in a straight line. A spot away from frequently used paths is best. Bees normally fly above head height at about 5m above the ground. You can encourage your bees to reach this height quickly by placing a hedge or fence a couple of meters in front of the hive.
In the spring and summer you should check your bees once a week to make sure they have enough food, the queen is laying and they are healthy. This is more important in May, June and July when you want to avoid your bees swarming and may need to act if you see the signs. Later on you can leave them for 2 or 3 weeks without inspecting them. In the winter you don't have to do anything because your bees are hibernating.
Bees can fly up to 1 mile high, so you can keep bees on most rooftops. If you have a sheltered spot on the roof that would be ideal because it's better that they don't have to battle with a cross wind in order to land.
It's a really good idea to go on a beekeeping course to learn the basic skills of beekeeping. These include recognising the queen, assessing how well she is laying and the amount of food the bees have stored. You can then build on this with guides and your own experience. If you are interested in a beekeeping courses visit our courses area here.
Most of the bees will come from local breeders and you will be able to collect them either from Omlet or a breeder near you. If you would like to have bees from Omlet you can pre-order them and we will match you with a colony as soon as possible.
The honey doesn't have to be pasteurised, it's sterile and completely safe.
The price of bees varies simply because there are sometimes less bee colonies available and then the price of the colonies goes up.
The beehaus is triple wall insulated and works well in both low and high temperatures. If it is very hot weather you should check that you bees have a source of water nearby. If you live in a very hot country with lots of sun, it can bee a good idea to locate the hive somewhere with a bit of shade.
Bees make an excellent addition to the learning resources at a school. They can be incorporated into many types of teaching including, maths, art and science.
Keeping bees at your school will not substantially increase the number bees flying in your school buildings. This is because bees normally fly up to 3 miles from the hive. The only area that you need to control is directly in front of the hive where the bees are flying in and out. Once they have left the hive they quickly disperse.
Bees don't want to sting you! They only sting if they feel they are being attacked. For example is someone kicks a ball at a beehive, the vibrations will make the bees inside think they are being attacked and some will come out to investigate. Therefore putting the hive inside a fenced off area - such as a wildlife garden is a great idea.
The children can be involved in all aspects of bee keeping provided they are wearing the proper protective clothing - beesuits for children cost around Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£25 each.
A bee sting does hurt but usually only for about 10 minutes, after that the area may swell and this swelling can last around 24 hours. In a very small number of people a bee sting can cause a more severe reaction and this will have to be dealt with by the medical services. Beehaus Questions
The beehaus is raised off the ground and has a full length mesh floor to provide the bees with all year round fresh air so condensation isn't a problem.
The beehaus starter kit costs Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£495 and includes the beehaus, supers, frames with foundation, a full length beesuit, hive tool, gloves and smoker.
The type of hive rarely affects the amount of honey produced by the bees. The amount of honey produced depends on the size of the colony, the strain of bee (some strains of honeybee are better at collecting honey but may not be as well suited to our climate, for example Italian bees) and the weather. For example, if it is too hot then the plants do not produce much nectar, if it is too wet then the nectar can be quite diluted and for the same amount of effort the bees will not produce as much honey from the nectar.
The most common reason that bees swarm is because they have been very successful at reproducing and build up a strong colony. The factors that govern this behavior are to do with the rate that the queen builds up the colony, the bees temperament (some bees are more "swarmy"), the weather and also the space available in the beehive. The beehaus can be used to manage a colony and reduce the chances of it swarming. It is exactly twice the size as a standard National hive and can be used to provide the bees with extra space or used to divide the colony in two.
Bee mostly like to be build circular nests and store the honey above the brood. The beehaus is not a horizontal hive (like a top bar hive). The beehaus is twice the width of a national hive to allow the brood to grow to its natural peak circular size without being crammed in. The honey is still stored above the brood above the nest. The extra length allows the beehaus to be used as two hives or one large colony.