Getting Started in Beekeeping 01 Introduction - Beekeeping Basics - The Norfolk Honey Co.

hi I'm Stuart from the Norfolk honey

company and welcome to my office for a

brand new series that I'm putting

together called getting started in


so the purpose of this set of videos is

to run through the very basics in


to help any of you out there that are

thinking of getting started in

beekeeping or maybe have just started to

give it a go and to make your hobby a

success I see a lot of people who get

started in beekeeping who haven't

grasped the fundamentals and struggle a

little bit in the first couple of years

and get a bit despondent so I want to

try and help those people particularly

to make sure that they're well grounded

in the topic and can have a fast start

when they get involved with some bees in

the spring so I plan to go through a

beginner's course that I used to run

which goes through a wide range of basic

understanding in beekeeping ranging from

how to get started the very basics basic

be biology some history of beekeeping

and a little bit of history about the

bee hive so what I've done is I've put

together some of my old PowerPoint

slides and hopefully we can put together

a presentation that will be of interest

to you guys that they I'm trying to keep

them to around 20 minutes maybe 30

minutes and we'll have a few different

topics to go through each week and

building up into what should hopefully

be quite an interesting course and give

you all the information you need to get

started so this session I'm going to

start off with an introduction and then

following that we've got various aspects

of beekeeping running right the way

through which hopefully will take us

through into the new year and

accommodate in a final getting started

video showing you what you should look

out for when you're buying bees

particularly if you've never had bees

before and what healthy bees look like

and what you shouldn't buy so I'm

looking forward to I hope you are too so

let's get started right so

please feel free to ask questions as we

go along pop them in the comments

section below and I'll endeavor to take

the questions that you post and then

answer them the following week the

sessions should hopefully be about 20 or

so minutes long and we're going to kick

off with an introduction and then

following that we're going to take a

look inside the Beehive what a bee

colony consists of then a little bit of

history a look back in time at

beekeeping and how the hive has

developed over the years then we're

going to take a look at the seasonal

activity what happens when so when do

the bees start to build up in the spring

whence the honey flow when should you

treat when do they start producing Queen

cells when do you get them ready for

winter what you do over winter all of

that kind of stuff we're going to take a

look at swarming honeybees and what you

can do is beekeeper to try and prevent

that it's not always possible but it's

something that we'll we'll cover off

we'll take a look at the Queen and how

we can produce more Queens very simply

even if you've just got one or two

colonies it's very easy to produce more

Queens so we're going to have a look at

that we'll take a look at pests

predators and diseases so we can cover

off what you need to do to try and help

your bees stay healthy we're going to

take a look at pollen and nectar and the

different types of plants that you might

find certainly here in the UK we can

cover off quite a lot of plants and I

suspect that some of those will be

relevant wherever you are but again it

would be great when we get to that

particular session for you guys to tell

me what plants you have and what time of

year they flower and what's the best for

producing honey then I'm going to take a

look at making your new hobby pay for

itself the equipment can be

by expensive so it'd be great to show

you how you can produce some honey and

other products from the hive that you

can then sell to friends and family and

maybe put into a local shop or store

close to where you live and then finally

we'll take a look at buying bees buying

all of the various bits of equipment

that you're likely to require and

looking for local help looking for maybe

clubs associations or groups that I need

you that can help you on your journey to

becoming a beekeeper and also looking

for a mentor somebody that can guide you

in your apiary with your bees and just

show you what you're looking at and

where you need to go what you need to do

next with those bees I'm hoping that I

can give you all the help that I

possibly can and we'll take it from

there and see see how we get on so

normally when I do the beginners course

with a roomful of people

we normally do an introduction I'd go

over a little bit myself and my

background and then we go around the

room so we may as well just carry on in

that vein so as you know my name's

Stuart I'm the owner of the Norfolk

honey company and I'm 53 years of age

I'm married with two grown-up daughters

and started beekeeping when my just

before my eldest daughter was born so

that's around twenty-six years ago I

started with just a couple of hives in

the back garden had a very amusing

experience for my very first beekeeping

experience a close friend and neighbor

had got bees and invited me to take a

look at them I thought well this looks

like a good hobby I'll give it a try so

went round put on just a simple little

veil over my head and we walked down to

the bottom of his garden which was a

fairly long smallholding and the

beehives were just the other side of a

small brook a little stream that was

running through the property

and he warned me to say that these bees

were particularly feisty so he would use

a lot of smoke on them so he used the


we took the lid off and at the point

that he took the lid off the bees simply

boiled through the hole in the top of

the crime board at which point he puffed

a little bit of smoke at them they

continued to pull through the crime

board he then dropped the smoker turned

shouted run and disappeared back down

the garden leaving me standing beside

the hive wondering what was going on I

then realized that these bees were quite

friendly and I turned tail and I had ran

across the small little bridge and we

ended up sheltering in a large

polytunnel that he had in fits of

laughter and that was my introduction to

beekeeping so you can see why I've been

attracted to it ever since I had a

career break my work life balance meant

that I had to park the beekeeping for a

number of years and then my brother

decided he'd like to keep some bees

about 10 or 11 years ago and it suddenly

reignited my love of the hobby I went

along a couple of times and got stuck in

and thoroughly enjoyed it and haven't

looked back from that point on a few

years ago passed a completed a degree in

science degree an Orleans degree in

biology and ecology were the main

subjects and I I took that got my

certificate I'll show you my certificate

okay yeah so I got my degree in July

2013 at the University of East Anglia

there is my degree which I'm very proud

so I would have been 50 at that time and

it's a 2-1 degree Bachelor of Science

donors in science versus AIDS mostly

biology and ecology modules and that

gave me the opportunity to then carry on

I love beekeeping because I at the time

that I finished finished my degree

course an opportunity to become a bee

inspector for the national bee unit

appeared so I managed to get a job as a

seasonal B inspector and worked in the

Norwich and Norfolk area for

approximately three years suffered a

fairly serious back injury as part of my

work and that put me flat on my back for

about four or five months and then

followed that with another season as the

inspector and thought well actually are

probably able to take good care of my

back and I've got an opportunity to

become a full-time beekeeper so why not

give it a try I don't think you get many

opportunities in this life so I thought

yeah why not give it a go so that's what

I've done I now focus on

honey production be breathing Queen

rearing just trying to breathe better

bees for myself I prefer to breathe bees

from my local area I don't buy bees in I

don't import bees I'm a member of

British Beekeepers Association and also

a member of Bieber which is the bee

improvement and B Breeders Association

so that's me what about you please do

leave some comments below let me know a

little bit about you as much or as

little as as you want to tell me

particularly beekeeping experience if

you have any and ideally where you're

from and told you all that kind of thing

that would be fantastic

okay so let's push on to the next

section so basic question is what is a

honeybee and this is I promise

going to be a very small sciency bit

there's not too much to worry about

I'm sure everybody knows that honeybees

are insects but where do they fit in to

the whole scientific classification

system so let's just take a look very

quickly at the scientific classification

of a honeybee so scientific

classification works with kingdom phylum

class and order in that kind of order so

the kingdom is Animalia the phylum is


the class is in Sector and the important

bit the piece that we're interested in

is the order which is Hymenoptera so

Hymenoptera is the third largest order

of insects and includes bees wasps and

ants also Hornets and obviously there

are a huge range of bees

not just honeybees but bumble bees

solitary bees that kind of thing so that

kind of places the honeybee

scientifically in the order Hymenoptera

most people know that honeybee colony is

headed by a queen most people see the

queen as the the leader of the honeybee

colony but we'll we'll talk some more

about the different roles within a

colony as we move forward so

fundamentally a honeybee colony is a

matriarchal society led by females and

it's believed that the honeybee has

evolved over time with flowering plants

so as plants have changed and adapted

over time so the honeybee and other bees

that feed from the nectar and pollen

have gradually evolved to keep up with

that continual change and we now find

that there are some bees that are

specifically able to feed on individual

plants where other bees can't feed on

those plants so if there's been a

parting of

directions between zombie groups and

plants and others and that's a whole

fascinating topic in its own right so

that leads us on to the the bee itself

his picture of a worker and we're going

to just go through the different parts

of a honeybee this is a photograph that

I took this summer and it shows quite

nicely the various parts of the honeybee

so here we've got the head the thorax

and the abdomen and those are the three

sections that make up the the insects

body and then the wings and legs and on

that point like the the rear leg you can

see the pollen basket although there's

no pollen in it you can just see the

flattened surface and that's called a

coop cubicula and then on the head you

can see the honeybee eye which is a

compound eye and you can just make out

the antennae at the front there and last

but not least we've got the sting which

isn't visible on this bee but where the

arrow is pointing it directs you to the

right end of the P that is going to

cause you any grief if it's going to

cause you any grief at all that's the

first session I'll end it there because

I don't want to to make it too long for

everybody and we'll pick it up again

next week and look at the waggle dance

and various other aspects of however the

bee influences our lives I hope you've

enjoyed that please if you have the

first time do subscribe hit the like

button but please most importantly do

leave comments I will promise to answer

all the comments and we can pursue the

course as we go forward and hopefully

you'll get lots out of it and when we

get through to next spring you'll be in

a position to feel a bit more confident

about taking a honey bee colony of your

own forward and producing hopefully some

honey crops so that's it for today and

we'll catch up next week please do take

a look at some of the other videos that

I've got on on my channel there's lots

there to look at and it will give you a

bit of an insight into what's involved

with keeping bees and we'll catch up

next week thanks for watching