Beekeeping in West Wales
I’ve wanted to become a beekeeper for a while now, but as with many things such as this the barriers of entry are quite high.
First, there is a lot to learn and it is a little daunting. Not only is there a whole new vocabulary to learn, but there are techniques and procedures to follow and introducing and being responsible for thousands of bees is quite an undertaking. Second is knowing that I’ll have the time and enthusiasm to maintain them over the long term. Third of course is the cost.
As far as I can tell we’ll need, at the minimum, the following:
- The Hive
- A Hat and Veil
- A Smoker
- A Feeder
- A Hive Tool
- A Good ‘How to’ Book
- A Queen and some Bees!
It’s possible to buy most of this as a starter kit for around £300-£500 (without the bees). Not cheap, but as hobbies go I guess it isn’t really expensive either. Of course there are loads and loads of other things that we’ll need as the our beekeeping career progresses.
I haven’t decided whether or not to do it yet, I think I’ll get a few books about it first and maybe get in touch with some other local beekpeepers as I may be able to get some equipment or even some bees from them. I might get some soon though as there are lots of reasons for getting into beekeeping.
- It’ll be fun – I like to have new projects to get carried away with and this seems like a good one.
- It’ll be interesting. I know little about beekeeping at the moment so learning more about it will be good.
- Morgan should find it interesting too
- Honey. I don’t know how much we’ll get from a single hive but eating our own, local honey should be delicious.
- Health. Morgan seems to get hayfever and eating local (you can’t get more local than your own back garden) is supposed to reduce such allergies.
- Environment. There is a shortage of bees so keeping bees is a worthwhile environmental activity. They pollinate flowers and help the local ecosystem and I’d much rather do my bit for the environment by keeping bees than by donating the money to a charity.
There we go, I think I’ve convinced myself. Off to the library later to find out more, but if there are any local (Aberystwyth / Machynlleth) beekeepers that can give me some tips and get me off to a good start then please do get in contact.