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Becoming a Beekeeper

The world’s most fascinating hobby.


There is no more rewarding hobby than beekeeping, and few things give as much pleasure as eating honey from your very own honeybees! A whole new world awaits you in the fascinating study of honeybees, their very important role in the environment, their amazing social behaviour, and the workings of the beehive.

Can I be a beekeeper?

Many gardens can accommodate a couple of hives. Alternatively a careful search of your local area could provide a suitable site on a farm, or similar place where there is often a small area of spare ground.

Time & Commitment
The keeping of even a few (3 or 4) hives of bees demands roughly one afternoon a week during the active season from April to August. In addition allow a few days extra in August-September to process the honey crop & feed the bees for winter. Bees satisfactorily bedded down for winter need very little attention from October to March, other than any recommended treatments for varroa.

The beekeeper should be reasonably fit as a full case of honey combs (let’s hope you have lots of these) can weigh 15 kg.

Cost to Start
Initially to purchase a single hive and the necessary beekeeping equipment and protective gear will cost a few hundred pounds. Annual running costs however are low. Beekeeping is certainly much cheaper than many hobbies and can usually break even, or show a small profit.

How do I Start?
There are many Local Beekeeping Associations in Scotland, affiliated to the Scottish Beekeepers’ Association. Many of these run Beginners Classes.

Contact the secretary of the Local Association nearest you, who will advise you of available Beginners Classes, winter talks & summer visits.

View Affiliated Beekeeping Associations