| our offer to you |
We are passionate about supporting bees in their work, pollenating crops and providing honey.
We want to help protect them from the changing environment – insecticides, diseases such as Varroa mite, and new predators such as the Asian Hornet. The best way to achieve this is to help more people become bee keepers and guiding you until you feel comfortable to look after your bees the whole year around.
This is not something that you enter lightly, and so we have a 4 stage process to enable you to ‘have a go’ to see if you would like to take it further.
Stage 1: Bee Experience
Come and see how a hive is put together, wear a bee suit and help an experienced apiarist inspect a hive full of bees – about 60,000 bees! This is great for people who ‘just want to see bees close up’ with no expectations of going further, or giving you confidence that beekeeping might be for you.
This can be a party experience, a gift for someone or the first stage in finding out more about Bees. Minimum 5 people, Wednesday PM or Saturday PM – dates on our website. Price £20 per person which includes a 10% discount of the Taster experience (see below)
Stage 2: Introduction to Bee Keeping pack
This pack explains the time required to keep bees, a typical calendar of our tasks throughout the year, a reading list, planting for bees, the potential costs of beekeeping and the discounts the group can give you. This include you becoming a ‘Friend of the Weald Beekeepers’ which will give you a monthly e-newsletter. The price is £10, and gives you a 10% off a Taster experience (see below)
Stage 3: Taster experience
Once you have stood beside a full hive and feel confident to go forward, this is the next step.
This time you will see more detail and have some of the tasks explained, and you will have the chance to move frames of bees, see how a hive works and what we can do to help the bees throughout the year. All equipment is provided.
Maximum 5 people, Wednesday PM and Saturday PM. Price £45 per person
Stage 4: Rent a Hive
This lets you keep bees for a year without a major commitment. You will look after one of our hives, asking for advice whenever you need it. You will get a jar of honey a month, and really get to understand the fascinating life of bees (and beekeepers!)
You will also have to join the Branch, in so doing, getting insurance and the monthly magazine, ‘Bee Craft’, thus broadening your knowledge. You can attend the Apiary any Wednesday and Saturday PM. Price £100, plus branch membership of £50
We run an apiary in Frittenden, with examples of some of the different types of hive used in the UK. You can see the advantages and disadvantages of each one, and choose the most suitable for you. Often, new beekeepers keep their first hive at our apiary for the first year to take advantage of the help and advice on hand. Others start with them at home and come to get experience of handling bees at our apiary, along with lots of advice. There is no single way of keeping bees, and you can build your own methods over the years.
We do everything we can to avoid being stung, and have anti histamine cream available in case of stings, but very few bee keepers never get stung !
We have high quality bee suits to rent / buy and we recommend wearing wellingtons for protecting your ankles. Our website is www.wealdbeekeepers.com, where you can find out lots more, see videos and get ready for trying a fascinating hobby.
Visiting our apiary is at your own risk.