Beekeeping – A Growing Pastime

beekeeping uk

Beekeeping uk is a growing hobby and a great way to learn more about bees. It is a rewarding, leisurely activity and provides a valuable income from honey.

However, it is important to site hives in ways that do not cause problems for neighbours and walkers. BBKA leaflet B1 – Bees and Neighbours advises beekeepers to consider their siting and to avoid placing hives on footpaths, next to houses or adjacent to fast moving vehicles.

What is a bee?

Bees are winged insects belonging to the superfamily Apoidea. There are a possible 20 000 species, including the well-known honeybee (Apis) and the bumblebee (Bombus).

While some bees live in colonies, most of them are solitary, meaning they live alone, in wood, twigs, and burrows dug underground. Some species, such as native bees, live in colonies with thousands of worker bees ruled by a Queen.

When they forage, bees collect pollen and nectar from flowers. This fertilization helps plants grow and generate fruits, seeds, and other food for other wildlife.

As a result, around 75% of crops produce better yields when animals help them pollinate their flowers. Without bees, many foods would not be able to grow.

The hive

The hive is an enclosed structure in which some honey bee species live and raise their young. It’s an important habitat for these pollinators, which are responsible for one in three bites of food we eat worldwide.

Bees are a vital part of the UK’s landscape and food production, as well as a key wildlife conservation species. But they are being threatened in the UK and around the world by a range of factors, from pesticide use to climate change and habitat loss.

Bees have an important role to play as natural pollinators and are a valuable conservation resource, but it’s up to us to help them survive. That’s why it’s important to keep a hive in your garden and care for them properly.

The beekeeper

The beekeeper is a person who keeps bees and manages their hives. They may be amateurs or professionals, working as a part of their job or as a commercial operator.

The UK beekeeping industry is significant and a large number of people keep bees for their own enjoyment or for income. Honeybees are important for pollination of a variety of crops, including fruit and vegetables.

Beekeepers can also make money from selling honey, beeswax, royal jelly and queen bees to other people or organisations. They can also sell a range of other products such as propolis, flower pollen and bee pollen.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is essential for beekeepers to stay up to date with new techniques, legislation, standards and pests that affect the beekeeping industry. Associations offer a range of CPD, training and events for their members.

The bees

Bees are a vital part of life across the globe. They play an important role in pollinating flowers which are essential to the growth of many plants including food crops.

Wild bees are in decline and they need our help. Without them we would lose a number of key products including nuts, coffee, cocoa, tomatoes, apples and almonds, to name but a few.

Honeybees are kept for their honey and other products or as pollinators of fruit and vegetable blossoms or as a hobby. They are very social creatures, forming colonies of thousands in trees and shrubs.

To keep them healthy they need a clean, dry, warm environment with water nearby. They collect propolis, a resinous substance from buds of trees, to seal cracks in their hives.

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