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The "Basics"

Guidance notes for what I think is the minimum all beekeepers should know

Modern beekeepers must be much better beekeepers than those in the past were. We have the introduction of Varroa and Nosema ceranae, the litigation culture, the queen problems, and the public who although they are more aware of bees now, are probably more frightened of them than non-beekeepers were in the past. In my view beekeepers need to think about the temper of their bees and to understand the workings of a colony much more than used to be the case.

In my view beekeeping is a practical craft with a theoretical element, not the other way round. In teaching I assume that all beekeepers need to be good at handling a colony, but in the early stages when these skills are being learnt there are a number of factual things that I think are important to learn, that I call the "Basics". If learnt they will help all beekeepers to understand what is happening in their colonies and how to help manage bees in a caring way. This is what we teach at Wisborough Green BKA and for guidance we expect the potentially good beekeeper to know them all within a year of starting beekeeping.

These "Basics" include:-

There are many beekeepers with several years experience who would struggle to know all these. There is no excuse!

This is the sort of information that I believe all BKAs should teach.

Roger Patterson.