Beekeeping is – as the strapline to this site states – so much more than honey.

If you want to keep bees because …

  • you like honey  – you’d be better off in every regard (time, money, health) just buying it. Not from the supermarket. Buy directly from a local beekeeper – it will be better honey.
  • you want to improve pollination and help the environment – you’d be better off making homes for solitary bees, as they’re more efficient pollinators.
  • you’ve been told that “bees are threatened” – do some more homework on hive numbers and why they’re threatened … then, and only then, get some training and some bees.

Beekeeping, done well, is a fabulous example of working with nature and the environment. It’s a fascinating hobby 1. Every year brings new experiences and things to learn.

However, as a beekeeper you’re working with the environment and influencing the environment. Done badly, beekeeping can be detrimental, to your own bees, your neighbour’s bees and to the environment.

Trainee beekeepers

Trainee beekeepers

I think this component of beekeeping is under-emphasised when we train new beekeepers. I’ve grouped together a range of loosely-related posts under the heading of ‘the principles of beekeeping’. These tend to be longer articles, sometimes more discursive and often elaborating a personal opinion, which may be more or less controversial. Also listed are a few other posts that don’t fit easily within the pages on the practice of beekeeping, the problems encountered or the equipment used.









  1. It’s a backbreaking and economically-borderline business. This site is firmly focussed on hobby beekeepers with 1-20 colonies (though preferably at least two).