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Beekeeping is a diverse activity centred on the honeybee. Some people, both men and women, become absorbed in the systematic and often hard physical work of securing good honey crops.
Beekeepers can be broken down into three distinct categories. Firstly there is the hobbyist or enthusiast who find it fun. Secondly the person who uses it as a sideline for extra money and finally the commercial beekeeper who uses it to make a living
Bees can be kept on am allotment - as long as all the allotment holders are in agreement. They can also be kept in your garden, but it is advisable to keep to about two hives unless you have a very large garden.
The art of beekeeping needs to be learnt. It is highly recommended to join an association - they will keep you in touch with local expertise, and local problems and conditions. They are likely to run training programs which will be a big help.
Beekeeping is one of the oldest forms of food production. Bees, which are kept in an Apiary are harvested primarily for their honey crop. They also produce beeswax and royal jellty. A beekeeper, also known as an apiarist may also keep bees for the purpose of pollinating crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. Due to the nature of keeping bees, specialist protective clothing is worn to prevent the chances of being stung, though bees are not naturally aggressive creatures.
Beekeeping is a seasonal hobby therefore the time varies with the seasons. In winter there is practically nothing to do except routine maintenance. The busiest time is the early summer when each hive should be checked weekly to stop swarming. This need take no longer than a few minutes when you get the hang of it. The best time to start beekeeping is late summer or autumn by first joining your local association. Then you need to get a hive and of course the bees - maybe a starter colony.
In the UK a second hand hive with bees cost around £50-70. A new bee suit and veil will be between £40-£100. A smoker and gloves may be up to £100. The most expensive piece of equipment is the smoker which may cost up to £150
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
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