I wanted to write about my bee keeping experience so far in the hope it will help and guide any budding but as yet in-active bee keepers. As it appears to be with most people who get into bee keeping my daughter and I started out with the introductory day at East Meon Village hall back in 2019. We had so much fun and found it so fascinating, we both left wanting to know more. It was therefore great to learn that there was a follow up three month theory course starting the beginning of the following year which we duly signed up to. The theory course, run by Jean, Leanne and Dylan, was again fascinating and followed the logical sequence of bee keeping through the season from the very basics to the more in depth techniques of bee keeping finishing with practical steps as to how to actually get going with your own honey bee colony. Being delivered via Zoom the theory course was great as we were able to follow the live lesson and then had all the content and material emailed through for our reference at any future time. The zoom calls were masterminded in such a way that during the Tea break’s we were able to break out into mini groups so as to get to know our fellow trainee’s which was really enjoyable.
By the end of the theory course we were hooked and there was no way we weren’t going to be getting our own bee’s. So we duly enrolled for the follow up practical course which took us through best practice bee husbandry techniques via on-site visits to the association apiary where we actually handled bees and covered many areas including feeding; swarming; splitting colonies; inspecting colonies, honey extraction to name but a few. Having acquired our own hive and bees what we found particularly useful was the assignment of a mentor to assist with any individual questions we had and even visit our colony and provide useful tips and pointers.
Everyone we have met at the MVBKA is super friendly and helpful (including and especially the chairman Nick). We feel like we are in very good hands moving forward. As we start to close out the active 2021 bee season we fully intend to go from one to two hives next year, and hopefully extract some honey for our own consumption.
Anyone thinking of bee keeping should definitely consider the friendly and informative courses run by the MVBK Association.