Keeping bees healthy and productive requires knowledge and skill. Beekeeping is made much easier by belonging to a local Beekeepers Association where you should be given advice, tuition and support 

One of the key questions you might ask is: Should I keep bees? 

Click here for further information to help you answer this question.

Why join a local association? 

You will get great advice, a mentor and access to training and a library of books about beekeeping. Associations will run courses at  certain times of the year which will show you the magical world of beekeeping.

By taking part in an 'Introduction to Beekeeping' course, you will understand the level of responsibility required to become a good beekeeper. Most associations support the course with a visit to a local apiary, where you can handle bees, before you make any investment in equipment and your honey bees. And you will have mentors who will help as you start to keep bees for yourself. 


Throughout spring and summer, depending on weather, local beekeeping associations will run introductory courses for beginners, and also hold apiary meetings for members where you inspect the bees as part of a group. In the winter there are regular talks on beekeeping subjects. 

Introductory beekeeping books for beginners

Here are a few good books at the introductory level. They have been written by experienced beekeepers and the information is sound. Plus if you join a local association many will have a selection of books you can borrow. 

“BBKA Guide to Beekeeping”
by Dr Ivor Davis NDB

“Keeping Bees”
by Pam Gregory and Claire Waring

“Better Beginnings for Beekeepers”
by Adrian Waring

“Beekeeping. A Practical Guide”
by Roger Patterson

“Bees at the Bottom of the Garden”
by Alan Campion