Beekeeping is essentially a practical occupation. The theory is important, but nothing like as important as the observation, the interpretation and the implementation of the practical aspects of the pastime. These practical aspects cannot be learned in a classroom nor can they be acquired from a book (or a website … even one as informative as this one ;-). Instead, they’re acquired by accumulated hours spent bent over a hive – or better – hives, coupled with good record keeping and observation of what happens next. You can achieve this alone, but it can be a dispiriting process as “learning from your mistakes” can involve the loss of the honey crop for that year, or even the loss of the colony.
To help beekeepers through their first year – and beyond – OBKA runs a mentoring scheme for members where a more experienced beekeeper agrees to be the contact for help and support to the new beekeeper as the season progresses.
The picture shows the new beekeeper (on the right) being helped at his garden apiary by his mentor and another senior beekeeper from OBKA shortly after he found queen cells and with advice from his mentor carried out a ‘Pagden’.
Full details about the mentoring scheme, including how to ask for a mentor and how the mentoring process works, is available to OBKA members.