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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

..Siting a hive
...As partners
...Bee hives
...Hive construction
...Smoker,hive tool,feeder
...Capture a swarm
...Buy a colony or nucleus
...Queens & drones
...The workers
...Ah! Honey
...Propolis,royal jelly,wax

That is about all you need specifically apart from clothing.

The delightful prints of beekeepers working with flowing veils is not simply rural romance. Protective clothing is a necessity. A wide brimmed hat with a veil that falls on to the shoulders should always be worn when handling bees. Wear close fitting cuffs and always tuck your trousers into your socks. Long, flowing skirts on female beekeepers look extremely ethnic but the action of several furious bees trapped inside the folds requires very little graphic description.

Even very experienced beekeepers seem to become lulled into a false sense of security and we have heard the most unpleasant tales of some such souls who simply omitted to tuck in their trousers. Not only do a multitude of stings make you feel painful and sometimes quite ill, there is also the sad knowledge to be gained that the hitherto friendly little bees are really no respecter of persons. Whether you wear heavy gauntlets or not is really a question of choice.

Bees do not like being roughly handled and will show it; on the other hand, to handle bees with bare hands requires a degree of confidence that many of us do not possess. Remembering the fact that bees dislike dirty clothes and sweat, whatever protective clothing is worn should be cleaned periodically. It is also inadvisable to wear strong smelling perfume or aftershave. In a modern world it is surprising how many strong smelling substances we smother ourselves in. Deodorants, hair sprays and fabric conditioners are often overlooked as being strong smelling aggravations to the sensitive bee.