The best way to find out about beekeeping is to join your local beekeeping association, attend their meetings, and open up hives with experienced beekeepers.

We run beginner courses, including handling bees at our club apiary and this is a great way to find out what is involved and get an idea if beekeeping is for you.

Should you wish to go ahead, we can provide mentors and also bees.  Its important to source bees locally to avoid problems with diseases and also to ensure the bees are suitable for our area.

Two good beginners books are Alan Campion's 'Bees at the Bottom of the Garden' and Herbert Mace's 'The Complete Handbook of Bee-Keeping', both available from Helensburgh Library. If you want to buy one book then you cannot do better than Ted Hooper's 'A Guide to Bees & Honey' or Clive de Bruyn's 'Practical Beekeeping'. Both books will see you past the initial stage and beyond.

Before acquiring bees you'll need some equipment: a protective suit incorporating a hood and veil, gloves, a pair of Wellington boots, a smoker and a hive tool. 

One of the biggest issues is where are you going to keep your bees. We can assess your potential site for suitability, offering advice if necessary. We also have a club apiary that is available for use for beginners.