Romsey and District Beekeepers' Association

Would you like to keep bees?
Beekeeping is a fascinating and rewarding hobby, helping one of our most important pollinators and perhaps giving you the opportunity of eating your own honey.

A vast new world awaits you in the study of the bees themselves, their role in the environment and the working of the hive. Honey bees have evolved alongside flowering plants over millions of years, long before man walked the Earth. In learning about the flowers that honey bees visit, you will find the countryside takes on a new look.

Bees fulfil a vital function in the food chain by pollinating fruit and seed crops, and the honey they produce provides them - and us - with a nutritious food.

A successful beekeeper knows how to help the bees make the most of their environment, how to deal with issues such as bee health, whether the bees have enough stores, and when (or if) the bees have honey to spare.
Is beekeeping for you?
The rewards are many and keep on coming but the downsides are -
  • you will get stung - bees are not naturally aggressive but stings are inevitable. The BBKA website has useful Advice about Stings
  • it is not a guaranteed income stream - equipment can be expensive and it takes time and patience to produce honey. Equipment bought is suppliers' sales reduces costs. Second hand equipment MUST be thorougly sterilised
  • one hive is often not enough - you will start with one hive but will probably find you want (at least) one more
  • bees need space - siting a hive in your garden can work if you have enough space; consider an "out apiary" such as on farm land
  • bees need time - weekly checks are essential in spring and early summer when the bees' activity peaks
Your local association is always pleased to give advice or practical help.
How to get started
We strongly advise that anyone wishing to keep bees attends a full beginners' course that includes a practical session with the bees. You should delay buying equipment and ordering or acquiring bees until you have attended a course; mistakes can be expensive.

Read about our Beginners' Course by CLICKING HERE. Other Hampshire Associations also offer beginner training; CLICK HERE to find your nearest. Outside Hampshire, you can find a local association by visiting the British Beekeeping Association's web site.