Ready to discover the fascinating world of bees?
In most areas, spring is the best time to start your beekeeping journey. As the cold season ends, an increase in forage makes it the perfect environment for a new hive to thrive.
Plus expanding colonies make it the easiest time to source a colony of bees to call your own.
Here’s a list to help get you started:
What does a beekeeper look like?
Hint: they're as diverse and interesting as the beautiful bees they care for!
Beekeepers span many age groups, cultures, countries, and experience levels.
With spring in full bloom, now's a perfect time to make your own unique mark on the wonderful world of beekeeping 🌻🐝
Ready to find out what sort of beekeeper you are?
Our spring season bundle
If you’re new to beekeeping, or are setting up a Flow Hive for the first time, our Starter Bundle is a great way to ensure you’ll have everything you need.
Featuring our Flow Hive 2 – carefully crafted for experiencing the joy of harvesting honey directly from the hive, bundled with essential safety equipment plus a sweet saving.
Which Flow Hive should I choose?
All Flow Hives include our revolutionary Flow Technology which allows for easy honey harvesting straight from the hive. All you need to do is decide which hive model will be perfect for you.
Assembling your new bee home
Building a new home for your bees is an exciting part of your beekeeping journey. It’s best to take your time and ensure that you get your assembly right. Check out our assembly videos here.
Top Tip: It’s easiest to paint or stain your hive before you add your windows and latches.
If you’re short on time, you’ll need your base, brood box, brood frames and roof first. It’s often some weeks before you need to add your Flow Super, so leave this for a rainy day.
Experienced beekeeper’s often keep extra brood boxes and brood frames on hand – you’ll be surprised how often they come in handy.
It’s important to treat the timber on your hive to give it the best weather protection possible for your climate, especially the roof as it is the first line of defence against the weather.
All Araucaria hives need 2 coats of exterior-grade weatherproof paint to help them endure the elements. Painting your hive is a great opportunity to get creative and really make it your own!
Cedar hives can be oiled to create a lovely natural finish. You’ll need to reapply every 6-12 months depending on your climate, as the sun will fade the finish.
Choose your location
The good news is, you can keep a beehive almost anywhere! Especially a Flow Hive, as there is no need for additional processing equipment or for lugging heavy frames full of honey for harvesting. From rooftops to balconies to backyards, it’s now possible to harvest honey directly from your hive.
Here are some tips to make sure your location choice is both good for you and for your bees.
You should also check if you need to register your hive or as a beekeeper in your local region.
Reserve your bees
Although designed to be a perfect home for bees, it’s not often that a colony will move straight into your beehive – you’ll need to source a colony to call your own.
One of the best ways is from a reputable bee breeder who will help provide you with a healthy colony for your new Flow Hive.
A popular option is to purchase a Nuc – a small colony which includes a laying queen, workers, drones and 4 or 5 frames of brood and honey. This is an easy way to set up your first hive.
Top Tip: As soon as a colony is ready for a new home, they don’t often wait around, so it’s important to have your Flow Hive set up and ready to go.
Frequently asked questions
Answered By Jamie Oliver
Starting as a beginner
It’s easy to get started but important to learn as much as you can. Check out online resources or connect with a local mentor to kick start your learning.
Starting with a Flow Hive
Flow Hives are a fantastic hive for beginners as they’re easy to use and make harvesting honey so much easier for the beekeeper and so much gentler on the bees.
Can anyone keep bees?
Yes! People keep bees all over the world, even in urban areas. Anywhere that bees can naturally survive, you can become a beekeeper.
How much work?
Keeping bees is an absolute joy, so maybe work is the wrong word 😉 The amount of time needed will vary at different times of the year – the amount of time required is minimal.
Learn as much as you can!
One of the most important parts of becoming a beekeeper is learning as much as you can.
We have a swarm of resources available to help you every step of the way, including a comprehensive online beginner beekeeping course, created in conjunction with the world's experts – TheBeekeeper.org
It lets you fast-track your learning easily and enjoyably. Learn in your own time with high-quality videos explaining what you need to know in order to feel confident looking after your bees.
Start your pollinator garden
Now is the perfect time to create a bee-friendly garden. Not only will your plants thrive with the pollination power of your colony, your bees will also have plenty of resources to keep them happy.
Top Tip: Planting a variety of plants which will bloom over the year, ensures your bees have some forage in every season. Plant in bountiful clumps to make foraging easier.
Planting a mix of smaller shrubs and flowering trees provides pollinators a steady supply of food.
Native plants will be more resilient than introduced species, so make sure to include a few species which are endemic to your region.