Great! You’ve made contact with the NSBKA and your first visit to our apiary is coming up. Here are some general points to think about before the day arrives.
It may sound obvious, but find out exactly where it is and where to park. Apiaries across the UK are often tucked away out of sight in the corner of a field or other spot where there’s little room for cars, and ours are no exception. There is a short distance to walk so get details on where everything is and allow plenty of time. Please park considerately and keep junctions, accesses and private driveways clear.
Wear suitable footwear. Stout boots are the minimum and wellies are even better to tuck trousers into. Yes, bees will find their way up trouser legs!
Wear suitable clothing. A protective jacket or suit may be available for loan (please check first) but wearing suitable clothing underneath also helps prevent stings getting through. Nothing is completely sting-proof. Trousers should be loose-fitting and tight weave. If you have rubber gloves (Marigolds or similar are fine) then take them along. We strongly advise against tight-fitting trousers or leggings, shorts, or sandals/flip-flops.
Don’t wear perfumed products. Bees are drawn to strong aromas and you may become the centre of attention if you’ve used aftershave, perfume, hand lotion or other scented products on the day of your visit.
Bring your reading glasses. If you usually wear glasses (or contact lenses) for reading or close-up work then you’ll need them at the apiary too. You’ll learn to spot bee eggs and other very small items within the hive, so your glasses are important.
Mention if you have a sting allergy or other concern. Sting reactions can result in anything from mild swelling to anaphylaxis, so do mention if you have any worries. Bring anti-histamines with you if you take them. An Epi-pen should only be carried by the person it is prescribed for (or their carer) and they should be competent in using it. Apiaries to not keep Epi-pens.
Enjoy! Our bee-keeping team leaders and helpers are all volunteers and are passionate about what they do. They give their time freely to teach others and are a great source of information, so enjoy your time at the apiary and ask any bee-keeping questions you want to.