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My grandmother beekeeping


Hello there Honey Flow forum,

I am here today on behalf of a lovely lady, my grandmother. After 60 years in work she has now retired at 72 and loving life but, she is getting awfully bored because she was up on her feet and moving around constantly before she retired. The other day I went to visit and I dropped the idea of starting a Bee hive. This wasn’t random, all my life she has been telling me how important Bees are to the world and what would happen if they were to go extinct… So it came to me that this would fit her perfectly if she would agree to do it, and she did!

In terms of keeping Bees we/she is clueless and that’s why I am here in the Beekeeping beginners section. I think a good place to start is research, so if you guys could point me in the right direction to find an awesome article that is descriptive or and books that come to mind for beginners. There seem to be some good books here http://www.used.forsale/australia/sydney/beekeeping-books but what to go for I just don’t know. But, I do know just by watching a few YouTube videos that keeping Bees is a lot of work and there is some heavy lifting involved. I will be there to assist my Grandmother when she needs help throughout this new cycle in her and the Bees life.

Apart from the books and maybe a link to an article we could read if there is anything else that you guys could recommend please just comment below. We are like an open book taking in as much information as we can. Really looking forward to speaking with you guys.



Hello Jake,

Welcome to the Flow forum. How awesome that you are looking out for your grandmother and thinking of her well-being. It would really help to know where in the world you are located (or your grandmother, if that is different). This forum is international and advice will vary depending on climate and suppliers that you can access. Your profile has a little box for location, if you are willing to complete that with an approximate idea of a nearby big city. :wink:

If you use the little magnifying glass tool at the top right of the page to search this forum for [books] without parentheses, you should find quite a lot of ideas. There is no book that I totally agree with, and that is typical for any beekeeper, but here are a few which will give you the basics. The most practical one is this one, and it explains hive part names etc:
Beekeeping for Dummies

Once you have a grasp of the basic concepts, @Michael_Bush’s web site has a lot of information and useful advice. He also has a book, which is basically a copy of the web site with an index. :smile: He has a strong slant towards “natural beekeeping”, which is worth learning about and taking into account in the way you want to do things. I don’t always agree with him for the way I need to do things, but he is highly respected (much more than me! :wink:) and he is very helpful on this forum too:

This is a very readable scientific/philosophical book by Thomas Seeley which tells you how bees make decisions. He actually goes out himself to do a lot of the research and has some great YouTube videos too if you are interested. His book is one of the best I have read on that subject:
Honey Bee Democracy

I also like a couple of books on bee biology, and I can dig up the information if you are a truly interested. My husband has hidden them right now, so let me know if you want the names. They are written for the general public and college students, and give you a good insight into what to expect inside a hive during its life cycle.

Once again, welcome and good luck! :sunglasses:


My mother is mad keen on beekeeping- having taken it up after I told her about Flow frames. When I saw flow frames on TV I was immediately interested as my brother used to keep bees- I was already somewhat familiar- and I just loved the idea of a simplified method for backyard hobbyist beekeepers. Luckily for me- Mum immediately jumped in and ordered two complete hives. Her fist one went so well my brother and I also jumped in and now we are a regular beekeeping family. Mum won’t like to read it- but she is not exactly a spring chicken- but she is very active and loves to research and educate herself.

Any-hows to cut a long story short- keeping bees is a great hobby for anyone- and although there are some heavy lifting and more difficult aspects- if you are there to help it is all eminently do-able.

Other than those resources Dawn linked- there is a truly endless amount of information on youtube- one great place to start is this forums own YouTube legend Jeff Heriot:

His enthusiasm for all things bees is incredibly infectious! Plus- you can learn how to bake the perfect loaf of bread with crust just how you like it!

some other youtube favorites of mine are these two films:

just beware the film has a religious bent… but the bee info is priceless.

(courtesy also of Jeff)

and this Aussie one from the 70’s

and I also really enjoy this US beekeeper- love the accent:


I retired a year ago Feb and this was my hobby of choice…I read and researched for a year prior and started last year…officially a 1 year old beekeeper. I have enjoyed it but as Dawn noted it will be most helpful if you participate. Last year was easy…kept them fed and treated for mites…they did well through winter…too well…even my club did not prepare me for all the late winter early spring issues…question 1is how many hives do you want?

Chances of needful splits, swarms is an absolute so be aware if you want to keep only 2 strong hives, for instance, you ask for guidance to make that controlled…my 2 hives swarmed 5 times…suddenly I am catching swarms, requeening…trying to learn the best methods…see many beekeepers want the increases…are prepared for the financial obligation of that…but to control and maintain 2 strong hives there are some specific lessons…this year I plan to take my crazy spring experience and have a far more streamlined plan next spring…needless to say…this spring has been a real challenge…


We are located in Berkshire, England so it gets pretty cold around here in the winter and not that warm in the summer haha. We are also going to visit a beekeeping center to spend a day with a pro beekeeper to learn as much as possible from them. I will go through all the links above and do a search on the forum for some books and see what I come across.

Thanks for the replies guys I will be back shortly


I was born in Reading and grew up in Crowthorne, so I know Berkshire pretty well! :blush:


Ahhh just around the corner. Dawn do you keep bees?


Yes, in California, USA - see my profile by clicking on my avatar. :blush: