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Why Bees?

My interest in bees started at my allotment plot where one of my neighbours keep bees. I watched her inspecting the hives and wondered what it looked like inside. After a conversation I was invited to take a look for myself. I was fascinated at what I saw and went away to start my research.

There is a lot of online information and a lot of books to choose from but one immediately caught my attention, Beekeeping for dummies!

I didn’t stop there though and before I knew it I seemed to have a collection!

My first hives

After my allotment neighbour agreed to help me out, I bought my first hive, well first two. All I needed now was bees! Thankfully it wasn’t long until a swarm arrived at the allotment site and I agreed to help catch it. My prize of course, was to keep the bees. Only a few days later another swarm and then another. We were unsure where they were coming from but it was a great start for me.

My first year of beekeeping led to three hives and a nucleus colony. Year two and with splits and swarms I then had eight.


After serving with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service for 32 years the time came to retire. Whoever said retirement would bring time for relaxation and all things hobby based, doesn’t have a wife wanting an extension and grown children with a list of DIY tasks for me! After much work completed I considered what to do next.

My passion for bee keeping grew and I joined Farnham Beekeeping Association (FBKA), Meeting likeminded people and taking the British Beekeeping Association (BBKA) basic exam. I also get inspiration and ideas by following fellow beekeepers’ YouTube channels and can spend much time on this. One person in particular is Stewart Spinks from The Norfolk Honey Company and it was while watching one of Stewarts videos that the idea for scaling up my hobby came to me.

A Semi Commercial Beekeeper

I tentatively broached the idea of turning my hobby into a business with my wife, thinking she would say “are you mad’ but no she not only embraced the idea but started thoughts on how she could incorporate her passion of cooking and craft.

A business plan and a website followed but I still needed bees. This is where Stewart came to my aid and before you could say ‘there is a new buzz in town’ my next 20 hives were collected one warm night in August.

My other passion

Throughout my career in the fire service I was fortunate to attend many training opportunities. I was also able to provide training to others was fortunate to be able to take a SFJ Level 3 Award in Education and Training. This has enabled me to pass on my knowledge of beekeeping to schools, community groups and others. We hope you will become inspired in our blogs going forward or join us at the apiary for an education day.

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