Scattered throughout this website there are several hopefully useful documents to download, here they are brought together in one place...

 Starting Up:

 A Vegans View  A beekeepers response to the Vegan societies view on beekeeping


 Hive Record Card  The hive record card that works for me
 Veterinary Medicines Record Card You need to keep an official record of all medicines applied to your bees here is an example form to use.

 Honey Crop:

 Honey Packing Advice Guidance for commercial honey packers
 Honey Guidance Food Standards honey regulation


 Managing Varroa UK (CSL) advice on Varroa Control
 Control of Varroa Guide New Zealand Document on Varroa Control
 Brood disease advice UK (CSL) advice on brood diseases
 Using Organic Acids UK (CSL) advice on using organic acid to control Varroa
 Safety Information Oxalic acid well as it says
 Oxalic Acid Advice Canadian advice on using Oxalic Acid for Varroa control
 Letter to a Vet An example letter to give to a vet to obtain a prescription allowing you to use acid treatments on your bees.
I can't find the Queen what can I do (to prevent swarming) ? Printable instructions to take to your apiary.



Suppliers:  National

Bees and Beekeeping equipment

E.H.Thorne Beehives Ltd  


Beehive Works


Market Rasen


LN8 5LA  



Tel:         01673 858555



Windsor:       01753 830256

Stockbridge:  01264 810916

Tayport:        01382 553994


Certainly the biggest in the UK but can be often beaten on price.  Nice catalogue published every few years with an annual price list issued to keep things up to date. Get One.  

Their show room in Wragby Lincolnshire is worth the drive too as it’s the only ‘Beekeepers Supermarket’ in the country but check that they are open if planning a Saturday run as they open to suit the bee season.  Look out for their  Sale days and bargain basement section at the excellent annual BBKA  Spring Convention at Stoneleigh Warwickshire.

Branches also at Windsor, Stockbridge and Tayport in Fife Scotland.

National Beekeeping Supplies

Merrival Rd

Exeter Road Industrial Estate



EX20 1UD  



Tel:         01837 54084  

Not as large as Thorne’s but good quality and promise to beat anyone (Thorne’s?) on price.  Very good custom label service, they will take your design and produce the artwork and print relatively small quantities (1000+) at competitive rates.   Get their catalogue too.  

Maisemore Apiaries  

Old Road




Web: Tel:         01452 700289

Maisemore Apiaries, started some 55 years ago  are manufacturers and suppliers of Bee Keeping equipment also offering second hand equipment
Fragile Planet

Unit 8
Radfords Field
Maesbury Road
SY10 8RA

Web: Tel:        01691 672869

Extract from their web site...

Our mission is to be an inexpensive one-stop shop for beekeepers.  We believe that for too long beekeepers have been exploited by UK suppliers charging far too much for their hobby

We are normally open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday.  Call us if you are coming to visit - and we'll put the kettle on



C.Wynne Jones

Bee Supplies

Ty Brith Pentrecelyn Ruthin,Denbighshire

L15 2SR

Tel:     01978 790279

Extract from their web site...

We felt that the time had come to join the ‘cyber’ community and provide ready access to all the information you require.

However, you will find that we offer the same high level of personal service and attention to detail that has applied for the last 25 years. Talking to you about your requirements will remain our priority.

Suppliers: Near European

These non UK the suppliers have an excellent reputation for quality and can be met first hand at the BBKA  Spring convention at Stoneleigh.

Swienty A/S

Hortoftvej 16
DK-6400 Sonderborg

Tel:     +45 74 48 69 69



Carl Fritz

Immenweg 1

Tel: +0049 765015



86 rue Abbé Thomas, BP 2
F-45450, Fay aux Loges

Tel: +33



Suppliers: Local         Please email me with more local stockist or corrections to: , thanks...

Bedfordshire LE Services

  38 Rookery Road , WYBOSTON, Beds, MK44 3AX     Tel/Fax  01480 217887 Agents & Stockists for THORNE, BBwear, Freerman & Harding

Cambridgeshire Berrycroft Stores Limited

Willingham, Cambridge , CB4 5JY . Tel 01954 260296,  Fax:01954 261416. Agents & Stockists for THORNE Mon-Fri 8am- 5pm  Sat  8am – 12noon   A village hardware store, selling Horticultural Supplies, Lawn & Amenity Supplies and Beekeeping Supplies

Derbyshire The Honey Pot

Markeaton Park Craft Village, Derby, DE22 3BG, tel 01332 203893

BeeEquipped Brunswood Farm, Brunswood Lane, Bradley, Ashbourne, Derbyshire,  DE6 1PN  Tel - 01335 370567     Showroom open 10 am – 5 pm Saturday and 10am – 1 pm Sunday.  Monday and Friday by arrangement.
Essex Springwell Apiary

Phone or email before calling 

John Rayner, Springwell Old Farm, Little Chesterford, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1UE,  Tel: 01799 531014, 07970 204763, Agents & Stockists for THORNE, Freeman & Harding Jars                       

Hampshire   Stockbridge Bees now part of Thornes see above
Leicestershire L&RBKA Only via the Leicestershire & Rutland Beekeepers Association as a paid up member.
London Park Beekeeping Supplies 17 Blackheath Business Centre, 78b Blackheath Hill, London SE10 8BA Tel 020 8694 9960 This is run by Godfrey Munro who is a member of LBKA and Kent Beekeepers.


 Michael Lewis, Stamfordham Ltd, Heugh House, Heugh, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE18 0NH     Tel 01661 886219

Scotland - Fife

Flowers of May Apiaries

19 West Park Rd, Cupar, Fife KY1S SDJ, Tel 01334 655461

Paynes Southdown Bee Farms Ltd

Bentley Cottage, Wickham Hill, Hassocks,  West Sussex, BN6 9NP. Tel 01273 843388 website Have a colour catalogue. Will deliver free to most of Sussex and West Kent

Commercial Beekeepers, so if considering visiting them its best to telephone to confirm they will be there.

Tyne & Wear  Stamfordham Ltd

Michael Lewis, Heugh House, Heugh, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE18 0NH. Tel 01661 886219 Email:  Web:   We are always pleased to meet our customers. If you would like to call at our premises, please telephone in advance for directions and to arrange a convenient time.


C. Wynne Jones

Ty Brith, Pentre Celyn, Ruthin, LL15 2SR, tel 01978 790279

Brian Norris Little Garth, Garth Lane, Bettws,
Tel: 01686 625250
Leslie Taylor Westridge, Church Close, OGMORE BY SEA, Vale of Glamorgan, CF32 0PW
Tel: 01656 880559
Leuan Evans Beekeeping supplies, Glanduar House, Llanybydder, Carms, SA40 9RN
Tel: 01570 480331
Hill House Farm Apiaries Old Radnor, LD8 2UN
01544 230175
Pantglas Apairy Pant-Glas, Carmarthen
Tel: 01559 370327

David Cottrill

The Well House, Fosseway, Moreton Morrell, CV35 9BX
01926 651668  David manufactures excellent woodenware at a good price and also stocks a limited range of other beekeeping equipment. 

David Webb

Coppins, Buckle Street, Honeybourne, WR11 8QQ
01386 830433
  General agent working from home.

Claro Bees


At the rear of the Harrogate Arms pub, Crag Lane Harrogate. HG3 1QB Opens every Saturday morning 09:00 to 12:30 from the start of April through to the end of October.  Mike Rowbottom,  T 01423 507236,

Hunton Mill Supplies

 Hunton Mill, Bedale , North Yorkshire, DL8 1LU Tel and Fax 01677 450287.
Agricultural Supply Services Ltd Agricultural Supply Services Ltd
18 Camp Hill Close
Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 1QY
01765 692 424


Hives & parts only


Extract from their web site...

Complete (British) national hives
We make our hives out of 1st grade western red cedar, high quality red deal or, when available, locally sourced larch from the peak district. the driving forces behind are sustainability and quality workmanship. sustainability because, well it matters quite a bit we think and quality workmanship because customer satisfaction is paramount. Metal & plastic hive parts including plastic British National sized plastic comb.

Now branching into wooden parts.


Suppliers:  Bee Suits only

BBwear Logo



1 Glyn Way



Cornwall .




Tel:     01872 273693  

Break-away company from Sheriff’s and now an up and coming supplier that will beat Sheriffs on price and match their quality.  They will also (if you ask nicely) make your suit in any colour combination you like at no extra cost and are helpful to deal with.  

B.J Sherriff - Manufacturers of Beekeeping Accessories and Apiarist suits

B.J. Sherriff  


Carclew Road ,

Mylor Downs

Falmouth Cornwall

TR11 5UN



Tel:      01872 863304  

The largest bee suit manufacturer in the UK also sell other products for beekeepers.


Honeymaker Protective   Clothing

The Homestead

Hiams Lane



GI19 3DQ

Fax 01452 700135

Tel: 07961641247


no web site


Very competitively priced

(I have no experience of this particular company)

Recent reports  indicate they can be difficult to get hold of?  If you know more let me know.

Modern Beekeeping Limited
Modern Beekeeping Limited
Ebrington Street

Tel: 01548 858747

Was a general supplier of beekeeping equipment now specialising in protective clothing for beekeepers.

Recently started to expand into other bits again.

Veil & suit repairs


Mrs Jenny Gammon,
500, Cheddon Road,
TA2 7QX.
Tel: 01823 270465.




Suppliers: Jars & labels


Freeman & Harding Ltd
Unit 18, Bilton Road
Erith, Kent, DA8 2AN

Tel: 01322 351315

Quote:  "With over 10 years experience in glass jars, glass bottles and plastic packaging, Freeman & Harding provides packaging for the food, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. We supply glass jars and bottles in volumes to suit small scale production units, bee keepers and home use as well as bulk deliveries for high volume manufacturing."
L & B Containers (Scotland) Ltd Unit 2 Lomond St, Possilpark Industrial Estate, Glasgow, G22 6JJ

Tel: 0141 336 3113

BS15 8NA

Tel: 01179 604141

Bulk Packed-Shrink Wrapped or
Corrugated Cases holding 72 Jars
Available Ex Stock for Collection or
Delivery Anywhere in Large or Small Quantities

The Bottle Company (South) Ltd

Bottle Company (South) Ltd Broadmead Lane, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1ST

Tel: 0117 986 9667

Quote: "The Bottle Company (South) Ltd is an established supplier of containers, with a itself an enviable reputation in the packaging industry for friendly reliable service, quality products and competitive prices. "
Compak (North) Ltd
9 Shannon Street, Leeds,
Tel: 0870 850 1490
no web yet
Quote "We are a stockist of various glass and plastic containers. We range across various markets inc Aromatherapy, Chemical, Food and Pharmaceutical etc. All goods are delivered on our own transport. "
Compak (south) Ltd
3 Ashmead Rd, Keynsham, Bristol
BS31 1SX
Tel: 01179 863550
We are agents for many glass and plastic manufacturers and can supply both large and small quantities. Our delivery service is nationwide and usually we can fulfill your orders within 48 hours.


See hardware suppliers above.

Thorne’s stock standard labels that they will overprint with your name and address, they also now offer a custom service where they will print your photo or drawing as background.  Whilst National Beekeeping Supplies also stock standard labels and are competitive if you want to splash out and design your own label including hot foil metallic styles.  There is a one off charge for the artwork then you have your own unique label for life.  


Recommended reading




Subscription secretary:  

Sue Hull

107 Church Street







Tel: 01933 650297 (Editor)

Tel: 01733 771221 (subscription sec)

Bee Craft is the 'Official Journal of the BBKA'.   It is unfortunately not included in your BBKA membership but well worth subscribing to.  Colour A4 format, currently £22/year inc p&p.  Credit cards accepted or cheques should be payable to ‘Bee Craft Limited’.  

Subscriptions can also be bought on line at the BeeCraft web shop:

Beekeepers Quarterly


Northern Bee Books
Scout Bottom Farm

Hebden Bridge


Tel:     01422 882751 

As the name suggests it’s published four times a year by “Northern Bee Books” in A4 format and is a good read.  Currently £24/year inc p&p

Books Italic quotes are from a ‘new’ beekeeper in his 2nd year.  


“Bees at the Bottom of the Garden”  By Alan Campion ISBN 0-907908-97-7

“A good starter's book.  Only 112 pages but covers a lot of ground in not too much detail.  Easy reading.  Well illustrated with nice line drawings.  Perfect for assessing whether you fancy beekeeping before you dive in.  If I could only have one book this would be too brief.”



 “Guide to Bees and Honey”  By Ted Hooper  ISBN 1-899296-04-2

“A brilliant book if you don't mind heavy reading.  You could not wade through it unless you were particularly enthusiastic about bees.  I read it from cover to cover as I did all my books but I think most people would value it as a reference book.  It covers 272 pages and leaves nothing out that a beginner would need.  If I had no interest in native bees, small cells, morphology etc I would not need any other book.”


Videos & DVDs

An Introduction to Keeping Bees

Second Sight Productions

This video/DVD is a useful tastier to the subject, it has a few minor errors and does dwell on diseases a bit too long whilst missing other stuff like basic swarm control.  There is even a bit at the end touching on cosmetics from bee products which is a bit odd, nevertheless it is a fair tastier but is not suitable as your only aid to starting beekeeping.


Specialist Book Stockists:

Northern Bee Books 

Northern Bee Books,
Scout Bottom Farm,

Hebden Bridge



Tel:      01422 882751  

Bee Books Old & New

The Weaven

Little Dewchurch



Tel:      01432 840529

B&K Books  

Newport Street

Hay on Wye



Tel:      01497 820386


Further Education

Education: BBKA Education Structure

The BBKA have their own exam structure which allows you to gain qualifications in a modular manner building up to Master Beekeeper status.  There is a small exam fee for each module. The first step as a beekeeper after your first year is under your belt is to apply through your association to take the Basic Certificate.

Many associations have education structures of their own and library resources to assist you.  There are also study notes specifically written for the BBKA exam framework.  They are helpfully colour coded and known as the Blue book, Green book etc and are available from the book suppliers above.  See the diagram below for the structure and the appropriate study notes to use.   The study notes are very comprehensive but are un-illustrated which makes them a bit dry and are generally written above the level of the qualification which could put you off.  The BBKA will also supply you with past exam papers (for a small fee) that will give you a good idea of the level to be achieved and they also offer correspondence courses for the same exams.  See below.

Education: BBKA Correspondence Courses

To assist you further the BBKA also have several correspondence courses which prepare you for the paper exams providing you with reading lists and course work which is assed by post.  The costs of these courses is in addition to the exam fees.  There is no necessity to take a correspondence course, you can just study on your own or with your local association and then take the exam.

Correspondence Course Secretary:

Chris Utting

B.B.K.A Codden, 

Golf Links Road, 

Westward Ho, 



EX39 1HH. 

telephone: 01237 474 500. 




Web Resources

There is a huge amount of information out there on the web, following into two categories Newsgroups; sometimes call Bulletin Boards, Forums or Discussion Groups and Web sites.   Remember that the web is global so advice and information can sometimes be relevant to regional conditions, ranging from grizzly bears knocking over hives to fire ants and permafrost problems.


Newsgroups allow discussions between beekeepers and are a friendly and fun way to discuss your problems with experts (and non-experts) around the world.  You post a message and come back a few hours later to see who has replied.  Everyone in the group can see the conversation as it builds and can butt in if they want to.    Most newsgroups expect you to register before you use them; this is in your interest as it keeps rogues out.

Irish Beekeeping Group:

Northlands :


Honeybee web sites

Webs sites tend to connect to webs sites so here are just a few to get you going.

My Home Site

(an unashamed plug :-)
UK Government info site run by the CSL National Bee Unit

Web site of bee web sites:

Canadian beekeeper Ron Miksha's.

Ron's the author of a new book called Bad Beekeeping that is a most enjoyable read for beekeepers and non beekeepers alike and a jolly good web site too.


Bee Web sites:

Dave Cushman ’s site

Dave is local to me  

Leicestershire & Rutland Beekeepers Association

Alan Dicks Site
BeeKind (USA) Friendly folks running a pretty little shop in Sebastopol California


Bee Source 

Good for plans

BBKA (again)

Swarms & more advice

Virtual Beekeeping Gallery

Local Honey (UK East Midlands)

Stratford Upon Avon BKA

Good links

Bee Care (USA)

My Honey Bee FAQ in Belorussian !

Bees & Things (Holland)

Michael Keane, Leominster, MA

Similar site to this one

Introduction to Apitherapy

Alternative medicine site covering bee products.  Warning IMHO being a sceptic can be just as healthy.

Conwy  (Welsh) Beekeeping Association

Animal Trek

is an encyclopaedia of all animals (and insects)

Pest Control Information (UK)



Thanks are due to the following who have assisted me in the construction of this FAQ either for proofing or permission to use their work.

In no particular order (except the wife is first or I'm in trouble) 

Annie Law, Dave Cushman, Steve Rose, Derek Glover, David Maslen, Steve Turner, Phil Shepherd & Roger Partis

Thanks guys

Graham Law

Contact me:

Any constructive comments on this FAQ are most welcome, however 'please' appreciate that this is a Honey Bee information web site and I cannot help with every insect problem out there. 

Bee pest problems are dealt in the relevant sections; see  Bees & People & Problems

Nor can I oblige requests such as 'Please send me information on keeping bees'  this IS a FAQ after all !


If there is something missing, wrong or unclear then shout up, but note the above and please check that your question has not been answered already, thanks.  Graham



God no! Life's to short, 

unless it's someone else's work on this site

in that case it will have a separate copyright notice on it.

A mention in dispatches would be appreciated.


All the best, Graham


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