Beekeeping is essentially a hands-on occupation and, although theory is important, most of the enjoyment comes from getting into your hives and observing the bees. These hive inspections enable you to understand what the bees are doing throughout the active spring and summer months and whether it is necessary for you to take some action, such as adding frames to give the bees more space or splitting a colony to prevent swarming.

Although some of this knowledge can be acquired in a classroom or from reading books, there is no substitute for a new beekeeper than a good mentor who will not only guide you through the practical manipulations involved in beekeeping but also provide reassurance during your first few hive inspections. Moreover, as your practical skills increase a mentor is also a good first contact for advice or assistance when you are working independently and encounter a new problem.

MCBK run a mentoring scheme where an experienced beekeeper assists and supports a new beekeeper during their first year of beekeeping. We try to match our mentors to the beginner and ensure that they both live fairly close to each other to facilitate regular visits if required.

Sarah Johnson co-ordinates our mentoring scheme so please contact Sarah at for more information about the scheme and if you would like a mentor to help you develop your practical beekeeping skills.