It all started when I decided to keep chicken. We had a fairly large garden and it seemed to be a good idea at the time.

So I went to a chicken keeping course at a centre in the New Forest where we live. The guy taking the course obviously had a vested interest and told us of the dangers of starting with infected chicks - unless we bought them from him. Giving them the correct food, which he could supply. Well that rather put me off.

So the next year I tried a beekeeping course. I was hooked. The more you learn about bees the more interesting they become. I went to evening courses run by The New Forest Beekeepers Association which covered all the basics, even to building your own hives from kit and assembling the frames and comb foundation.

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Some time was spent, when the weather warmed up, handling bees and learning the techniques of hive management. That first experience of handling hundreds of stinging insects was pretty daunting but with a skilled beekeeper showing you what to do proved amazing and hassle free.

I bought a hive and a ‘nuc’ and put it down the bottom of my garden and the following year started enjoying my own honey. We also ended up with beeswax and, in finding out what to do with it, lead us to start up our ‘handmade products using honey and beeswax’ business.

You can see our range of handmade products using honey and beeswax in our shop:

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