Meridian will appoint a mentor to guide you through the early stages of your beekeeping. Your mentor(s) will help you hive your first bees when they are ready and guide you through the early days by attending your first inspections and helping you understand what’s going on in your hive.
Your mentor (or somebody else from Meridian or another local beekeeper) will raise your first colony of bees. When those bees are ready, your mentor will;
- help you ‘hive’ your first bees
- attend your first hive inspection(s) to help you understand your colony’s progress and what’s happening in the hive. Your mentor will ensure you know how to recognise a healthy colony and what to look out for.
- be available at the end of the telephone to answer the questions that will certainly arise during your first season!
- visit you at your apiary if it’s not possible to answer your questions during a telephone call.
- from time to time, help you with hive manipulations as you encounter them for the first time; for example, a colony split or artificial swarm, collecting or hiving a swarm or queen introduction.
- help you or provide advice if something in your colony doesn’t look right or is out of the ordinary.
Additionally, before your first bees arrive, your mentor or somebody else from Meridian will have helped you;
- select a suitable site for your apiary and advised you on safety and other considerations; for example; access and avoiding inconvenience to your neighbours.
- guided you through the selection of your equipment and helped you choose what best suits your individual requirements
Your mentor will not;
- look after your bees for you! A mentor is exactly that, a more experienced beekeeper who voluntarily gives-up his or her time to advise and guide you. It may be that a your mentor or another beekeeper is willing to help manage your apiary on a more permanent basis and we do have a buddying programme in place. Buddy
- provide holiday cover. It may be that a member of the association is willing to help you look after your bees when you go on holiday but please don’t take that for granted.