The Guide to Idle Beekeeping with Bill Anderson: Part One

Bill Anderson

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If you are thinking of keeping bees, the Guide to Idle Beekeeping teaches you everything you need to get started, even in a city, and without effort.

From building a hive to harvesting honey, urban beekeeper Bill Anderson shows aspiring beekeepers how to keep bees the idle way. We visit the minimum interference Warré hives Bill keeps on his sliver of roof in London. These low-tech, low maintenance, bee-friendly “People’s Hives” were developed by French clergyman Abbé Warré a hundred years ago. They demand only two interventions a year, in spring and in autumn – that’s good for the bees, and less work for the beekeeper.

Part One of this online course focuses on what to do with your hives in spring. In three video-based lessons, Bill covers the philosophy and history behind the Warré hive, the life cycle of the bee, how to catch a swarm and how to build a bait hive. You will learn what to do when a swarm moves in and how to insulate your hive to keep your bees happy. Bill will demonstrate each process step by step and detailed notes for insulating your hive are included as well. Part Two, to be released in autumn, will focus on harvesting honey and making your own mead.

Course Outline

Lesson One: Get Bees – 38 mins

Lesson Two: Install Bees – 16 mins

Lesson Three: Help Bees – 23 mins

About the Tutor

Bill Anderson has directed television drama ranging from Evelyn Waugh’s classic “Sword of Honour” starring 007 Daniel Craig to the current “Dr Who” series. 

After installing some purchased bees in a Warre hive on the tiny sliver of horizontal roof atop his West London home, over the last three years Bill has enticed four wild swarms to move into Warre hives.  This hive system strives to emulate the bees’ natural habitat in the wild – a cavity in a tree – whilst also making some accommodation for human sweet teeth. Bill prefers to think of himself as more of a hive-keeper than a beekeeper – the bees are always free to leave his hives whenever they feel like it – just like an inn-keeper’s customers…




What You Get

Three video-based lessons with Bill Anderson, the idle beekeeper; detailed notes with instructions for insulating your hive; access to the community forum where you can pose questions to Bill


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