Spending all day every day working at a PC and mainly on the internet I often find threads on forums which answer my questions, beekeeping is no different. While I do now have a small stack of books around the subject from general beekeeping, to honeybee behaviour and diseases, it’s usually quickest to do an internet search, and quite often it’s a previous thread on a beekeeping forum which provides the answers I need. I’m also a member of a few too, so if I’m really stuck I can always ask a question, so in very approximate order of how often I visit them, here are the forums I use and why:
I suppose being the official voice of beekeeping in the UK the BBKA Forum deserves the first mention and it is my first port of call, although you do need to be a member off the BBKA to join and post here. It’s not a particularly busy forum, but it’s friendly and questions get answered quickly, often with well thought out and well explained answers, although there is’nt the level of general chat that you can find elsewhere.
SBA Interactive Forum
I quite like the SBAI Forum, it’s friendly and there seems to be a lot of good advice offered on there, so it’s well worth a look. I’m pretty sure that the “S” in SBA is “Scottish”, but there are members from all over the UK. Worth a look at their queen rearing section.
As you would expect from it’s name, the Natural Beekeeping Forum is for those who want to keep bees the eco friendly way, they advocate the use of top bar hives, have sections discussing topics such as environmental issues affecting bees, and has a nice crowd on there, bear in mind that this forum is probably only for you if you want to learn about keeping bees naturally.
This is an international site, so bear in mind that advice from people in the Beekeeping Forums may involve products which are not available in the UK, also you need to consider that while some factors are the same worldwide, environmental factors, such as the seasons, weather and local forrage need to be considered if someone offers advice.
Probably the largest as busiest international beekeeping forum, Beemasters has (at the time of writing this) 292,322 Posts in 33,775 Topics. There is a section specifically for the UK and Europe (their terminology, not mine) and a few sections for off topic chat.
Not to be confused with the one mentioned above, this is the UK Beekeeping Forum. They have a ridiculous
keep all the business for the gang non advertising policy, so if you mention Pay*es or She**iff etc, words are partially blocked out, plus they don’t allow links to other sites which compete with them, i.e. other beekeeping sites, (hey guys, have you heard of the world wide web? It’s called that for a reason!). Also the same few seem to answer most threads and unfortunately a handful are those pompous forum types. I’ve seen many noobies shot down never to return, so you’d better have thick skin if you want to post in there. It seems to be getting less popular these days anyway.
There are others out there, but these are the ones I have spent time on myself. If you have an active beekeeping forum let me know and I’d be happy to have a look with a view to adding it to the list.