Learn About Beekeeping – Bees & Beekeeping Information

how to start beekeeping

Bees are fascinating creatures, If the thought of becoming a beekeeper and collecting honey fascinates you, then this is the right place to begin. Beekeeping is difficult for amateurs and it never becomes easy. You just become better at it by perfecting your techniques and getting attuned to the bee sense. This will help you understand everything you need about bees, beekeeping, and the right steps to become a keeper. The following is a guide to all things related beekeeping.

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Why Become a Beekeeper?

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Bees do what they do because nature made them that way. However, humans are more complex. You have to deduce your own reasons for turning towards beekeeping. Here are some common reasons:

  • You help with pollination while allowing nature to take its own course.
  • Beekeeping allows you to procure natural honey with no added chemicals and preservatives
  • You can make a tidy profit by selling this honey
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    Involve children
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    Natural honey has tremendous benefits to health
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    Beekeeping is a challenging task that keeps your senses active
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    It is a great hobby that keeps you involved
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    It does not require a lot of investment. There are many other reasons to choose beekeeping.

Is Beekeeping for Everyone?

everyone?

Beekeeping is for everyone regardless of age and income bracket. However, it is important that you not be allergic to bee stings. Beekeeping can be taken up by people living in both rural and city settings. Even climate is not a precursor to beekeeping. The harshest climate dwellers such as people living in Alaska can keep bees as a hobby. People with active schedules to those retired can also easily manage bees as they do not need much care.

Is Beekeeping Difficult to Learn?

to learn?

Beekeeping is a practice that involves you to understand the nature of bees and put on your Sherlock cap. It can keep you engaged for hours and the true beekeeper shall take out the time to learn everything about his bees. That said the actual process of keeping bees is not difficult. However, it is not as easy as throwing a couple of bees in a box as well. It requires the right education and proper equipment. Needless to say, knowledge and tools form a part of any hobby or learning.

If you are truly interested in bees and their lives, then you will be thrilled by the notion of keeping your own bees. However, if you feel that you want to keep bees only for earning a few extra bucks, then perhaps this hobby is not for you. It takes great deal of patience and learning to attune one's senses to the bee. For instance, if you are looking for the queen bee then you would have to activate your deduction skills because 9 out of 10 times you would not be able to find her. You shall have to locate her by searching for eggs and larvae or think of other methods to find her.

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What to Know About Bees?

To become a successful beekeeper that does not lose his swarm every year it is important to understand the fundamentals of the life led by a honey bee. You need to know bees are born with hive mentalities. Queen bee and drones with worker bee work together to build a community. The basic needs of bees are a healthy and safe place to breed and store their honey. However, with these factors you need to be aware of threats such as diseases, climate, food shortage, pests such as the bear and mice.

What Equipment Is Required?

The first step to becoming a successful beekeeper is getting the right beekeeping equipment. You need to be aware of the pros and cons of all the tools required to get the right combination of gear. It is advised that in the beginning you do not start off with expensive equipment. Get your hand set on the basics before you go for the advanced gear.

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First Hive

Most people purchase their first hive with the box and other gear necessary. Be sure to buy from a trusted bee seller so that you do not end up stuck with a diseased brood on your first try. You can also try building your own hive traditionally by looking at a set of hove plans. However, do not rush into anything as opportunities to try new things would present themselves throughout your beekeeping days.

beehives

Beehives

These are probably the first things you shall require. Beehives are of a number of types:

  • Langstroth

This design has been in work for the past 150 years and with good reason too. It comes in specific dimensions that allow you to buy expansion parts from different manufacturers. This box is truly helpful if you start beekeeping with an idea to maximize the yield of honey.

  • Warre

This design has been in work for the past 150 years and with good reason too. It comes in specific dimensions that allow you to buy expansion parts from different manufacturers. This box is truly helpful if you start beekeeping with an idea to maximize the yield of honey.

  • Top Bar

These are a boon to beekeepers looking to minimize heavy lifting. Rather than picking up the whole box, you simply have to inspect individual bars that weigh a few pounds. It also allows for a less invasive technique to analyze hives.

Other Equipment

Some other equipment you shall require to kick off your beekeeping includes:

  • Frames – These are necessary for the bees to build their hives on. If you are buying a hive make sure that these frames are not old or diseased.
  • Hive Tool – This is a chisel-like tool that is used to lift frames from the hives. You can also use it for other functions.
  • Feeder – They require this when a colony is establishing itself. You might want a feeder that fits inside the box to keep other creatures away from the food. You might also require this during the months when food is short to keep up honey production.
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    Personal Gear – You will need protective gear especially for tasks like inspection and removing honey. Hat, veil and gloves are a must. If you are particularly concerned, you can invest in a beekeeper's suit.

How Much Can It Cost?

it cost

Your equipment barring the actual bees can come for as low as $200 even if you go for a reputable seller. However, there are expensive variants available in the market as well. If you are one for starting off in a full-on fashion, then you can spend anything on the high side of $600. There are options and complete kits available that cost even less than $200. However, it is important that you look at the quality before making an investment.

If you have ready cash available then you can invest in some other equipment such as smokers, bee brush etc. that might raise your budget to $1000. Beekeeping is a hobby and you can reap satisfaction and benefits in the long run. It is advisable to start with two hives on the outset so that you can maximize on benefits from keeping bees.

When To Start?

Any time is the right time to start with beekeeping as a hobby as there is a lot of learning involved before you get the hives. If it is fall or winter, they recommend you learn up on beekeeping and visit nearby stores. If you have other people who keep bees in your neighborhood, then get in touch with them.

Bees need extra honey during winters because they cannot forage for their own food. They can withstand near to frigid temperatures by keeping close with each other. However, this is not a good time to start a colony as they would not be increasing the size of the colony. Springs and summers are the perfect seasons to begin beekeeping.

The best way to start is by getting everything ready by spring. When spring comes, you can buy a batch of bees and keep a feeder tray with sugar syrup to give them a helping hand. You need to monitor the amount of sugar and remove the feeder tray when bees find a suitable source of food nearby. While starting a new hive, purchase a queen bee.

How to Get First Bees?

There are three ways you can get your first batch of bees:

  • Package of bees – These are the most common form of bees sold.
  • Nuc – These are just like a small colony and come replete with a queen bee.
  • Catch Them – If you do not want to buy your bees, then the alternative is catching a swarm.

How to Install the First Hive?

fisrt hive?

There are several phases that you shall complete in beekeeping. Installing your first hive is a big moment in any beekeeper's life. Simply assemble the beehive and frames in a suitable area. Place the queen bee while still in her cage with cork removed from one end in the hive next to a frame. Then, pour out the many thousands of bees into the hive and cover. That's it. You are set.

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