We received the following question:
Hi, I aways wanted to keep bees, ever since I was a kid. How can start?
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to start a beekeeping business? You will, after you’ve finished reading this interesting post! Beekeeping is a popular hobby that is growing in popularity as the number of bees falls. Honey has long been the primary motive for beekeepers. It was the only way to make a tasty sweetener for food and drinks until cane sugar was discovered. Beekeeping, on the other hand, has many advantages than just the delicious reward of honey. It has numerous advantages, ranging from nurturing your garden to serving as a therapeutic space for stress relief. People (like you) have learnt the fundamentals of beekeeping and are now enjoying it as a thrilling and fascinating hobby, while others utilize it to supplement their income while having fun.
Let’s start by studying what beekeeping is and how you may start effectively rearing bees and extracting honey!
What is the definition of beekeeping?
• Beekeeping is the management of honeybee colonies.
• A beekeeper is someone who takes care of the hives and extracts the honey.
It’s great to start beekeeping, but it’s also a lot of labor! Beekeeping, like any other work, can take up to 40 hours of your time per week. If you assume that caring for bees won’t take up much of your time, you should consider the wider picture. Basic hive inspection, disassembling and reassembling your beehive, honey extraction, and engagement with the bees are all additional responsibilities. Bond with your bees, that’s right. You should keep an eye on your bees’ health and get to know their movements and usual activities, just like you would with any other pet. It’s critical that you keep track of any unusual behavior and, if necessary, medicate your bees.
You can expect 40-60 pounds of honey during the second year if you take care of your hive and honeybees, and you’ll never have to buy honey again! We want to make sure you have the appropriate information about beekeeping, so here are seven easy steps to get started!
Step 1: Read up on beekeeping as a first step.
You must learn how to care for your bees and all they require to live a good life, just as you would if you bought a more traditional home pet. Check to see if beekeeping is something you can afford. You don’t want to acquire a box of bees just to find out later that you lack the funds to purchase all of the necessary equipment. Beekeeping necessitates a higher level of knowledge and comprehension than real hands-on work. Make sure you have enough room and that the ground where you wish to put your hive is level. If you have any last-minute queries or worries, find a mentor or someone with years of beekeeping experience. Beginner beekeeping classes and/or books are also available to help you learn more about beekeeping. No matter how enthusiastic you are to put on your protective gear and begin beekeeping, you must first educate yourself.
Step 2: Talk to your family, neighbors, and the authorities.
Check with your family and anyone else (including pets!) in your home to be sure no one, including yourself, is allergic to bee stings. It doesn’t happen as frequently as you might imagine, but beekeepers do get stung now and then; it’s part of the job! Although it’s not essential, it’s a good idea to check with your neighbors to be sure they haven’t had any major responses to bee stings as well. If not, at the very least let them know what you’re up to and where you’ll be going. Above all, familiarize yourself with state and local legislation! Some states require you to register the location of your beehive(s) and give you with certain criteria to follow to avoid being fined.
Step 3: Figure out why you want to keep bees.
It’s critical to figure out why you want to maintain bees and then pick the ideal hive for that purpose. Don’t limit yourself; you can choose from a variety of options. There are a variety of beehive designs to choose from, so let’s look at the three most common reasons for keeping bees.
1. A hive for gardening—the main reason for keeping bees is to pollinate your flowers and grow a healthy garden.
2. A beehive for observation—the main objective for breeding bees is to study their behavior and observe their movements.
3. A hive for honey and/or beeswax harvesting—the main reason for keeping bees is to collect natural honey and/or beeswax.
You’ll be on your way to obtaining the equipment once you’ve determined your needs!
Step 4: Purchase a Beekeeping Starter Kit.
To start your adventure into your new activity, we recommend purchasing a beekeeping beginner kit. This is a fantastic place to begin because you never know if you’ll enjoy an activity unless you give it a shot! The more you appreciate and learn about beekeeping, the easier it will be to figure out which equipment changes will benefit your hive the most. Starter kits, on the other hand, include equipment that, with proper maintenance, can endure for years. Before purchasing a beginning kit, speak with a member of our staff to ensure it contains everything you’ll need to get started!
Here’s a rundown of what you’ll receive in a beekeeping beginning kit to make things a little easier.
Equipment Required for Beekeeping
- Tool for hives
- The foundation and frames
- Components of a beehive
- Hive body
- Stand for the hive
- Queen excluder
- Covers, both inside and out
- Honey super
- Equipment for Extraction
- Coverall made of cotton/poly with a zippered veil attached
- A helmet with mesh.
- Leather gloves
Please note that not all beginning packages include the same items. To get started, come into Shoppers Supply in Chandler and speak with a member of our staff.
Step 5: Pick a site for your hives.
Take your time and carefully select an apiary location. Know the flowers in your hive’s immediate vicinity (they shouldn’t be more than a mile away) since they can impact the quality of the honey and aid in honey production. Make sure there are supplies of fresh water nearby (no more than a quarter mile). It isn’t necessary for the fresh water to come from a neighboring lake or creek. Placing a tub or large bowl of water within the required distance will ensure that you always have fresh water. Sunlight is also beneficial to bees. They can readily locate the queen and observe the eggs within the hive because of this.
Above all, ensure that the hives and property lines are separated by strong fencing. You don’t want anyone, especially minors, having access to your beehive. Also, keep in mind that you should only breed the number of bees that your land can support. A quarter acre or less is recommended for no more than four beehives.
Step 6: Choose a honey bee.
You’re on the verge of achieving your goal. You’ve learned everything there is to know about beekeeping, acquired all of the necessary supplies, and built a beehive to place in the ideal apiary location. Now is the moment to make the most important decision of your life by deciding which type of bee is suitable for you. Each bee is unique and contributes to the health of your hive in different ways. Take some time to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of the different varieties of bees you’re considering for this phase. Do you desire the well-known Italian bees that generate a large amount of nectar in a short period of time? What about Caucasian bees, which are reputed to be the most gentle of all the bee colonies? You might prefer dark Carniolan bees since you live in a climate that favors them. There are a variety of bee races to choose from, so do some research and comparison shopping.
When selecting a honeybee, there are four important features to consider:
- The rate of output
- Immunity to disease
When shopping for bees, keep all these traits in mind to pick the best race for you. Remember this! To begin the breeding process, you must first purchase the all-powerful queen bee.
Step 7: Begin!
Now you’re all set! You can relax for a day or two after installing your packet of bees in your new hive. You deserve it, after all! After installing your bees, most beekeepers recommend reopening the hive in two to three days. Check to see if the queen bee has made it out of the cage and into the hive. Don’t forget to feed, feed, and feed your bees some more, especially if you’re just starting out with beekeeping. You’ve done your homework and have everything you’ll need to get started, so best of luck and enjoy yourself!