Beekeeping is really gaining momentum. You might perhaps be interested in starting your own hive of honey bees but where to start from can be a great challenge. Actually, this has been the discouraging thing regarding beekeeping; where to start from and the steps to follow.
We really need bees. Without them then the global food system will be missing a lot. This article aims at providing you with the steps for raising the honey bees to maturity. You will probably learn something new that will help you in keeping these very important creatures.
It is always a challenge to most beginners; not you alone. Below are the steps:
Educate yourself about beekeeping
There are one or two issues you must learn before you start keeping your bees. How you will take care of them plus all the equipment that will be necessary are some of the things you must be well-informed about.
There are many books and articles that are very rich in information to do with bees; please check on them. The articles should help you determine whether you can afford the beekeeping activity from the onset to maturity. Being unable to provide for your honey bees due to lack of funds will be a recipe for disaster.
Make sure you set aside sufficient space just for this activity. Additionally, you can always check for those well-renowned beekeepers within your locality to mentor you on how you will go about it. Their experience will be very important for your journey.
However much you could be in a hurry to get started, it is very important that you first learn about this activity you are about to get into. How will you benefit from beekeeping? What are the challenges you are likely to encounter? Such are the questions that prior learning will help you answer.
Check on state laws, neighbors and family
Make sure you are aware of the local or state laws that revolve around beekeeping. Are you required to register the beehive’s location as is always the case in some States or countries? Are there some guidelines laid out by the government regarding this venture? All these should be followed so that you don’t get on the wrong side of the law.
On the other hand, it is important to check on your family, neighbors as well as pets to know if there are cases of severe allergy to a bee sting. You know as a beekeeper, expect to get stung on a few instances. This can also happen to your immediate neighbors and all other animals that live in your own compound.
If there are no serious cases, then you can go ahead with your plans to have honey bees in your yard.
Get the equipment and hive
Beekeeping is an investment that requires some capital. You need to buy a hive plus all the necessary equipment. If you are to buy already used stuff then make sure that they are properly cleaned and disinfected to prevent your bees from contracting a disease known as foulbrood.
And it is recommended that you begin with the starter kits then eventually make changes as you move along. Choose wisely; there are some starter kits that come with equipment that can last for years if well maintained.
Some of the pieces of equipment you will need before venturing into this business are smokers, feeders, foundation and frames, mesh helmet, cotton coverall, and leather gloves among others.
Choose an appropriate site
Properly selecting your site is very important when it comes to beekeeping. What kinds of flowers are surrounding the site? The flowers are what will affect the flavor and production of honey. Is there any source of fresh water around?
Make sure the area can accommodate some water tub or large bowl. The bees shouldn’t be coming all the way to your house in search of water. Some conflict will occur, and you might find yourself on the losing end.
And your site should be well-protected. Not just anybody or anything should gain access to the hive. If you fail to put a solid fence between the property lines and hives, your children or pets might interfere with the bees.
It will not be easy moving a hive that is full of bees. That is why it is very important that you carefully choose a place where they can stay for long.
Acquire the honey bees
It is necessary to place an order for the honey bees when you already have the needed structures. Otherwise, where will you keep them if you haven’t laid down the hives? You can order for your bees in winter because most places normally deplete their stock very fast.
When you place your order three months prior, you will be in a better position to have everything move according to your schedule. There is absolutely no way you will make an order for your bees and receive them the following day.
You can make inquiries with the local beekeeping associations because they are the most conversant with areas where you can get bees. You can decide on whether you will be buying a swarm, nucs, already-started hive or package bees.
Be sure to check on the merits and demerits of each before buying. With that knowledge, you will have known what awaits you once you start keeping the bees. As you wait for your order to arrive, be sure to keep with other forms of planning for their arrival.
You can use the local bee shops that can be very instrumental when it comes to ordering bees. If there aren’t any in your neighborhood, then the agricultural extension office should your second destination.
Introduce the bees to the hive
You’ve ordered for your bees, and they have arrived. The next step is moving them to their next home. The most important member of this colony of bees is the queen. Make sure that the queen bee has been introduced to the hive safely, is healthy and alive.
Let the queen go in first. A hive that has no queen will terribly fail. Then release the other bees into the hive and watch them get down to business. You are then required to put the top back once you are done transferring the bees.
Keep the bees happy and healthy
Be sure to check on your bees two or three days after your installation. Make sure you properly feed your bees. They shouldn’t be traveling to far off places in search of commodities like water and flowers. Avail them as close as possible.
Take good care of them regularly. They actually don’t require much of your time. What you can do is just observe their behavior and use the knowledge you have to make necessary adjustments to make them comfortable.
And watching them the few times you will be around is very informative and relaxing. Make sure you put in place tasks such as harvesting, preparing the hive and setting up the bees.
Have you seen how it is easy to set up a new hive of honey bees? Actually, it doesn’t require so many resources. Why then haven’t you thought of starting your own hive? Let’s increase the bee population in our own localities and enjoy the benefits accompanied by beekeeping.
Beekeeping is just fun! Try the steps provided above and share your feedback with us. Good luck and enjoy!