Everyone loves having pets at home. Either cat or dog, sometimes fish or squirrels, so it isn't surprising that if someone tells you that they will start beekeeping.
So, are you one of those rookies thinking about raising honey bees at home or farmhouse? Let's read on to know more.
Beekeeping Beginner's Guide
Maybe you want your honey (everybody wants their honey! One can never get enough of it), or you want better pollination for your vegetable garden, maybe you want to help those struggling cute little bees(perhaps not every time).
For whichever reason, if you want to start beekeeping, you must learn how to keep them, or you'll end up covered in bee bites for no reason at all. Learning something new isn't easy, but it's not impossible; it is essential to learn before you start taking action.
Comprehensive Guide: Types of Bees | Your Guide to Understanding Bees
Benefits of Beekeeping
Beekeeping is considered a good thing as it gives you a lot of benefits. For one, bees are beneficial insects that can help pollinate your flowers. You can have honey whenever you want but choosing a proper place for beekeeping is also important.
From ordering bees to selecting an appropriate place for them where they can find flowers in abundance, say somewhere near a garden or open ground where they can pollinate, everything is important.
Having a new pet at home is easy, but beekeeping is a long learning process. So here are the few things that you should keep stored in the closet of your mind before you start beekeeping.
How To Make a Bee Friendly Garden?
Making your garden bee-friendly is a great way to help the bees in your area and make your garden healthier. Here are some tips for making a garden that bees will like:
Plant Different Kinds of Flowers
As bees are interested in many different types of flowers, it's a good idea to include a wide range of flowering plants in your garden.
Bees need protection from the elements, especially wind, rain, and cold. Planting shrubs and trees, in addition to putting up bee hotels and nesting boxes, will all help to provide shelter.
Bees are vulnerable to the chemicals found in pesticides, so don't use them in your garden. Instead, try using methods like garden plants and carefully selecting to keep pests at bay.
To stay hydrated and maintain a steady body temperature, bees require access to clean water, which you can provide by placing a shallow bird bath or saucer of water in your garden.
Bees are more likely to populate areas with a high level of biodiversity; consequently, you should stay clear of monoculture and instead cultivate a diverse environment by growing a wide range of plants, trees, and shrubs.
Things to Know Before You Start Beekeeping
Did You Know Buyers are Keepers
Many of us may assume that bees are supposed to be captured and stored in one place to start beekeeping of our own, but there is a slight untruth in that assumption.
Like any other pet, bees can also be ordered from an apiary (a place where bees are kept). Another way to buy bees is by ordering package bees or nucleus hives. Let's have a brief on what package bees and nucleus hives.
What are Package Bees?
Package bees are ordered from local beekeepers or from the place where there is a whole association to keep bees. The bee supplier will guide you on how to keep bees and how to recognise queen bees because other bees usually follow queen bees(there are communities amongst bees just like humans, including queen bees and worker bees).
Meaning of Nucleus Hive
Nucleus Hive means the supplier will give you a whole colony of bees that includes a comb, bees, honey, a queen, and brood (baby bees). So by buying a whole colony of bees, it can have a whole breed of its own in your beehive.
It can help you in growing a colony of bees at your place. Although there are side effects of buying a nucleus hive, it can be riskier, but the risks get smaller with precautions.
Knowing the Two Ways of Beehive Keeping
There are two ways to keep a beehive, the first is the top-bar hive, and another is the Langstroth hive. In the Top-Bar, hive-bee frames are arranged horizontally, and bees make honeycomb with a foundation in the system.
In Langstroth hive, boxes are arranged on top of each other, each containing frames, and that's where the bees build their honeycomb and store honey. Most beekeepers chose the latter, Langstroth hive system for beekeeping, even beginners.
Stack Up on Beekeeping SuppliesBefore you think about ordering bees, have Beekeeping supplies like a hive stand, bottom board, hive body or brood chamber, shallow honey supers, inner and outer covers, smokers, veil and gloves(for you) etc.
These are just a few pieces of equipment that are mentioned here; other equipment is brought as per advice. For more information about Beekeeping equipment, visit beekeeping supplies.
Give New Bees Guidance
As soon as bees arrive at your place, you need to introduce them to their new place; just like any other pets that take time to adjust to their new home, bees take time to adjust to their new environment.
As they are sociable creatures, it will take them less time to settle, but you have to sit back and observe while bees are going through new adjustments.
Things To Consider Before Making a Beehive
Before we get into the safety precautions you should take when building a beehive in your garden, there are a few things you should think about first. Such as:
Time & Resources
Beekeeping requires a lot of time, effort, and resources. Before getting started keeping bees, make sure you can devote enough time and energy to the task. Beekeeping involves routine hive maintenance, including inspections, feeding, and cleaning.
You'll also need to explore your options before purchasing the best beekeeping suit to ensure you treat your bees and their hives carefully.
Goals of Beekeeping
You have to decide whether you want to make honey, help pollinate your garden, or enjoy being around bees. Once you know what you want to fulfill, you can choose the correct number and type of hives to keep.
You should also consider whether beekeeping is allowed where you live. Beekeeping is illegal in some cities and neighborhoods; before setting up a hive, you should familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations.
Beekeeping can be physically demanding, requiring heavy lifting and working in adverse weather. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that you are physically capable of managing a beehive and can handle the job's physical demands.
Beekeeping isn't for everyone, especially if you don't care about bees and their welfare. It's not just about getting honey out of bees; beekeepers are responsible for providing a safe environment for these vital insects. It is necessary to have a sincere interest in bees and their role in the ecosystem.
Precautionary Measures in Beekeeping
When making a beehive, there are certain precautions to keep yourself and the bees safe. Such as:
Finding the Best Spot
If you build a beehive, one of the most crucial steps is finding a suitable spot. Pick a spot that gets plenty of sunlight but is protected from the wind. If you want to avoid getting stung by accident, it's best to stay away from heavily trafficked areas, and you should also keep away from places where pesticides have been used.
Wearing Protective Gear
Working with bees, which can be unpredictable and dangerous, is integral to beekeeping. That's why wearing protective equipment, like a beekeeping suit and gloves, is essential to avoid getting stung.
Since sudden movements or loud noises can agitate bees, it's best to remain calm and gentle when working with them.
Regular Checks and Maintenance
Regular maintenance is crucial to your bees' well-being and hive lifespan. It's essential to keep a close eye on the hive and take immediate action if you notice any signs of disease, pests, or damage.
Keeping bees successfully requires a certain level of expertise in hive management. Therefore, learning about beekeeping is necessary before setting up a hive. If you want to learn more about beekeeping, it's a good idea to attend some workshops, read some books and check out some websites.
Making a beehive in your garden can be a rewarding experience, but it is essential to take the necessary precautions to protect both yourself and the bees. Use caution and protective gear to avoid stinging or upsetting the hive when working with bees.
To create a safe and comfortable home for the bees, choosing suitable materials and following the proper steps in constructing the hive is essential. Following these precautions will help ensure that your beehive is safe for your bees and will allow you to reap the many rewards of beekeeping.
Is it Expensive to Keep Bees in Your Garden?
Beekeeping in your garden requires an initial investment, but it's not expensive. Even though beekeeping gear like hives and protective clothing can be quite affordable, it can begin on a small scale and eventually grow into a more extensive operation.
Wrapping Up Our Beekeeping Guide
Keeping your bees healthy and happy will attract other bees to come to your beehives, and you know it, more bees equals more honey production.
Don't stress before starting your beekeeping; go with the flow, and you can be the best beekeeper. These are the key points to keep in mind before starting Beekeeping on your own.