This is a “beginner’s guide” on how to keep bees. Beekeeping can be a fun hobby. It also has a few benefits. Who doesn’t like honey? It is great in so many of the foods and beverages we consume. However, not all honey we get from bees is used for human consumption.
Bees also make royal jelly, which can be sold to manufactures, for use in skin care products. Another benefit is beeswax. Beeswax has a lot of uses and sells for almost double the price of honey. This can be very profitable to you. Beeswax is used in several different things such as candles, soaps, cosmetics and other items.
You can also use your bees to pollinate and earn money at it.
If you decide beekeeping is right for you, there are some things you should know and do before you get started. Before you invest your time and money into your new hobby, register as a beekeeper with the right state agency and learn about your states laws and regulations regarding proper beekeeping.
Study and learn about the different varieties of bees and beehives. You will need to know how to keep bees and how to keep bees happy so they will be productive. Before you can start, you will need the necessary supplies. Remember safety is first.
(Learn how to build your own bee hives here)
A beekeeping suit, that is full length, yet light and allows you to move freely. A hat, veil and gloves are important. It’s also crucial that your face is well protected to avoid any chance of getting stung. Now that you have the proper attire, let’s talk about what else you will need.
You should know ahead of time if you are allergic to bees before you begin your adventure. While bee stings can hurt really bad, death by being stung is rare. Once you have your suit, you will need your hive. The main things you need in order to stark keeping bees include:
- A Smoker
- Hive, or Hives, depending on how many you plan on keeping.
- Hive tool
A smoker is very important. It’s purpose it to help calm the bees. There are several options you can use for fuel. Some good sources include rotten wood, cardboard, twine, pine needles, or even paper. Why does one need a smoker? It will reduce the effect of pheromones the bees release. It also aides in confusing the bees, so to speak, enabling the bee keeper to collect the honey.
Another important tool to have is a hive tool. This is used to open your hive. A honey extractor is also used to extract the honey without causing any damage to the hive. Once you collect your honey you will need a container to put it in.
Now for the most important part, other then the bees themselves. You will need a bee hive. You have several options when it comes to hives. You can buy ready made hives or you can build one yourself from a kit. Your kit will surely come with instructions on how to assemble, and you can also check online for tips and tricks if you need additional assistance.
Your kit will contain the following pieces, which are pretty simple to put together. A brood chamber, so the bees will be able to raise their young is necessary. Now on to what you’ll need for building your hive.
Bottom boards are needed to make an entrance to your hive. Entrance reducers control traffic, temperature and ventilation in your hive.
Hive frames can be either plastic or wood to hold the wax foundations with hexagonal worker cells. Inner covers, are wooden boards with a hole in the center. They are used to keep bees in the hive when the outer roof is removed. It also helps to keep the hive free of excess moisture. A metal outer cover is needed for protection from bad weather.
You may also wish to add a feeder to your list of supplies. A feeder is used to feed your bees sugar syrup as a supplement just in case food sources are scarce.
You will also need bees. After all, all the work you are doing to build your hive and all the necessary supplies you have gathered would not serve a purpose without the bees. How do you obtain your bees? There are a few places you can purchase them from.
You can order them from a mail order company, bee auctions, or you can contact your local bee keepers association. They should be able to help you locate bees.
Once your hive is complete and you have your bees and are ready to begin your bee keeping journey, you may still have some questions. You may be wondering how much care your bees require. Surprisingly they require very little care.
However, it is important to check your hive from time to time to make sure the queen bee is laying eggs, to clean the hive and to make sure you have enough honey stores. You will also need to remove any dead bees. Make sure the bees have enough room to lay their eggs and store honey. Check the frame of your hive and replace any parts that are old or worn.
You will want to place your hive near fruit trees, preferably in a sunny area. Making sure they are away from any pets you may have. If there is no water source, you will need to proved one. A large container of water will do, as long as you attach a stick to it, so the bees can stand on it. Bees will drown in water.
How to keep bees happy. There are a variety of plants that will do the trick. Lavender and Rosemary are great plants for bees. Be sure to avoid using any pesticides. They are harmful and will kill your bees.
Whether you choose beekeeping as a hobby or a career, enjoy all the benefits you can reap from it. Enjoy your bees and enjoy your honey. Enjoy how your flowers will smell.