Beekeeping might sound like an unusual hobby to some people, but it can be a very rewarding pastime that can benefit both the beekeeper and the environment. You just need the right equipment, a little bit of courage and a strong work ethic.
If you can successfully farm the beehives and extract honey from the honeybees, then you can either consume the honey yourself or sell the honey for a profit.
Once you have a fully established beehive, it will be able to generate as much as 50 kilograms of honey on an annual basis. Just think about how much honey you can produce if you have multiple beehives on your farm.
However, you will also have more bees with which to contend, as well. To stay safe as a beekeeper, you need education on various aspects of the work.
To help you get started, check out these 10 beekeeping tips that every beginner needs to know:
When you look to purchase hives for farming your honey bees, make sure they have movable frames. This will make it easier to extract the honey and conduct regular inspections of the hives.
Since you are a beginner, it is probably not a good idea for you to go out and catch your own queen honey bee and worker bees.
Fortunately, professional beekeepers sell bees to amateurs like yourself. Just purchase the queen and worker bees from them and place the bees right in the beehive on your farm.
Springtime is when the temperatures outside begin to get warmer. Once this happens, your beehive should be started right away.
Doing so will give the bees enough time to produce plenty of honey and create a durable hive before the next frost.
If you have neighbours near your property, then you should use a high fence around the hive area. This will force the bees to fly higher so that your neighbours are not within their flight path.
You need to purchase the proper attire and equipment for your beekeeping activities, including a bee suit, beehives, a hive tool, a smoker and an extractor. The suit should contain gloves and a full hood.
The beehives will also need covers, supers, boxes, bottom boards and movable frames that have a wax foundation.
Do not purchase used beekeeping equipment, especially if you are a beginner.
Although it might be less expensive than new equipment, you don’t want to take the chance of using faulty equipment when beekeeping for the first time. Otherwise, a problem might arise that you will not know how to fix.
Two hives might seem overwhelming if you are a beginner, but they can also help you figure out if you’re doing a good job or not. As you tend to both hives, you can compare the two and see which one is stronger than the other.
If you have a weak hive, you could take resources from the stronger one and place them in the weaker one to help it out.
Remember that honey bees need honey to survive, especially during the colder winter months. If you take too much honey from their hive, the bee colony will starve to death.
It is better to hold off on taking any honey for the first year. Then wait for the warmer months to extract the honey.
You need to regularly inspect your beehives to ensure the bees are healthy and that they have plenty of space.
The queen is always the most important bee to check on because she is the one that produces more bees for the colony. Checking on the beehive at least once every seven days is a good idea.
Every beginner should take a beekeeping course for education on the biology and personalities of honey bees.
In fact, it is better to first learn about the bees themselves before learning about the beekeeping process. If you can understand the bees and why they do what they do, it will be easier for you to manage them as a beekeeper.
There are plenty of beekeeping courses available online. A few examples are PerfectBee.com and HoneyBeesOnline.com. They can give you the chance to learn about honeybees and beekeeping from any location in the world with an internet connection.
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