There are many reasons to begin beekeeping. You might find it educational, as bees are fascinating creatures. You might be interested in becoming more self sufficient, (honey makes a great farm raised sweetener!) Maybe you’re interested in wax and honey production as a cottage industry. Or maybe you want to do your part in helping the environment and supporting the honey bee’s role in our ecosystem and food supply. Whatever the reason, raising bees can be a fun and rewarding adventure. We at Keeping Backyard Bees encourage anyone who’s interested in raising bees and becoming a new beekeeper, or a “new-beek”, to learn all they can and if possible and give beekeeping a try!
The following is a beginners guide to all things beekeeping. It’s a collection of articles that can help you understand the world of bees and help you decide if beekeeping is right for you. Should you choose to join the world wide community of beekeepers, there are articles that tell you what equipment you will need to get started, aids to help you build your first hive, information on how to acquire your first bees, step-by-steps on caring for bees and trouble shooting problems and even how to begin marketing your bee products.
This one stop beekeeping guide is a great place to begin researching your future hive. Be sure to stop back often as new information is always being added!
In these articles, you will find a wealth of knowledge to get the beginner beekeeper started. It is a a wonderful place to start your research before you even think about getting bees. Find out if beekeeping is right for you, how to acquire bees, and some reasons why beekeeping is a wonderful hobby to begin.
Did you know that not all bees are the same? There are many different species of bees that one can keep. Each species has different qualities, personalities and things they’re good at. Some are strong honey producers, some are more resistant to disease and parasites, others make better pollinators and some have a more docile attitude. Learn which species is right for you in the following articles.
Country Lore: Mason Bee ‘Boxes’
Buying and Moving Bees
There are two main ways of acquiring bees for your hive. You can purchase them, or you can collect a swarm. Many beginners choose to purchase their first hive. Below you can learn how to purchase bees and how to install them in your hive.
There are many different styles of hives to choose from. Some work better in certain climates, others are better for honey production, or wax production or for breeding bees. Learn all about the different types of hives and choose which is right for you.
Gardening with Bees
Equipment and Honey Extraction
Beekeeping requires some bee-specific equipment. You need tools to use while inspecting your hive, suits and veils to keep you safe around bees and equipment to extract honey. Find out what you will need to get started in the following articles.
We all know that one of the downsides to beekeeping is the risk of getting stung. But with some simple equipment, a bit of common sense and a plan to treat bee stings, beekeeping can be a safe and enjoyable hobby.
Queen bees are the center of every hive. She is a complicated insect and is the hub of all bee activity. The worker bees know that she alone sustains the hive population and they take their job of protecting and caring for her very seriously. It’s important that you understand her roll as Queen, learn to identify her among the workers and drones and how to replace a queen should yours die.
Diseases and Parasites and Predators
Bees today are at an all time high risk of disease and parasite infestation. The use of pesticides, and chemicals has weakened the bee population and colony numbers are dropping at alarming rates. As beginning beekeepers it’s important to be able to identify and diagnose diseases and parasites in your hive. It’s also important to learn how to treat and prevent such afflictions for the good of the overall world bee population.
If you’re interested in becoming a beekeeper because you’d like to begin a business here are some tools to help you market your hive products. Everything from pricing advice to tips on photographing your beautiful products. Here’s the 101 to help you sell!