Beginner Beekeeping



Beginner Beekeeping

Do you love honey? Did you know that it's relatively easy to keep bees and produce your own honey? In this guide, I'll examine many of the steps needed to start your own beekeeping hobby or business for either fun or profit, perhaps even both.

Bees live in a collective. Think borg. They are a collective that continue to do the bidding of the queen. An apiarist or beekeeper manages them. A good number of the members in the colony are female workers. They do the best part of the work, collecting nectar, water, and other items needed for the good of the colony. Then, there are drones, and finally the queen. There is only one queen for each collective, and she can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day. If another queen is born, she can go start her very own colony.



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An apiarist may manage a colony of bees that can have anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 members. The majority of these members will be female workers. The life span of these little workers is a tad over 30 days, as they work until they just can't work any longer. Tragic, I know, but it is the circle of life. There will also be several hundred male drones. The females will go out of the nest and hunt for supplies to bring back, so in most cases, when you see bees buzzing around, they are most times female workers.

Your first step is going to be learning something about bees, if you don't already know about the subject. It's called the science of entomology. Look it up and review some of the information. Maybe even get a good book on the subject. It will be worth your while. You'll learn about the role of an apiarist, the various varieties of honeybees, how bees deal with different times of year, and how honey is harvested from the hive.



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Beekeeping can be fun and rewarding, if done correctly. If you are going to keep bees, make sure you acquire your initial supply of bees locally, as they are very susceptible to climate changes, and bees from other areas may not fare as well as local ones. A dramatically different environment, can be the death knell of your hive, so be careful with your selection of bees. Picking the right breeder is important. You want to make certain the bees you acquire are healthy and free from disease. Think in terms of spring as the best time to start your colony. Spring is also the time when an apiarist begins harvesting the raw goods.

For a beginner setup, start with six combs, a fertile queen, and some workers and drones. A moveable frame hive is critical to good beekeeping, and don't get an used one. You never know what's been in it, and there is a chance that it is disease-ridden. Buy new. For yourself, you'll need protective clothing, including a veil, boiler suit, and gloves. A few more items will be required, including a smoker, hive tool, and a feeder. This is the basic kit you will need to start your own colony. To see who makes the best equipment, there are various different sites on the Internet where you can read reviews. Once you find a local supplier, look through the products they have and see what other folks are saying.



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Harvesting honey is one of the joyous parts of keeping a beehive. There are few things that can compare to raw, unadultered honey straight from the source. You want to make sure that enough honey has been produced during the season so there is a surplus. You only want to take the surplus, leaving enough for the hive to survive. Depending on the local flora, the honey will have a distinctive taste and aroma. If you are lucky, the honey produced will not only be tasty, but also unique. This uniqueness will help to sell it, if that is your wish.


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