Beekeeping: An Introductory Guide
Beekeeping as a pastime is fast becoming one of the top hobbies for people of all ages and backgrounds – and not just in the countryside. Beekeeping is becoming very popular for city dwellers too.
For some, even those with a strong desire to start beekeeping, the whole idea of keeping bees in your backyard may seem a little daunting. But any prospective beekeeper can easily overcome this fear with a little help. This article will hopefully help you to make a good start on your beekeeping adventure.
Every beekeeper’s goal is to be able to raise healthy and productive bees. In order for you to get this result, the first thing you need to do is to make sure that you are well prepared for the challenge by getting all the necessary equipment you need to keep bees.
The first thing that you need to get is, of course, a beehive. There are many types of beehives out on the market today and it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Each type has their pros and cons, but as a general guide choose whichever type is most popular in your area. If you do not know any beekeepers, your local beekeeping association will be able to guide you.
Next, you will need to suit up with all the necessary apparel for the job. It is very important that you get yourself either a full beekeeping suit, or at least a beekeeping hat and veil. Although bees only sting in self defense, you still need to make sure that you always have the proper protection when handling them.
A pair of leather gloves is also a good idea. Experienced beekeepers often do without gloves, but as a beginner it is advisable to take extra precautions.
Other Beekeeping Equipment
Other equipment needed is a smoker (to make the bees more manageable when you are working at the hive), and a bee feeder (to top up the bees diet, usually for the winter).
After you’re done dealing with the equipment and apparel, you can then go out to look for the bees that will populate your hive. The best time to get bees is in the spring, so that they have a chance to settle in to their new home and start producing honey in their first season.
Again, your local beekeeping association is a good place to try for your bees. Although members will not always have bees available, if they do beginning beekeepers are often given first preference. If not, then you can try to source your bees from specialist breeders near you. Some suppliers will even be able to provide you with a starter colony by registered mail if you prefer. As with most things nowadays, do a search on the internet and you will find potential suppliers.
Beekeeping will be a relaxing, rewarding, and fruitful hobby for you as long as you start off on the right foot. It definitely is an ongoing learning experience, but all the more enjoyable for that. Get all the necessary equipment, learn as much as you can about beekeeping before you start, but most important of all – do start!
Val Wilson is passionate about all things beekeeping! It is an incredibly rewarding hobby in so many ways, so if you would like more information about how to start beekeeping, go to http://www.bestbeekeeping.com and sign up for the FREE 7 day beekeeping ecourse.