4 Things You Need To Know About Backyard Beekeeping
Backyard beekeeping is a thriving hobby and really on the rise. Apart from the sheer pleasure of keeping bees, enthusiasts have also rediscovered the health benefits from honey and pollen, while others are be excited about the many potential beeswax products. Small scale bee farming is helping to re-introduce hot organic bee products back into the market.
If you have been considering joining this elite group of hobbyists, do take a moment to look at these four things you need to know before making a final commitment.
1. Backyard beekeeping may seem simple (and can be over time) but there is a lot to consider in the beginning. Aside from buying some expensive tools, equipment, and supplies, you also need to consider town, city or state regulations. Despite recent developments in New York, beekeeping is still prohibited in some built up areas. It would be best to check with the local authorities first before you set up colonies on your property.
2. Beekeeping is not as simple as setting up a colony in a space and letting the bees do their “thing.” You need to consider the temperament of your colony (some colonies are prone to sting but can be taught to become less aggressive by introducing a mild-mannered queen,) the type of plants they like foraging in, and the environment they need in order to thrive.
You’ll want to be up to date on the latest beekeeping news. You’ll also want a solid command of all the tasks you will need to perform. Some good ways to start are to join your local association, enroll in a local beekeeping class, and read some of the many good beekeeping books and guides which are now available.
3. The long term health of your bee colony can all depend on the very first bees you introduce to the hive. This means you need to investigate the suppliers you get your bees from. Again, you local beekeepig association is a good place to make enquiries. Research the type of hive that will best suit your future needs. Consider ordering a domesticated or indigenous bee species as these will adapt more easily to their new home.
Bees on discount may not be such a good deal. These batches could be cheap because they are contaminated, or could be compromised from diseases. They may in turn have shorter life spans. While these bees can still provide honey and pollen, they may hurt your overall investment and can infect other bees in the area.
4. Take your neighbors into consideration when deciding the location of your hive. Try to keep the hive out of sight, and the bees flight path above head level (by surrounding the hive with a fence or hedge if necessary). Some advance preparation can go a long way with your success in backyard beekeeping.
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 www.bestbeekeeping.com and sign up for the FREE 7 day beekeeping ecourse.