Beginner Beekeeping – Six Things to Consider
Article by Bill Rutherfurd
Before you go you and spend money for beginner beekeeping, it is best to know if beekeeping is something you really want to do. Is it, or could it, be a passion? How do you know if you have a passion for beekeeping and whether you will be able to progress from beginner beekeeping to commercial beekeeping?
Firstly, ask yourself; Why beekeeping as against something else? Do you have a long standing interest in bees? Have you worked with bees before? Have you worked in a honey processing factory and wondered how the honey is made? Do you find yourself tuning in to news items about bees? What are your aspirations? Are you just interested in beginner beekeeping? Do you want a second income? A full time living? You need to ask these searching questions of yourself.
Secondly, do you have a place to do your beginner beekeeping? Do you live on a property suitable for bees? Are the bees going to bother your neighbours? Beekeeping in an apartment in the city is not impossible. You can keep bees on some apartment or office building roofs. You will need approval from your manager and perhaps your local Council! However, if you live in the USA you may have legal problems if your bees sting any residents!
The best places for beginner beekeeping are on farms, lifestyle blocks, and on urban properties with large gardens. Miniature or mini hives are suited to an urban location. But if you live the countryside, you are in the best location for beginner beekeeping.
Thirdly, how much is beginner beekeeping going to cost? It is important to consider costs. You will have the costs of buying protective clothing, a helmet and veil, and gloves. You will need to purchase the hive or hives, your swarm, beekeeping tools, a smoker, and smoker fuel. Beginner beekeeping equipment and a an operating hive could cost 0 – ,000 or more. The best option is to purchase a living hive from a beekeeper and to purchase the beekeeping tools and clothing brand new.
Fourthly, how much honey do you want to produce per year? The number of hives you purchase depends on this. But also, the number of hives depends on your beginner beekeeping location.
Fifthly, can you afford the time to look after your bees? They will require feeding, the hives will require scraping and moving, and you will have to process your honey. If you just want comb honey you will only have to cut it into squares from the frame. If you want liquid honey you will have to extract it with your own honey extractor or take it to an established beekeeper for extraction if you have lots of frames. For beginner beekeeping you will probably not have your own honey extractor so the best choice will be eating the comb honey.
Sixthly, are you planning to sell your honey? In beginner beekeeping you will probably lsell little, if any, honey. You will probably eat it or give it to friends. If your beginner beekeeping is on a bigger scale you might sell it from the side of the road if you are in the countryside. If you are beekeeping in the city you might sell it to your neighbours (if they haven’t been stung!)
If you give adequate thought to these six items you will prepare yourself well for your start in beekeeping. You will avoid the major problems and know that you will sustain an interest in beekeeping long enough to gain its benefits, both emotional and financial.
About the Author
Bill Rutherfurd writes on bee related subjects and is developing a large bee products marketing company. His lens on on this subject is at