5 Key Pieces of Beekeeping Information
Beekeeping can be a fun and entertaining hobby. Many people wonder if they possess the skills and knowledge to keep bees, thinking wrongly that taking care of bees is a job only for experts. However, even beekeeping experts had to start somewhere and beekeeping is truly a hobby that can be taken up by almost anyone. If you are interested in keeping bees, there are a few things you need to think about before you start.
Rules and Regulations – Before you start, it is a good idea to check with your local government to see if there are any restrictions on beekeeping. Different states have different rules on the hobby and you may find that restrictions and regulations on beekeeping can differ from place to place.
Equipment – One of the most important parts of beekeeping is the hive itself. There are many specialist retailers that can help you buy the parts you need to construct your hive, or you can also contact your local authority on beekeeping to find out what advice they have to give. There are also other pieces of equipment you will need in order to maintain a hive, such as a bee brush. This is used to gently move the bees out of your way when you are collecting their honey, and saves any accidental squashing or swatting that might occur!
Bees – Filling your hive with bees is the next step. Collecting swarms if an option if you are feeling brave enough, although to be honest if you are a beginner you are better off buying colonies from specialist sellers.
Clothing – Bees are usually gentle unless provoked, but it is still a good idea to protect yourself with thick clothing in the event of a swarming. Durable suits are used in order to prevent any bee stingers reaching the body, while a veil is also worn at all times. Bees can be particularly attracted to people’s mouths because of their warm breath, so protection for your face is essential.
A Smoker – Having of these devices is also necessary when you want to remove honey from the beehive. A smoker releases calming smoke around the hive which calms the bees down. When the bees are docile, you are free to approach the hive without fear of attack. Normally bees would assume that anything approaching their hive is a threat and would react accordingly, but they are far less likely to protect themselves once a smoker is set off. However, you must be careful not to use a smoker too much, as this can make the bees listless and can affect their productivity.
Article by Martin Broad