The wonderful art of keeping bees
Article by Daniel Hebborn
The practice of keeping bees is frequently referred to as an art in view of the fact that it calls for lots of attention to detail to become successful, and many who are beginning beekeeping learn this valuable lesson the hard way by either a lot of painful stings or falling stocks of honey.
The first thing you will need to determine is whether you want your beekeeping to become a business or if it is just to stay a pleasing hobby. Think about your motives for wanting to start beekeeping, if it is because you are worried about the fact that around the world a lot of bee populations are decreasing and you want to “do your bit to help stem this trend” then it is likely that it’s going to always stay in the hobby stage. In addition you ought to take into account your surroundings, do you have the space for many hives or just maybe one or two. The last thing you want to do is upset those who reside nearby by introducing large amounts of small stinging insects into their vicinity. Perhaps you have a great love of Bees but believe me this will not be shared by all your neighbours.
Another good tip is to find a beekeeping group nearby, just do a search on-line for this with something like Google maps centred on your location. This will give you a visual representation of just where you can find these local groups. Also by playing around with search terms you can find local suppliers of the essential paraphernalia that you will require to get started. Things such as your first hive, a beekeeping suite and a centrifuge for extracting the honey. Talking with the other members of a beekeeping group will enable you to learn about any rules or limitations your local government department might have in place regarding the keeping of bees. Talking of space you might as well need to consider the amount of space you will need to store all or the afore mentioned apparatus.
The quickest way to get started is to purchase your bees, you will require a queen and sufficient bees to get a hive started. You may even get these through the post. Your local beekeeping group can also be a source of your first bees. Often an established apiarist will have a hive that is ready to swarm, this happens when a second queen is produced. Causing the hive to split in two. You might of course be particularly lucky and just come upon a swarm as I did a short time ago.
I realise that not everyone will be that fortunate but by doing some planning now before you start down the road of becoming a fully fledged beekeeper you can save yourself a whole lot of trouble in the future.
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