There are a lot of different reasons why you might consider getting into beekeeping. One reason might be that you find it educational and interesting because, after all, bees can be very interesting and fascinating little creatures. You might be more interested in becoming a little more self sufficient by making your own honey or your own bees wax production. Another reason could be that you want to feel part of helping out the environment around you. Whatever your reason might be, you need to learn a few beekeeping 101 tips in order for you to have a rewarding experience in beekeeping.
Hopefully, these beekeeping 101 tips will help you learn a little more about bees and beekeeping so that you can see if beekeeping is the right thing for you and if you really want to join a growing community of beekeepers from around the world.
Eleven Things to Consider Before You Take Up Beekeeping
These beekeeping 101 considerations are meant to help you become a successful beekeeper in your own backyard.
- Do your research and make sure that where you live allows you to keep bees. You should get in touch with your local government and ask them if beekeeping is allowed. There are some cities that do require that you get a permit. Some others will require that your register your hive or hives and then there are some that don’t have any restrictions.
- Make sure that you read all that you can about beekeeping. It’s important that you learn all that you can by reading all the books you can about bees and beekeeping. You can either buy them so you can have them on hand at all times or just go to your local library.
- Consider joining a local beekeeping club or consider taking a class about the topic.
- Ask yourself seriously why you want to be a beekeeper. There are a lot of reasons just make sure that your reason is a serious one that you are sure you’ll stick with.
- You are going to get stung so if you are afraid of being stung does this matter to you? If not then there shouldn’t have an issue.
- Do you know whether or not you are allergic to insect stings or bites? If you aren’t sure then it’s important to go to an allergist to see if you do have a reaction to bee stings. If you have mild reactions you can always make sure to have an Epi-pen on hand. But, if you have a severe reaction to it, you may want to reconsider being a beekeeper.
- You need to be a courteous neighbor. You really need to know what your neighbors think about having bee hives near by. If they have doubts then you need to be ready to explain the whole thing and try to educate them on the subject.
- Do you have a location that’s good for your hive or hives. Even though bees will go as far as five miles away from their hives to gather pollen and nectar, it’s best if you have plenty of food available for them closer to their hives. Also the location needs to be where it gets sun and is protected from high winds.
- Are you able to lift a minimum of 25 pounds? Some hives can get pretty heavy when there’s a lot of honey in them.
Beekeeping 101 Tips on Tools
When it comes to tools there can be just a few to as many as you want. Beekeeping 101 tips offers you a simple overview of the tools that you might want to consider when starting off as a new beekeeper.
- Hives can be considered a major tool that helps keep your bees in a location where you can get to them and their honey easily. Of all the tools you will use, the hive will probably be the most expensive tool that you’ll need to buy.
- Veils and hats are very important because they are used to help protect your face from bee stings. Bees tend to target the face of all mammals they feel are a threat.
- Gloves are important in order to protect your hands and wrists from bee stings. The kind of gloves that you get should be ones that not only cover your hands and wrists but also that go up to your elbows to protect most of your arms as well.
- A smoker can be a beekeepers best friend. This is what will help to calm your bees down. It makes them think there might be a fire near and they then will gorge themselves with honey in case they need to get out and find a new home. This then slows them down and makes it hard for them to swarm and sting you.
- A hive tool is a small tool that looks a lot like a crow bar. The metal is a lot thinner than a crow bar and is used as a wedge to use between the hive frames so they can be removed for harvesting honey and to help clean the frames off.
- Bee brushes are used to move your bees gently off frames that you are trying to remove from the hive to inspect or harvest your honey.
- Frame carrier or grip isn’t really something that is a necessity but it does make removing the frames a lot easier and even safer for your bees. If a frame is is filled with honey it can be pretty hard to pull out and this tool can make it a lot easier.
- Honey extractor is a tool that uses centrifugal force to help whip the honey out of the wax cells in the hive frames.
Ways You Can Prevent Bee Stings
One thing you need to understand is why do bees sting to begin with? They don’t just do it because they can. Truth be known, bees are actually very gentle little creatures most of the time and they don’t really want to sting you because they know if they do, they will die. This means, the only reason why they do sting is because they feel threatened.
Here are some beekeeping 101 tips on how to best prevent those stings and the death of your bees.
- Use a smoker, this will calm them down immensely.
- Wear a veil, hat, gloves and a full body bee suit.
- Always wear light colors. Bees are more threatened by darker colors. This is why bee suits are always white.
- Never stand in the way of their entrance to the hive.
- Always move slow and never swat at them.
- Avoid wearing cologne. They don’t sting because of the smell but they will be a lot more attracted to you.
- Make sure to pay attention to their buzzing and how they are moving around. If the buzzing is really loud and there’s increased movement of the bees might mean that you will need to smoke them.
- If you do get stung you need to move away from the hive right away because the sting emits a pheromone that tells the rest they could be under attack and they will move to chase the aggressor off.
- When gathering the honey remove the bees quickly and then get the honey quickly and get away from the hive as fast as possible.
I hope that these beekeeping 101 tips have given you a little more insight into beekeeping and will help you decide whether or not you want to take up beekeeping in your backyard.