It's no secret that bees are an absolutely essential part of our ecosystem. Bees pollinate more than $15 million a year in crops in the United States, and more and more people have been buying beekeeping kits and other beekeeping equipment to experiment with their own beekeeping in hopes of harvesting that sweet, delicious, organic honey in their own backyards. Despite all we've come to learn about beekeeping, there are still many mistakes being made, generally by those who are new to the activity. Here are some common mistakes novice beekeepers make.
Mistake: Harvesting too much honey.
It can be difficult to ascertain just how much honey you should be taking from your hives. As a general rule of thumb, experts recommend not taking any honey from the colony in the first year. This is because the bees are not usually strong enough to make extra honey, and they need every drop they can to survive through the year. For stronger colonies, the amount of honey you should be harvesting depends on your location. Warmer climates allow more honey to be harvested, while bees in colder climates need more honey to survive the longer winters. If you're not sure, err on the side of caution and be conservative with your honey harvest.
Mistake: Not knowing when a colony has lost its queen.
The fact is that a colony that loses its queen simply cannot survive in the long term. Many new beekeepers assume that a colony that loses its queen will exhibit a drastic change in behavior almost instantly, but that's rarely the case. Bees will continue going about their business as usual, but without a queen to lay eggs, the colony will eventually die out. That's why it's important to look carefully for eggs every single time you inspect the colony.
Mistake: Not wearing protective gear.
New beekeepers often neglect the fact that protective gear is essential for managing a colony. Without a proper beekeeping kit and beekeeping tools, you may end up getting stung and killing some of your delicate bees. For full protection, beekeeping gloves, suits, and protective footwear are essential.
Ultimately, it's important to do plenty of research before taking up beekeeping. For more information about beekeeping equipment, contact GloryBee.