Beekeeping is an enjoyable endeavor which can be a fun hobby or a rewarding way to supplement your income. There are many reasons to become a beekeeper including pollinating your trees and gardens, producing your own honey and helping honey bees flourish and thrive. Beekeeping also rewards the beekeeper with hours of enjoyment observing these amazing creatures come and go from the hive. It is one of the few hobbies that provides opportunities to make money.
Whether your goal is for enjoyment or profit you will want to start learning about best beekeeping practices. Local beekeeping clubs, books, online information such as this blog, and other beekeepers are all good places to start to answer the many questions you will have as a beginner.
To become a beekeeper you will first need to confirm that this is something you and your family are committed to doing. Bees are living creatures and deserve care and respect. Some considerations include where to locate your hive, where to source bees from, determining the equipment and tools that you will be using and where to acquire the knowledge necessary to maintain a healthy colony.
The decision of where to place your hive has several considerations. Most cities and municipalities have regulations on the size of lot necessary for having a beehive on your property. You will want to check on the regulations for the area that you live in. Informing your neighbors is a great idea and a good time to remind them that honey bees prefer nectar and pollen and are not the same as the yellow jackets and hornets who visit their outdoor picnics. You might also mention that honey bees will benefit their trees and flowers as well. In placing the hive on your property you will want to find a spot that the opening of the hive faces south or south east to give your bees sun early in the morning. You will want some afternoon shade for the beehive as well. Locating the beehive next to a tree or shrub for a wind block is also recommended.
The beginner usually starts beekeeping in the spring as packages of bees become available. Most packaged bees come from California in the Western half of the US and from Georgia in the East. A package consists of 10,000 to 15,000 bees with a queen included. The hive only requires one queen and it will take a few days for the hive to get used to the new queen. You might also purchase a Nuc, which is an established colony in a box that is half the size of the 10 frame Langstroth hive. To purchase a package of bees or a Nuc from GloryBee you will need to place your order by March 25th. You will be able to pick up your bees at our annual Bee Weekend in early April. Click here for prices and details.
The equipment, tools and protective clothing that you need to get started are all available from GloryBee and can be found on our website. Consider purchasing a beekeeping kit or customize your own hive based on your specific needs.
In addition Beekeeping 101 is a great resource for the beginner and experienced beekeeper. Written by our founder Dick Turanski, it provides beekeepers with answers to common questions, and a basic guide to keeping bees. In addition, consider picking up one of our beekeeping instructional books for more detailed information.
Our team would be happy to make the recommendations for outfitting you to get started. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-456-7923.