Thinking of getting some bees? Here are 3 helpful tips for getting started with beekeeping…
Keeping bees can be a great way to add some diversity to your homestead, help pollinate your garden crops, provide you with delicious fresh honey, and even potentially add a new source of income for your homestead.
While it isn’t that difficult to start your own honeybee colony, there are a few things you will need to prepare first.
Obviously, you will need a home for your bees. You can purchase beehives, or build your own, which is often less expensive. You will also need some safety gear for handling your bees – at minimum, a bee hat with veil and gloves. Novices may want to start out with a full beekeeping suit and boots as well as the previously mentioned items. You will also likely want a beekeeping brush and a smoker to distract the bees while you are working with the hive.
Here are 3 tips from HomeAdvisor.com for starting your own beehive:
1.) When choosing a spot for your beehive, take into consideration the needs and backyard habits of your family. Place it far from where your children play, your pets explore, and houseguests may be during barbecues and other backyard events. It should be somewhere dry and sunny. Some people choose to place their hives close to a wall — around the corner of the house, by the shed, or behind the garage, perhaps — that can help block the wind and will encourage bees to fly up and over rather than at human eye-level. The water source should be somewhere nearby, and bonus points if you can situate the hive close to your flowering plants, as well.
2.) Make sure that your hive is assembled before your bees arrive so there’s no delay in introducing them to their new home. Follow the instructions of your distributor exactly: these trained professionals will know the best way to help your colony thrive, so take their words as beekeeping gospel. If you feel uncertain about installing the bees on your own, you might be able to find beekeeping classes at a local honey farm that will help you develop your skills. If there aren’t any formal classes and online videos don’t instill the confidence you desire, try reaching out to a local beekeeper to ask for pointers. Most professionals will be happy to answer your questions and will appreciate your desire to get the job done right.
3.) Your bees should be well-fed before installing them into the hive to keep them as calm and gentle as possible. If they didn’t arrive with food from the distributor, you can make some simply by dissolving two parts of sugar in one part water and smearing it across the wire screen of their packaging. Transferring the bees in the late evening can also help reduce issues: with sunlight fading away, the insects are less likely to fly off and get lost.