Beekeeping Secrets

In this guide, I’ll examine some of the steps needed to start your very own beekeeping hobby or business for either fun or profit, perhaps even both.

Bees exist in a colony. Think borg. They are a colony that does whatever the queen needs. Most of the bees in the colony are workers. They do the best part of the labor, collecting nectar, water, and other things needed for the good of the colony. Then, there are drones, and finally the queen. There is only one queen for each colony, and she can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day. If another queen is hatched, she can begin her very own colony.

A colony of bees can have anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 members. The majority of these members are female workers. The life span of these tragic workers is a tad over a month, as they work until they just can’t work any longer. Tragic, I know, but it is the grand scheme of things. There will also be a few hundred male drones. The females will go out of the hive and hunt for supplies to bring back, so in most cases, when you see bees buzzing around, they are almost always female workers.

Your initial step is going to be studying bees, if you don’t already know about the subject. It’s called the science of entomology. Google and review some of the info. Maybe even get a good book on the subject. It will be well worth it. You’ll learn about the different varieties of honeybees, how bees deal with different times of year, and how honey is harvested from the hive.

Beekeeping can be fun and rewarding, if done right. If you are going to keep bees, make sure you get your first set of bees locally, as they are very susceptible to climate changes, and bees from other areas may not fare as well as local ones. A dramatically different environment, can be the death knell of your hive, so be careful with your selection of bees. Picking the right breeder is important. You need to make sure the bees you get are healthy and free from disease. Think in terms of spring as the best time to start your colony. Spring is also the time when harvesting occurs.

For a beginner setup, start with six combs, a fertile queen, and some workers and drones. A moveable frame hive is critical to good beekeeping, and don’t get a used one. You never know what’s been in it, and there is a possibility that it is disease-ridden. Buy new. For yourself, you’ll need protective clothing, including a veil, boiler suit, and gloves. A few more things will be needed, including a smoker, hive tool, and a feeder. This is the basic kit you will need to start your own colony. To see who makes the best equipment, there are various different sites on the Internet where you can read reviews. Once you find a local supplier, look through the products they have and see what other folks are saying.

Harvesting honey is one of the joyous parts of keeping a beehive. There are few things that can compare to raw, unadultered honey straight from the source. You want to make sure that enough honey has been produced during the season so there is extra. You only want to take the surplus, leaving enough for the hive to survive. Depending on the local flora, the honey will have a distinctive taste and aroma. If you are fortunate, the honey produced will not only be tasty, but also unique. This uniqueness will help to sell it, if that is your desire.

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