How to Get into Beekeeping
Bees are one of the most important insects on the planet. They keep plants pollinated and not to mention they make this amazing food called honey. Have you ever thought of getting bees? Nowadays, lots of people, even those who live in big cities or neighborhoods are getting bees. Bees are fascinating and can be kept by people of all ages. If you’ve thought of getting bees, here’s a few tips on how to get started.
- Check your local ordinances to make sure it’s okay to have beehives. As beehives are becoming more and more common, city ordinances and HOA’s are allowing them more than they have in the past. If you live in the country, having bees isn’t usually an issue.
- Do some research. Grab a book on beekeeping. Watch some YouTube channels or better yet, take a beginner’s beekeeping class from someone local. This will help you understand the basics of beekeeping.
- Plan ahead! The best way to get into bees is to buy a nuc. This is 5 frames of bees that include the queen, eggs, larvae, brood and some honey as food for them. Normally, you need to pre-order nucs around December and January from your local apiary and you will pick them up around March or April depending on your climate.
- Buy supplies. You’ll need a beehive. This would include a brood box with 10 frames and at least two honey supers with 10 frames each. You’ll also need a queen excluder, bee suit, smoker, hive tool, and gloves if you want them.
Getting into bees is a bit of a financial investment, but after your hives are established you can get around 50 pounds of honey per hive each year. As far as time goes, plan on checking on setting aside time to check your hives once a week or at least every other week from April-November.
There is definitely a learning curve to getting bees, but there are so many amazing resources out there to help you. And I promise, it is worth it! Bees have been one of the most fascinating homesteading things I have ever done. I look forward each week to checking on my hives.