"Keeping Bees Can Be Easy!"
Dear Friend:My name is Jeff Morgan and I'd like to welcome you to the BeeKeeping Starter Guide
Have you ever wondered how difficult it is to start beekeeping? Well I'm here to tell you it's not only not difficult, but it doesn't cost much money either. It's a very safe, fun, and worthwile hobby or business.
Keeping bees is becoming a very popular hobby not only with those who live in the country, but in recent years the number of urban beekeepers has been on the increase. Our food supply relies heavily on the lowly honey bee (Apis Melifera) to pollinate over 150 different crops across the country and while commercial bee farms provide the largest percentage of bees to help with this, those who have begun keeping bees in small colonies in their gardens and back yards are doing their part.
Before You Buy Your First Bee
If you are serious about beekeeping you need to have a basic understanding of bees and how their colony works. Bees are one of the most social insects in the world and live together in very large social groups that are very well organized. In these colonies you will observe organization that you will not see in many of the thousands of other species of insects. Everything from construction, communication, defense, environmental control and the total division of all labor is carefully controlled.
The average honey bee colony consists of three very distinct classes of adult bees, they are the workers, the drones and of course the queen bee that rules over the entire colony. It is the worker bee's job to take care of all of the various tasks within the colony from bringing pollen and food in, to construction and defense. Each worker has an assigned job within the colony and this is all he does. The job of the drone bees is to fertilize the Queen and perpetuate the colony with new bees; once this is done they are forced out of the hive to die.
While it might not look like there is much to getting started in beekeeping, most people are very surprised to learn that there is somewhat more to it than they realize. One of the first steps you must take before you begin looking seriously at building or buying your first hive is to check your local laws to make sure that there are none that will prevent you from investing in what can be a very profitable pastime.
Once you have made sure that your neighbors are not going to haul you into court for indulging in your new passion, you will need to start by looking for the right equipment to get the ball rolling. Your bees are going to need a home, obviously in beekeeping this is referred to as a hive even though it is a wooden structure and not one made by the bees as they would in the wild. The hive can sit directly on the ground or be placed on a stand depending on your personal tastes; it does not affect the bees but will keep the floor from rotting. If you are going to place your hive on a stand you build the stand in such a way as to slope gently allowing rainwater to run off the floor. The front of your hive will be open providing a takeoff and landing area for the bees.
A standard hive comes in four different depths and should be purchased based on how big you want your colony to grow and how much weight you can lift. The full depth hive stand 9 5/8 inches high and is perfect for using honey supers in with plenty of room for your bees to move around in. Once it is full, this size of hive can weigh as much as 60 pounds.
You will find that there are many different styles of hive, traditionally they have always been made from wood, but in recent years plastic hives have been becoming popular. While easier to maintain plastic hives tend to warp in the under the hot sun and many of them do not block the light well enough. Plastic also does not breathe and this can make the inside of the hive too damp depending on the design.
Starting Your Colony
You will find that there are several different ways to start beekeeping; you can buy packages of bees, buy what is known as a nuc or nucleus of bees or buy an established colony. If you are brave you can remove a colony of wild bees from a tree or cavity in a wall or you can try collecting a wild swarm. For the average person who is just getting start keeping bees the safest way to get started is to buy your bees in a nuc or in packages.
One word of caution however, you should be very careful when buying a nuc or an established colony as you could easily end up with a diseased colony. Once you install your new bees in the hive you will need to feed them sugar syrup for the first few days and keep them trapped in the hive until they have begun to build their colony, you will see larvae and eggs in the frames. At this point your hive has begun to establish itself and you can let your bees out to begin foraging for nectar and pollen. At this point you are on your way to a good start in your new hobby of beekeeping.
Feel free to browse the links on this site for more information about keeping bees, or signup for my 10-part eCourse below, where you'll receive one lesson per day in your email box.
- Are you ready for backyard beekeeping?
- When is a good time to visit your honeybees?
- 4 sure-fire ways to establish a good relationship with your neighbors!
- Watch out for THESE when you order bees!
- Avoid bee stings like a PRO !
- How to inspect any beehive with CONFIDENCE!
- Avoid DISASTERS when moving a beehive!
- The reasons for Swarming
- Much, much more!
To get this amazing one-of-a-kind beekeeping eCourse, simply fill out the box below, and we’ll instantly deliver your first lesson in your email inbox right away!
All the best,