Do you have a dream of being a beekeeper? Then read this article to learn some important tips. If you have been thinking about becoming a beekeeper, then here are ten steps that will help you decide if it’s right for you.
Why do you want to become a beekeeper?
Before going any further, first ask yourself, “Why do I want to become a beekeeper?” Is it for the warm, fuzzy feelings of community outreach you feel when you see bees? Or is it because bee pollination can boost crop yields and boost our food supply? It could also be that you love the idea of working with your hands and tinkering with nature.
Don’t be afraid to get stung!
Bees sting to defend their home, so you must know how to safely manipulate the hive. Bees have a barbed stinger that tears from their abdomens when they sting. This tears their innards and kills them in the process. They also emit an alarm pheromone whenever they sting, summoning other bees to defend the hive. In order to master this delicate art of beekeeping, you must learn when and when not to interfere with your bees. You will get stung from time to time, but after a while, you will get used to it, and it won’t feel so bad anymore.
Be prepared for hard work
Beekeeping is not for the faint of heart. It requires hard work and dedication. On average, you can expect to spend eight hours a week on your hive inspections during the active honey flow season. The rest of the year will require less attention, but some attention must be paid at all times; an unchecked hive will quickly become a problem hive.
Beekeeping requires a special aptitude
Beekeeping is a skill that can take years to master. Do not expect to just read a few books and then go out and harvest honey with ease every season! It takes time, practice, patience, and dedication — most of all persistence. If you love bees then this shouldn’t bother you because it means that becoming a beekeeper is something worth doing. However, if you are impatient or don’t have self-discipline then perhaps beekeeping isn’t for you.
It takes dedication to become a good beekeeper
Beekeeping is much like any other hobby. The more effort you put into it, the more rewards you reap. You must practice your skills regularly; the only way to hone your craft is through experience and regular training. You will make mistakes and come across some very frustrating moments. Furthermore, you must be patient and learn from your mistakes; the more you learn, the better beekeeper you will become!
Be prepared to give up your spare time
Beekeeping takes time and dedication. Many people say that you should give up many of your spare hours to beekeeping, and in a way this is true. However, beekeeping does not require constant attention like raising children or working a full-time job. It does demand regular inspections and some work during the busy honey flow period (approx 4-6 weeks). The rest of the year it will require less attention, but still, some attention must be paid at all times; an unchecked hive will quickly become a problem hive.
Be prepared for the expense
Beekeeping gear can be quite expensive, especially if you buy beginner equipment from one source. A single medium super with accessories costs around $50 retail price in the United States. This doesn’t include the cost of beekeeping clothing, extracting equipment, and boxes (to hold new bees). The costs can easily top $300 for just a few items. If you are serious about keeping bees, then it is best to plan ahead and be budget conscious — this way you won’t be caught off guard by large expenses at the start. You should also check the pros and cons and see what works best for you.
Be prepared to work your bees during the honey flow
One of the most rewarding aspects of beekeeping is watching your hives grow in strength over time. However, this must be balanced with honey production needs. A good balance is providing enough space for your bees to store some surplus honey, but not too much that they swarm or become aggressive because there isn’t enough room in your hive. This is something that takes time and practice to get right.
Beekeeping is a rewarding and fascinating hobby. It takes time and practice to learn and perfect the art of beekeeping, but once you get in a groove it can be both exciting and profitable. If you are ready for this commitment, then I encourage you to give beekeeping a try. Good luck!