Do you love honey? Would you like to find a way to produce your own honey whenever you want? If so, then keeping bees in your own backyard may be the perfect hobby for you. More and more people are discovering just how rewarding it can be to have a hive of bees living on their property.
However, before you get started, you need to take the time to learn the basics. Starting beekeeping is not something that you can do on a whim. You need to prepare so that you are ready to face the challenges that await you.
The first step is to learn the basics by sitting down with a good introductory book on the subject. The more research that you do before you begin, the better prepared you will be. “The Backyard Beekeeper” and “First Lessons in Beekeeping” are good places to start. You can find these at your local library, or order your own copy.
There may be a beekeeping group in your area that can also provide you with a great deal of assistance. Talking to someone who has experience with bees can be quite helpful. “Bee Culture” magazine has a list of local beekeeping associations that you can look at to see if there is one nearby.
Before you invest any time and money in this hobby, you also need to make sure that you are allowed to keep bees on your property. While hives are allowed in many areas, there are also towns and cities that have banned them. You need to make sure that you will not be violating any regulations by having a hive.
Even if you are allowed to keep bees, you still need to make sure that you are in compliance with any local ordinances. For example, you may be limited to a certain number of hives. You may also have to make sure that the hives are kept far enough away from any neighboring homes.
A new hive should be started in the spring for the best results. At this time of year, bees are just starting to wake up from their winter naps. By starting in spring, you give them the best chance of having enough time to establish a hive that can thrive for the rest of the year.
Bees need to have an open flight path in and out of the hive so that they can go and forage. A high fence will block them and make them go out of their way. Also, be sure to have a source of water nearby so that they have someplace to go and get a drink.
In addition, you will need to make sure that you have the right gear on hand for starting beekeeping. At a minimum, you will need a bee suit with hood and gloves to protect you from stings. You also need sturdy, well-constructed hives to provide adequate shelter for the bees. With these on hand, you will be able to take your first steps into the exciting world of keeping bees!