It’s understandable to begin considering beekeeping as a potentially profitable hobby or career, especially when considering that the retail price of honey has nearly doubled since 2006. Research gathered from the USDA in 2014 reported that the number of honeybee colonies managed by humans has reached record highs not seen in 20 years. Whether for fun or profit, there are beekeeping tips that every beginning beekeeper should know. Considering that, here are five tips every beginning beekeeper will want to learn.
- Invest in Quality Equipment
One of the important beekeeping basics is to have the right equipment. With that in mind, it’s important to find beekeeper hats and other items from a reputable supplier. It’s understandable that certain beginning beekeepers are looking to spend as little as possible to begin this hobby. Considering that, you’ll want to consider looking into the option of purchasing used beekeeping supplies. This enables you to find beekeeper hats and outfits at potentially lower overall prices.
- Research Bees
Many people find it important to learn the basics about bees before owning them. If you plan on having bees for the purpose of honey making, you’ll want to understand how these animals behave. An essential aspect of beekeeping for beginners is overcoming a natural fear many have of flying animals. Considering that, learning about honeybees is likely to make you feel more comfortable around them the first few times.
- Consider Owning Two Separate Colonies
While you’ll pay a bit more upfront, many beginning beekeepers find it wise to have two colonies. In turn, this allows the beekeepers to compare various techniques in order to find out what works best. This is especially beneficial in the event that you need to transfer bees from one area to the other in order to further strengthen a colony. Also, this allows you to have a backup colony in the event that something causes the other population to completely perish. This tip is especially wise to follow for those looking to profit from their honeybees.
- Inspect Hive at Least Once a Week
You might find yourself surprised by how quickly bee colonies can grow. With that in mind, it’s important to ensure that these areas are inspected at least once per week. In turn, this helps to ensure that population levels per area are kept in control. If you see anything out of the ordinary, you’ll want to check the health of the bee population. One helpful hint for accomplishing this is to check the health of the queen.
- Be Patient Before Harvesting
If you’re using bees for the purpose of making honey, it’s important to be patient. Many experts recommend letting a honeybee colony exist untouched for nearly a year before harvesting honey. That being said, you’ll also want to consider that these bees are going to feed on the honey they’ve helped to create. Therefore, you’ll want to always remember to leave a certain amount of honey back for the bees. Neglecting to do this can cause your honeybees to begin dying due to starvation.
In closing, there are several tips that beginning beekeepers will want to follow. Statistics from 2014 found that were nearly 2.7 million honeybee colonies in operation throughout the United States. Following the previously mentioned tips will help ensure that your colony continues to thrive. If you’re ready to begin beekeeping, it’s wise to know a reliable supplier. In turn, this ensures you’re able to order everything you need from beekeeper hats to complete beekeeping kits.