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4 Ideas For Getting Started In Beekeeping

Do something sweet for yourself: Give beekeeping a try.

Becoming a backyard beekeeper means you'll help boost pollinators in your area, at least temporarily. In time, you'll have your own honey source, you'll learn tons about the fascinating world of bees, and you'll help a portion of nature that has faced recent perils.

It's a possibly profitable hobby, too.

Demand for locally-sourced honey is on the rise. Whether you sell some of your ware or give it as gifts, once you establish a thriving hive, it won't cost a lot to package and distribute your honey. It's a good home-based business to tap into, especially in these times.

    Interesting facts about bees
  • Bees have five eyes.
  • All worker bees are female. They clean the hive, collect pollen and nectar to feed the colony and care for offspring.
  • Honey bees are more prolific worldwide than any type of pollinating insects.
  • Bees have branched hairs called scopae on their legs. They collect pollen on their scopae, which passes between plants to fertilize them.

Getting started in beekeeping

1. Research what your community allows
Home-owners association regulations and local laws might stand in the way of your beekeeping dreams, or at least limit the number of hives you keep.

Check with your neighborhood and town before you invest in gear - you might also need to pay an annual registration fee and register your apiary locations. Beekeepers set up shop in back yards, city roof-tops, out in the country … wherever conditions are favorable.

That includes safe spots for both bees and neighbors, who might have concerns about your hobby. (A promise of a jar of honey at some point is usually enough to negotiate!)

2. Be prepared with the right equipment
There are a few beekeeping must-haves.

It's more than just getting frames and beehive boxes. Other gear is more important for safe, successful hives. You can also get a beekeeper starter kit to cover it all.

It's used to keep bees fed without having to fly out and find their own nectar. In a bee box, it'll take up one frame.

It's used to loosen and separate frames in the bee box. Most beekeepers keep more than one.

When used correctly, it can calm your bees and keep you from getting stung. A small smoker is sufficient for a couple of hives. Choose a larger model for apiaries of four or more hives. Use smoker fuel, or use dry pine needles to produce cool, white smoke for your bees.

3. Now that your beehive box is set up, get yourself ready
It's one thing to outfit your yard or beekeeping space - now it's time to outfit yourself.

A bee suit and veil will help protect you from stings. Tuck your sleeves into your gloves and your pants into your socks. This can keep small portions of skin from becoming exposed as you work. Bees signal others to danger by secreting an alarm pheromone when they sting. Wash after every sting to help avoid getting stung again!

Note: For extra protection, wrap your ankles and wrists with athletic tape to keep gloves, sleeves and pant legs in place.

Ready to start keeping your own bees?
The first year is the toughest, they say.

Don't get discouraged if you're not hauling in honey by the barrel! Stick with it, and be patient with yourself and your bees. With a dedication to learning all you can about beekeeping, you can find a lot of enjoyment in your new hobby - and some delicious honey down the road.

Come to your friendly neighborhood Agri Supply for all you need to get started in beekeeping. Compare and save!


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