Tips and Tricks for Becoming a Successful Beekeeper
Beekeeping is an excellent hobby to start as a new homeowner; however, there are countless contradicting opinions when it comes to beekeeping. You’ll probably get hundreds of different answers if you ask fellow beekeepers the same question. As a result, starting strong can be incredibly difficult for a beginner. With plenty of research, education, and a few tips and tricks, you’ll become a successful beekeeper before you know it.
The Bees Come First
The first step to becoming a good beekeeper is learning everything you possibly can about honeybees. You should understand honeybee biology, tendencies, and purpose before you dig into the fascinating world of beekeeping. The better you know the bees, the better you’ll be at caring for them and doing your part to protect their population.
Don’t Expect Loads of Honey Right Away
Many new beekeepers expect to harvest honey during their first year, but you shouldn’t rush it. The first season is difficult for a new colony, and they’re working to build up their food stores to survive the winter. If you take honey from the hive in the beginning stages, you’ll risk losing your entire colony to starvation during the winter.
Perform Regular Hive Inspections
Hive inspections are perhaps the most intimidating thing for a new beekeeper, but they’re vital for ensuring a healthy colony. Although less frequent inspections are the norm for established colonies, new colonies may require checkups every ten days or so.
You’ll open the hive and remove each frame to check for a stable population. You should also check on the brood, honey, and mites. Your checkups might take longer to start, but they’ll go faster as you gain more experience. Understanding common honeybee issues and how to fix them will make your inspections more productive, and you’ll be able to save your colony before it’s too late.
Plant Bee-Friendly Trees and Flowers
Bees get nectar and pollen from plants in their surrounding areas. The shorter distance your bees need to travel to find nectar and pollen, the more likely they are to make it back to the hive. If you plant bee-friendly trees and flowers, you’ll help your colony build its food supply and increase its population.
Bees Need Water
Believe it or not, bees need water, too. You shouldn’t assume your colony will find water for themselves; instead, provide a water source for them nearby. Consider lining a shallow container with stones and filling it with water to create a bee bath. Be sure not to fill above the stones, as they’re places for the bees to rest while they drink.
Like homeownership, beekeeping is a new adventure that comes with joy and hardship. With these tips and tricks for becoming a successful beekeeper, you’ll have a head start on your journey. No matter why you’re doing it, you should be proud to do your part to protect and support your local bee population.