Congratulations on your decision to begin beekeeping. You might be asking yourself or others Is beekeeping hard? It can be. There will certainly be a learning curve with beekeeping as there is with any new skill. This article will break down some of the lessons in beekeeping that can help reduce the curve.
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Lessons To Make Beekeeping Less Hard
1.Build Your Own Hive
You might think building your own beehive frame is the way to go. You’d probably think it would save you a significant amount of money even though it will take time to build it.
However, the wood itself, such as the pine shelving will cost more than you probably think and it’s often cheaper and easier to buy the boxes pre-built.
You can get box frames here from Amazon.
If you already have all of the supplies, then that might make sense. You might want to avoid the do it yourself build.
2. Build from an Established Hive
Find someone that has a strong hive. Ask them to split some frames out with you that already have honey. The package bees don’t have as much of a chance of survival.
3. Watch out for Hive Beetles!
Get the right hive beetle trap. Put a little bit of vegetable oil or mineral oil in the trap. Don’t fill it too high. The trap needs to be flush with the top bars so the beetles don’t hide under it. Here’s a video that shows you what else you can do to identify and get rid of hive beetles.
4. Take a Beekeeping Class
There are beekeeping discussion groups on social media, but it’s better to learn from a mentor or a beekeeping class in your area. Beekeepers love help and will gladly bring you in and mentor you provided you dive in and help.
Google your city or state and look up “beekeeping association” in X (your area).
Many beginning beekeepers kill their hives because they don’t take the time to learn how to keep bees.
5. Avoid Buying a Shipped Bee Package
Ordering a queen is fine, but ordering shipped bees is very risky. You may have to drive a few hours to pick up bees, but it’s highly recommended.
You might want to consider catching a swarm.
6. Treat for Varroa Mites
You can use an organic method to treat for varroa mites. Varroa mites feed off the blood and tissue of the bees. Unfortunately, mites can kill bee colonies.
7. Don’t Drip the Water Bottle
When you put the water bottle into the front feeder of the bee package, turn the bottle over away from the package and let any drippage occur before adding it to the feeder.
This will help avoid attracting ants.
8. Don’t Open the Hive too Often
Opening your hive once per week is going to be OK. You are going to be exited about your hive and should be. Just don’t over do it.
9. Feed your Bees!
Feeding honey to packaged bees is not necessarily recommended.
10. Wear Protective Clothing
If you are highly sensitive to bees, you could go into shock and face injury and even death. You may not know if you are sensitive at first. Wear the beekeeping suits, veils, and gloves and protect yourself.
11. Take Action on Swarming Cells
You may need to split your hives up if you see swarming. You may need to cut the queen cells out.
12. Don’t Be Impatient
You probably won’t be harvesting honey the first year. You’ll need to be patient and grow your hives.
13. Start with More Than One Hive
You’ll want to start with two hives. Queens will behave differently. If your queen isn’t performing, your hive won’t flourish.