If you are considering a beekeeping, as a side income, let me tell you right away, –it’s worth it! Most of your seasons would go bad, especially in beginning due to climate changes. But do not allow yourself to get discouraged by that. I am here to give you “Tips for Beginners #1” to set you at the right track. Trust me when I say it, one good season is sufficient enough to return you back several years of investment.
Even if you are not interested into it from commercial aspect, beekeeping would still be unique, beneficial and healthy hobby. I am getting more and more complaints from people around the world about fake honey. They keep saying that it is hard it to buy real honey. Well then, try it out yourself. With such high demand you can also earn some money!
Here are, though, few tips on which you should pay attention before finding out if beekeeping is your thing.
General Tips for Beginners #1
First and foremost is to know if you are allergic to bee stings. By it I do not mean one sting, but at least several to dozen at once! Because, well accidents happen. Either it happens that you forgot to stitch that last rupture on your suit, or bees found their way under your suit or any other reason. Do know, this will happen to almost all beekeepers at least once in their lifetime. Hence knowing if you can take dozen stings or not, can mean difference between death, or just an itchy burn followed by: “ufff”!
Location, location location! Do not neglect too look up your environment in region of at least 2 miles (3 kilometers). Because honeybees will harvest in that radius distance from their hives. They actually will venture bit further, but its not economical neither for them nor beekeeper. Look up, which herbs and blossoms do honeybees visit for nectar and pollen, and how beneficial are they. Bottom line is that you MUST have in that radius span enough of food for honeybees! Otherwise, your colonies would need constant feeding, and that is not economical. Furthermore, location of your apiary, should be out of city noise, because bees hate noise.
Shouldn’t be near farms or orchard if their owners are using pesticides . Must keep at least 2-3 miles distance from them, with rich pollen and nectar sources in range of your bee colonies, so that your bees wouldn’t even be interested in those polluted blossoms. And that they are physically far enough from them, because dry seasons aren’t rare thing, and hunger would force your bees to look for food bit further.
Learning is a must to all beekeepers, especially to beginners.
Theoretical and practical part alike! Those who are not interested in spending days in front of books, magazines, watching lectures can stop right now. Because to understand complex life of a honeybee community you need to spend days and days of reading as well as engage into practical part (easiest to ask other beekeeper for at least) few days of tuition. Each season would require from you a different approach, but do not get discouraged, persistency is a key!
Record/write down and keep track situation of each colony you have. Keep track of its food, of its brood, of space. Because if they lack one of those they will split and half of your honeybees under new leadership will go into wild. Keep track of each colonies behavior, categorize them. Are they good workers, harvesters, are they good or sloppy slow builders of hives, so that you know from which queens would you want to produce more queens. Keep track of everything, it is crucial even to know when your new queen will emerge from its chamber! Once again, writing is must, because as number of your colonies grows so will grow your incapability to remember situation in each.
In conclusion, beekeeping is one of most relaxing, natural jobs which you can have. And profit is not bad either, but this is job/hobby which do require full engagement from you. Do not expect profit very next year! Sometimes it takes several years just to return your investments, but patience pays off!