Welcome to the second article in this series titled as “Tips for Beginners #2”. I personally wish that somebody shared this info with me when I was starting! Knowing right tings will prevent you from spinning in circles!
If you already asserted that a location which is available to you is fulfilling mentioned conditions, that your location is rich in pollen and nectar-rich herbs and trees then your new step would be to chose type of supers which would be easiest for you to work with.
I personally am working with LR (Langstroth) supers, but there are plenty of other designs and working with them will differ also with jobs which are required to be done by beekeeper. But that doesn’t mean that you should follow my example, there are other types of supers with benefits and flaws. Make sure to do your own research so you can chose what would be best for you.
Practical Tips for Beginners #2
Research and practice showed that entrances of your colonies should be turned to face rising sun, because sooner as bees notice morning sunlight (and temperature reaches required height) they will start slowly flying out. During summers they will sometimes start working at dawn too! Why is this important? Well, sooner they start working, more resources they will gather! Make sure that they are not exposed too much. If you expose them too much, strong winds can be lethal.
Did you ever wonder why beekeepers don’t paint all of supers in same color? Without a doubt, it is good idea to paint neighboring colonies with different colors. Especially if they are close with different colors, to help bees differentiate between them. Otherwise, drones will alter between colonies, and very likely spread unwanted pests and diseases.
Do not keep supers on ground, elevate them from ground. They should be elevated by least by half a meter (1,5 foot). This will prevent mice and other unwanted imposters to prey on your bees and their hive. Furthermore, it would protect your colonies from being flooded in periods of heavy rainfall.
If there are no sources of water in area, construct one for your bees. Bucket, plank and tap would do the trick. Your honeybees need water. Of course, they are consuming it, and it helps them to regulate temperature in hive as well as to harvest pollen and nectar easier during dry periods.
Set up hornet traps, it will work against flies too! Trim grass in front of your supers on a regular basis! Spiders use tall grass to spread their traps which will prove deadly to your scouts and harvesters. It is also needed to keep grass underneath supers trimmed as it prevents spreading of illnesses.
Make sure to work suited! No matter how much you are resistant to honeybee venom, difference can be in just a few more stings! It’s simply not worth it.
Start easy, with just 2-3 supers! It will take at least 1 whole season for you to learn properly what you should be doing with your colonies. Buying too many at start will just be too much to handle for a beginner. But definitely get more than 1, so you can learn to be flexible. Books will only teach you how to sort out certain problems, and roughly when to do what. Since each colony is unique their needs will differ as well, so you need to learn to differentiate between colonies!
Do NOT over-invest, because it will sometimes require several years to return initial investments. First year just buy equipment which you REALLY need. This is important for all people that are looking for financial gains. In this way you are making sure that investments do not lead you into huge minus.
Honey is just one of honeybees products. Just because you learnt how to harvest honey it doesn’t mean that you should stop there. There is still plenty more ways to earn money, slowly learn how to harvest everything, one thing at a time.
Third set of tips can be found on following link.