Where to start
Beekeeping is such a rewarding hobby as well as a learning experience. This page is dedicated to the basic initial stepping stones when deciding to become a beekeeper.
Once you’ve decided that you are going to give beekeeping a chance, you’ll want to educate yourself on how honey bees work. This is recommended because through education, you’ll understand how your hive is behaving and what it is that you’re looking at. Besides, it’s always best to do your homework on something before just diving into it. It is recommended to find a mentor or a local bee club. You can learn a lot and have someone to ask questions about your hives.
A few questions to keep in mind is how many hives you’ll want to start out with. Several people can only afford one hive, however, two hives is a great way to start simply because between the two, you can observe and compare them.
Another question might be where you are going to place your hive. It is highly advised to check with your city’s ordinances first. Some cities will allow you to keep a certain number of hives in the city limits where others will not. As general information, you’ll want to pick a place that is easily accessible as well as a nice sunny spot for the bees. Honey bees love the sun and are able to produce better in natural sunlight. You will also want to make sure you can easily access the hive for inspections.
Before purchasing bees, you’ll want to have your hives and tools ready beforehand. The typical bee hive looks like a white box with frames in it. However, the Langstroth hive as it is called, comes in different sizes. Usually either a 10 frame hive box or an 8 frame hive box. You can generally purchase these hive boxes in a kit that will come with the necessary tools needed to start. A starter kit will usually include:
- A smoker – the smoke will usually calm the bees down.
- Hive tool – this is used for everything when tending to bees.
- Frames – these are used by the bees to store food or eggs.
- Hive box (sizes varies)
- Bee suit – generally sold separately but just as important to have.
There are many other tools used for beekeeping, however these are the basics to start.
If you are concerned on where to go to purchase tools like these, you can find many of them online. Natural Apiary is one that offers bee suits as well as gloves.