Beekeeping is a really easy task to undertake and if you’ve heard otherwise, you should disregard it.
The thought of keeping your own bees is a pretty interesting one especially since it actually involves quite a bit of excitement. This article covers the basics that you need to know on your quest to keep bees in your backyard.
Whether you’re a homesteader, a backyard beekeeper, small farmer or you just took up farming as a hobby, the vital knowledge that you need is right here.
Also, after setting up and maintaining your hive, you can easily make your own honey, propolis, and royal jelly.
However, before starting out on this adventure, there are a number of factors that you need to consider. Factors such as the nature of your home, proximity of the hive to your house, your neighbors and your own level of preparedness.
If you know there are no issues with any of these factors mentioned, then here are the steps that you need to become a successful backyard beekeeper.
- Study Up On Bees
Knowledge is very critical when it comes to beekeeping. This is because this venture is a pretty sensitive one and usually requires that you know exactly what to do per time.
You can get your basic bee knowledge from books or even reputable beekeeping blogs on the internet. When you know exactly what to do, then you can be certain that you would have no issues setting up your hives on the right foot.
Apart from the basics, you should do a little more advanced research so that you are already aware of what is going to happen before it occurs.
In addition, bees are very sensitive insects and demand certain conditions for them to thrive, reading up would open your eyes to all of this. It’s important to get educated before starting backyard beekeeping.
- Prepare the Proposed Location
Preparing the proposed location for the beehives goes beyond cleaning up or clearing debris that may be present. While this is of course quite important, another aspect that you need to consider is one that affects their production of honey.
Bees make their nests on their own naturally, and then extract nectar from flowers which are then brought back to the comb and hive. When it arrives at the hive, the transformation then begins.
Therefore, the availability of base materials for producing honey is very essential. The closer these base materials are to the hive, the between your chances of getting a significant quantity of honey at the end of the day.
If there are no flowers or plants around your house for bees to get nectar from, you need to make provision for them.
- Identify Other Beekeepers In the Neighborhood
Beekeeping, similar to other ventures in agriculture, usually has certain details that are completely specific to your local area.
As a potential beekeeper, you might not be privy to this information and you would most likely not get it on the internet. This is where linking up with other beekeepers in the neighborhood comes in.
Already established beekeepers most likely have certain knowledge as well as vital tips that would be very essential for the success of your hives.
Drawing on local resources such as having someone come check on your hive to make sure that you are doing the right thing is a recipe for success.
Along this line, you can also find a mentor who would guide you through and help you avoid pitfalls.
- Set Up Your Hive
In order to keep bees, you would need a hive. Under natural conditions, bees build their own hives, especially when they are in the wild.
Usually, they prefer areas that are shaded such as a hollow tree trunk or some other outfit. However, as a backyard beekeeper, you would need to provide the hive by yourself so that you can help them maintain the colony and easily harvest your honey.
Knowing how much honey each hive can contain is very vital knowledge. These hives are man-made, so you can easily determine how much honey to expect.
There are a number of hive options, Langstroth and top-bar hives are the most common. Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. Like most things in beekeeping, many beekeepers will tell you that their way – and their hive – is the only way to go.
Find your local bee club, more towns have one, or contact your county Agricultural Extension agent for more information on hive options and bee keeping.
Are you a backyard bee keeper? We would love to hear about your experiences. Leave us a comment below.