If you’ve ever wanted to harvest your own honey and take care of bees, then you need to keep reading! We’ve rounded up some of the best tips and tricks on how to start beekeeping if you’re just getting started.
Of course, if you have decided to become a beekeeper, you will need some essential equipment to help you on your journey. Now let’s take a look at some of this equipment! The very first thing you will need to do is do your research and make sure you have some money up front to get started. Some gear to get you started should include protective clothing and feeding supplies. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you should also start looking at where you are going to buy your bees since most places don’t have bees for sale by the time spring is underway. January is the time to order your bees for shipping or pick up in April or May. Our final recommendation for your beekeeping needs is to join your local beekeeping association. It will be one of your best ongoing resources to move forward in your journey.
You need a hive system
You might be wondering what a hive system is? Well, that’s exactly what it sounds like. A hive system is where your bees will live, grow and produce honey! There are two main systems used in beekeeping. The first is called the Langstroth hive, and it is made up of boxes stacked on top of each other, each containing frames where bees build their comb and store honey. What’s great about this system is that you just pull the boxes out like drawers to access the bees, harvest the honey, and perform regular maintenance tasks. Additionally, you can also add boxes vertically if your hive needs more space. The second hive system option is called a top bar hive, where the bee frames are arranged horizontally, not vertically. Bees make foundationless combs in this system. Each bar, containing comb and honey, is removed from the hive from the top rather than the sides. You will need to choose the system that suits your needs.
You also need to decide what type of bees will work best for you. Some things you need to consider when making this decision are things like your experience that you have or don’t have, the resilience they will need, their production output, and where you live. Here are some of the best bee species for beginners:
- Western/European Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera) – Most domesticated, natural resilience to its environment, good honey production
- Italian Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera Ligustica) – Known for its gentle nature and high honey production
- The Gray/Carniolan Bee (Apis Mellifera Carnica) – Gentle in nature and easy to work with, good weather resistance
Is beekeeping right for me?
At the end of the day, you should almost create a business plan for your beekeeping trip. Have a plan for everything and find local support when things go wrong. Beekeeping is a science and an art, so you can’t expect to get used to it overnight, but with the right tools, it’s something anyone can do!
This article is brought to you by CKP Insurance which offers beekeeping insurance services. If you’re considering getting into the world of beekeeping, it’s important to have a fiduciary insurance agency that only knows your business, but wants to protect it as much as you do!
“Those who expect more choose CKP”
We have what you need
Agents at Beekeeping Insurance Services (a branch of CKP Insurance) specialize in working with beekeepers to maximize their use of available federal programs. CKP invests time in understanding your needs and developing a strategy that will produce the best hedging results. The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) Beekeeping Insurance Program (API) is designed to provide insurance coverage for your colonies. When you purchase coverage under this program, you are protected against losses due to lack of rain. The payment of losses is determined on the basis of the precipitation index, which is a complete set of data on the amounts of precipitation throughout the country. Since the indemnity is not calculated based on actual agricultural production, claims can be handled automatically without the need for adjusters.