Beekeeping 101

Would you love to be a beekeeper? With society switching to a more hands on approach to 6231908274_7122a8bfea_otheir food, beekeeping is making a comeback. Keeping bees is about honey, wax, bee pollen tablets and an organic food that is good for you. While it may seem a bit of a dangerous hobby, it’s actually not if don’t properly. Beekeeping is fun, challenging and quite rewarding at the end of the day. Buying honey from a local breeder can run over $10 for a small container. Being able to go out to your own apiary and have honeycomb and fresh honey anytime you want is priceless. Since one bee can produce over 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey over a six week period, it’s like constant liquid gold.

There are some pros and cons to beekeeping, it’s not all a buzz. While you can get honey from your bees, you also get wax, more appropriately called bee’s wax. This is used in the production of candles and various other products. Suppliers will pay top dollar for this highly desirable form of wax. Did you know even lipsticks and chap sticks are made from wax? If you have a nice size crop of bees, you can certainly make good money. Money is always a plus when doing any type of self-sufficient living.

4642803686_77658dc924_bAnother advantage to those bees is they help to pollinate flowers in the yard. If you want to have lush looking plants that are the envy of all, your bees can help you make that happen. Would you believe that those busy bees are responsible for pollination of $15 billion in added crop value each year? They are especially helpful to almond crops, as well as other fruits and nuts. Because a bee hive does all the work for you, you can make money while you sleep. All you have to do is collect the rewards periodical. You don’t have to feed or water them, and you don’t need a babysitter when you go out of town.

Now setting up a bee colony is going to be a little costly. You will need to have the proper equipment, otherwise known as a bee keeper’s suit. You will also need the hives, as this is the production center. Hives come in all shapes and sizes, and the bigger hive you want, the more it is going to cost. The average hive costs about $150. You will also need to invest in a smoker, this will be beneficial when collecting the honey. The initial investment will be about $300-$500 for an average size crop. There are many companies that offer a package kit that can help save you a great deal of money.6138321856_cee6d267b0_o

The first year of bee keeping is always a rough one. New colonies don’t always take off the best. You are still learning how to do things and will make mistakes. It’s a learning experience and practice makes perfect. Don’t fret over a low production of honey, it will come with time. Another thing to consider is that you will get stung. If you are allergic to bees, it’s probably not the best hobby for you. Despite all efforts to smoke the bees and suiting up for protection, there can be one that gets through all the gear. While it’s nothing you have to be fearful of, be prepared for the occasional sting or two.

Connect with local beekeepers in the area for support. There are more around you than what you think. Some might even sell you some bees to get you started. Get the whole family involved. Children love watching the apiaries come to life and seeing the honey they produce. It also helps them to overcome most children’s paralyzing fear of the little bee.