How to Start Beekeeping

Learning how to start beekeeping will bring huge bonuses not only to your garden, but also to your health and the health of our planet as well.  Bees are crucial to our very survival.  Most of the food we eat has been pollinated by bees, and the fact that many of the bees are now dying off is disturbing to say the least.

That’s why pursuing beekeeping is one of the first steps you should consider when learning to become self sufficient. 

Not only do these wonderful little insects provide you with honey, they also do an amazing job of pollinating your garden. My tomatoes this past summer were nearly twice the size they usually are, and I'm convinced my darling bees were the reason.

So if you're wondering how to start beekeeping, here are a few tips:

Join a Beekeepers Group

One of the best ways to learn how to start beekeeping is to join a beekeepers group. There are beekeeping associations in every state. Google the word beekeepers along with your state, and you'll likely find your state's beekeepers association.  Find a group near you and join it, even if you don't yet have bees.

Not only will you have a great time getting to know other beekeepers, you'll also gain invaluable information from folks who have been there and done that.

Read Up on
How to Start Beekeeping

Reading an excellent resource is an invaluable tool when starting beekeeping. One of the best books available on the topic is Beekeeping For Dummies by Howland Blackiston.

This detailed book covers everything from getting started to dealing with mites and colony collapse disorder. Getting a copy of this book and reading it before you get your bees will help quell any anxiety you may have about handling your little honey producers.

Get a Beekeeper's Suit

Don't scrimp in this area, especially if you are just starting out. There is nothing more discouraging than working with your bees and getting stung. Plus, over time you can also develop an allergy to bee stings. A full beekeeper's suit complete with a hat, veil and gloves is the best way to feel confident and keep the experience a pleasant one.

Get the Proper Equipment

Make sure you have a smoker and a hive tool. Both of these tools are essential.

Get a Hive

Before ordering your bees and learning how to start beekeeping, make sure you have a proper home for your bees before your order them. You will need a hive to house your bees, and the Langstroth hive is the traditional way to go.

You will need a bottom board, a lower deep box (the brood chamber), an upper deep box (the food chamber), and one or two shallow honey supers with which to collect honey.

You will also need an inner cover and a top outer cover. You can order these from beekeeping suppliers or, if you're handy with wood, build your own.

Order Your Bees

The last step (but also the most crucial) in learning how to start beekeeping is to order your bees. You never really learn anything until you try it first hand. Yes, you may make mistakes, but far better to be a real homesteader who has made the occasional goof than to be an armchair homesteader who never accomplishes anything.

Italian bees are the most gentle and the best choice for a beginner. Order your bees from a reputable dealer. The best way to learn of a good source for bees is through your local beekeeping association.

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