Welcome! Beekeeping is a rewarding hobby, both for you and for the health of our ecosystem, and like many hobbies, there is a lot to learn to get the most out of your experience.
Here are some quick tips for getting started:
- First, make sure there are no local ordinances or restrictions that would prevent you from legally keeping bees on your property.
- It is usually a good idea to let your neighbors know about your new hobby so they aren't surprised if they notice a few more bees in their garden.
- Make sure you take the proper precautions if there is anyone in your family or in the vicinity who may be allergic to bee stings. Wearing a bee suit will reduce the likelihood of stings, but it's wise to prepare for the worst and have a plan for what to do if someone gets stung. This may include getting an Epi Pen and determining the quickest route to a hospital in case of allergy.
- Be sure to order your bees from a reputable supplier, and plan to get your bees during the spring (which is the primary selling season).
- Make sure to get your beehive and all your equipment set up prior to ordering your bees. Set up your hive and optional Hive Stand on a level, compacted surface so that there is no risk of the hive falling over later on. Try to get your bees and start your hive as early as possible in the spring. This allows your bees to build their colony and population prior to the summer, when they will then be busy gathering pollen.
- Finally, the very best thing you can do to be successful is to join a Bee Association. These groups of beekeepers are highly knowledgeable about best beekeeping practices, and if you join a local association, the members can also help point you in the right direction on all the nuances of your area, where to get bees, what flowers work best in your climate, and so on. Here are some links to help you find an association in your area:
- The American Beekeeping Federation also has some helpful resources available to those just getting started: http://www.abfnet.org/?page=34
We're so glad you have decided to take up this wonderful activity. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any further questions!