Will you be a Beekeeper or a Beehaver. I see way to often new beekeepers getting bees thinking they only have to buy the hive and equipment and put it in the back yard or field. Then come back in the fall to collect the honey. Yes, some hives might succeed initially but unfortunately only about 20% or less left on their own survive one year, and even less after the second year. Given the challenges the bees face today. Not good odds Unless you’re willing to spend over a $100 each year for more bees.
Let’s begin by asking a couple of questions:
1.What are your Goals in keeping bees?
2. Why are you interested in beekeeping?
The common phrase that is often quoted when a group of Beekeepers meet to discuss beekeeping goes. “If you put 10 beekeepers in a room to talk about managing bees. You’ll get 11 passionate methods of how to manage a beehive. (One will change is mind before the meeting is over, hence 11) “.
There are a lot of ways to accomplish the main principles of beekeeping. I recommend learning from an experienced beekeeper (more than 5 years) the basics, and what works. Once you’ve been successful in keeping your bees alive and healthy then you can experiment. At least then you’ll be able to come back to what you know works. I want you to have a good experience with your bees.
I have friends and know others that are commercial beekeepers whose families have been keeping bees for generations and have very strong management programs that fit with their goals of Beekeeping which revolves around their bottom line. As any serious business model, should be. Keeping expenses down and maximizing income streams, which hopefully exceeds their expenses. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that approach. They realize that having healthy bees means a profitable business. They work very hard at that goal.
I also have friends, who are just as I was when I started, just fascinated by the “Honey Bee”. We are concerned by the stories in the news about the struggles the honey bee is having, as well as many of our native pollinators, and the impact that can have on our ecosystem and our food supply. Hobbyists are just as interested in fostering Healthy bees, but being profitable isn’t as big a part of their motivation. They don’t depend on their bees to make a living. But they also want Healthy Bees.
We all have a common goal of having Healthy Bees, but the backyard beekeeper isn’t as constrained by time and money as the commercial beekeeper is. Hobbyists tend to be willing to experiment more, sometimes causing themselves more problems in identifying what is actually working or not working for them. There are so many moving variables (Temperatures, Weather, Queen strength, diseases plus the variables imposed by the beekeeper). It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what change or combination of changes gave the results we experienced (hard to duplicate, or avoid again). We all can learn from each other. But as you start, take a class or instruction from a seasoned beekeeper take advantage of his experience and knowledge to help you gain a good foundation of understanding the Bee and the Beehive. So, you are helping your bees with their instinctive behavior not hindering it (Not, trying to make water run uphill). I will endeavor to provide you in These Beekeeping lessons a sound understanding of the basic principles you’ll need to understand to find success. Let’s get Started!!!