How to Keep Bees

Keeping bees may seem daunting, as bees usually have the reputation of being bad stingers. However, done properly, you can actually benefit from harvesting their honey, the help with pollination and help breed more bees. Before getting started, make sure that you check out your locality’s rules on beekeeping. Some cities require several regulations to be followed with regards to beekeeping. Once that done, you’re ready to get started.

Beehive

Constructing a beehive is the first step in beekeeping. If you’re a hobbyist beekeeper, there are many ready-to-make beehive kits available online or in specialized beekeeping stores. These usually look like cabinets that are left outdoors.

When getting or building a beehive, make sure that your beehive has five supers, which are placed between the base of the hive and its top, like shelves in the closet. Each super has nine to ten frames where the bees both keep their honey and their offspring.

Set up your hive on a flat surface in your garden or lawn. Make sure that the location is not easily accessible to either humans or animals, both which can cause disturbance to the bees. Keeping the beehive behind a solid fence will also lessen the chances of bees being interrupted or aggravated by passersby.

Getting the Bees

Contact your local beekeepers or beekeepers’ association to acquire a colony or a swarm for your beehive. You can also ask for tips on how to keep your bees happy.

Another way to attract bees and have them stay is by sprinkling the essential oils of Citronella or Lemongrass in the interiors of the hive, especially in the swarming season. The swarming season takes place around late spring to midsummer.

Protective Clothing

If you’re new to hobby beekeeping, wearing protective clothing when directly dealing with the bees are the best. Protective clothing typically include a veil, gloves or a hooded suit. Bee stings are more painful when they are applied to the face, so having a veil is paramount. If you become more of an expert in beekeeping, then you can probably shed the gloves and the full body suit.

Bee Smoker

A bee smoker is used when you are harvesting the honey or you have to do something that will directly disturb the hive. The bee smoker does two things: It makes bees flee temporarily by making think that the hive is on fire, and the smoke covers the alarm pheromones that the guard bees release to arrange an attack on the intruder.

When using a smoker, you must burn things whose smoke will not cause adverse effects on the bees. Some materials are pine needles, burlap, twine and corrugated cardboard.

Learn

Simply joining a local bee club will give a wealth of information about beekeeping. Going to libraries and reading online sources will also enrich your knowledge on beekeeping. With any luck, you’ll find that you can comfortably keep bees of your own and who knows? Expand the production of honey even more.

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