insights

1, 2, 3s of Backyard Beekeeping

1. Purchase beekeeping toolsIMG_20140716_120017 HIVE10_2 Start with the basics that are integral to beekeeping, and build your toolkit as you get more familiar with your hive and the practice of beekeeping. Most experts recommend starting with two hives. Bees, most importantly, need food (nectar and pollen) and water; the rest of the tools are for your own use to tend to the hive. 2. Find a local beekeeping group Whether you are looking for one mentor or a whole group of voices with whom to share ideas, seeking outside sources through local beekeeping associations will be the best place to learn, explore, and share ideas with fellow BEEKs. When on your own, always keep reading! Join online communities and visit your local library for a wide range of books on bees and beekeeping. 3. Pick your bee supplier A hive and your tools don’t start buzzing until you add your bees! A reputable supplier is essential to creating a healthy hive in your climate. Different bee varieties have different temperaments, and finding the right bee for your style is key to both success and enjoyment of your new hobby. Your local beekeeping association and network is an excellent resource to provide you with recommendations on where to buy and who to trust. If you have missed the window for ordering bees, your beekeeping association will be essential in starting your first hive. Other considerations:bee Always bee sure to check your local city and state ordinances before proceeding with any beekeeping plans. Laws and regulations can vary dramatically by region. Bee aware of your neighbors and let them know all of the benefits of small bee populations! Bee thoughtful of the location of your hives. Bees need room to fly up to search for nectar while being sheltered from wind and predators. Google Earth can offer a new perspective on your site location: remember bees can fly up to 5 miles and regularly forage within a two-mile radius (8,000 acres!) of their home hive.