If you are ready to start beekeeping as a hobby, business, or study, then you will have thought about the hives you need, and beekeeping equipment, so your next step will be in acquiring the bees, which to some people is confusing, cause they are lots of ways to get them.
- Purchasing a Colony
You can purchase an entire colony either from a local beekeeper or beekeeping product suppliers. When starting out, this maybe the ideal way to getting your honey bees, although it is also the most expensive way. Colonies contain a queen, workers, drones, and frames of honeycomb with brood. Some even contain honey to feed the bees.
- Purchasing a Nucleus
When you purchase a hive nucleus, you are given a queen and a few frames of worker bees with a small foundation. You will be given 5 frames, which is a good start for your hive, but is a bit slower than if you purchase the whole colony.
- The Package
Packages can be purchased from local beekeepers or breeders. It will have a queen and 3 pounds of workers. The bees need to be feed with some type of syrup till they can work for themselves.
- The Swarm
This is probably the most economical way of getting your bees, but it is also the riskiest, and very hard. This is the method where you catch your own swarm. As a beginner this is not the best option because you don't really know how they will react, or whether they have been Africanized, or not. Swarms can carry diseases, or even mites, and these will be hard for a beginner to deal with.
- The Right Time to Acquire Bees
April or May is the right time to start your hive. If you will consider purchasing them, you should order them the fall before, to be delivered in the spring. When you buy bees later than June, then they will not have enough time to produce enough honey in winter and thus surviving. This meaning that the bees will be lost and the money you invested.
- The Money Needed
Once you get used to beekeeping then you need to do your research as to the cost of bees. Knowing this can help you prepare a budget. Generally speaking starting up can be around $500.00 to over $1,000.00 depending on the bees you buy and the hives as well.
- What to Expect?
You shouldn't expect to make your money back on that first year's investment. It is going to take a while for a colony to get big and to build up its strength, and even then not every beekeeper is successful in a year. Sometimes it maybe natural, so don't be afraid in starting all over again, if bees are lost. You just have to chuck it up to a learning experience.
Get started in successful beekeeping by getting yourself a copy of my step by step beginners guide to beekeeping and invest in your new hobby.....
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