How To Become A Beekeeper
In learning how to keep bees you will see that your planning and your activity is ruled by the times of year. Beekeeping is a marvelous leisure hobby through which you can help to boost the declining honeybee population, in addition to have a ready and plentiful supply of honey. If you manage to create more honey than you need (which you most certainly will) then you could make a little bit more money selling it to friends and neighbors.
However there is no real set time to start, the optimum time to start your beekeeping project is the wintertime. This is really the planning and preparation period. So during this moment you will need to purchase your equipment; principally the bee suit, hive and smoker. You should likewise think about where you are bound to site your bee hive, ideally this should actually be in a relatively sheltered position facing far from the prevailing wind.
Although not essential, the optimum time to acquire your bees is early spring so as to ensure that your colony is more developed by the time they are collecting nectar and producing honey. You can buy a starter colony by mail order from specialist suppliers or speak to your local beekeeping association who might have a member who has a queen and small colony to spare. It is feasible to get a passing swarm of honey bees, but this is really not advised for beginners.
During the summer months, your bees will be engaged collecting nectar, producing honey and reproducing. Your main tasks are to check your bees to ensure that they are free of mites and to ensure that they have lots of space. The issue of space is significant as if they begin to run out of room then this will trigger the queen to initiate swarming - essentially this is a case of the bee colony leaving their hive in a bid to find more roomy accommodation. You obviously want to avert this as this will mean you no longer have any bees. Not only this, but your neighbors might find it a little disturbing to discover a swarm of honey bees in the back garden!
Late summer is honey collecting time. This is a tricky and messy task, but highly rewarding. This is in any case the excuse why you learn to keep bees. It is a matter of straining the honeycomb to create clear honey. A honey extractor makes the undertaking considerably easier. Alternatively, you could easily cut the honeycomb into pieces and package it into jars as it is.
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