The Essentials Of Beekeeping As a Hobby: Beekeeping can be a very fascinating and educational hobby. If you are interested in beekeeping, there are some things you need to know first. First of all, you have to decide whether or not this is something that interests you. Are you willing to work with bees? Are you ready to learn about bees? Do not hesitate because if it does interest you then beekeeping can be a very fulfilling hobby.
It is important to do some research before you get started. You can go online to google or YouTube and start doing your research right away. One of the best things about beekeeping is that there are many resources for this hobby. There are clubs, organizations, videos, books, magazines, and online groups that provide enough information to help you understand everything you need to know about beekeeping.
You have many options when it comes
to beekeeping. There are different types of beekeeping that include: traditional, top bar, log gum, skeps, and saltwater. It is important to check out these different methods so you can find one that best fits your goals for the hobby.
Another important thing to consider is how much time you want to put into the hobby. The process of beekeeping should start in early January and end in early August. It is a full-time job during this time because you have to check for fresh honey, collect the honeycombs, extract them and then package. You will also need to check for hive beetles, mites, and bee diseases.
If you are interested in beekeeping, there are some things you need to do first. You will have to make sure that the new beekeeper is prepared for this process. The very first thing you need to do is find a mentor or somebody who can guide you through your first year of beekeeping. You will need this person to help you with the basics of beekeeping, especially if it is your first time doing something like this.
Once you start beekeeping as a hobby, be sure to come up with beehive products that you can be proud of. Even if it is just a beehive product to be sold in your beehive shop, be sure to be an expert at whatever beehive product you are making.
1. If you are interested in beekeeping as a hobby, you need to find out what equipment is needed for beekeeping.
2. Take beehive products to beekeeping to the next level by participating in beehive demonstrations or beekeeping activities!
3. Once you start beekeeping as a hobby, make beehive products that you are proud of, even if it is just sold in your beehive shop!
Beekeepers need a few essential tools to manage their bee colonies. However, these must be well taken care of to prevent any accidents. A beekeeper should be well equipped with the following tools:
1) Protective bee suit: A protective bee suit is the most important part of beekeeping equipment. It is made up of heavy cotton fabric which protects the skin from any bee stings with their barbed stingers (removing bee stingers after stinging is very painful). There are many types of bee suits, and one must choose the suitable bee suit as per his or her requirement and comfort level.
2) Beekeeping Veil: A veil is a must to protect the head and neck of the beekeeper. The most important function of this equipment is to keep bees away from the face (especially eyes) of the beekeeper. One must select a veil based on comfort level, quality of fabric, and size.
3) Bee smoker: A bee smoker is an invaluable tool for beekeepers to keep bees calm and non-aggressive. It produces cool smoke with the help of paraffin wax (bees become docile after smoking) which honey bees like very much. If the bee colony is not smoked, then it will attack the beekeeper.
4) Beehive tools: Usually beekeepers have three types of hive tools in their beekeeping equipment. They are namely the hive tool, hive brush, and also a smoker’s hook which helps them in manipulating the beehive parts during inspections. Hive tool are very important to pry apart and scrape hive boxes, to remove the hive frames of honey. The sharp end should be used for this purpose. One must select a hive tool with proper size based on strength and grip comfort.
6) Brood frame: This is used to put between hive boxes for creating space to store honey and pollen. A framed box should be prepared with foundation (which is wax paper with embossed hexagons). It has many advantages like easy positioning of frames, straightness in honey and pollen, and also allows ventilation.
7) Queen excluder: A queen excluder is an instrument that is used to separate the brood from honey and also from other supers. This equipment is very helpful in preventing a laying queen from entering into any of these sections which can be dangerous for her. It is usually made from aluminum or plastic and consists of a set of parallel metal bars with spacing between them.
8) Beekeeping Smoker: A bee smoker is an important part of beekeeping equipment that helps in controlling the bees without hurting them. It is also known as smoke pot or blower. The smoker has a fuel tank that holds combustible material like burlap fiber, jute twine, wood shavings, etc., Puffing smoke into the hive also prevents bees from stinging at that time. One must select a bee smoker with the proper capacity to puff a sufficient amount of smoke at a time.
9) Honey extractor: A beekeeper extracts honey from a beehive using a honey extractor. It has a cylindrical drum and also has an inlet which is called a crown board. This part of beekeeping equipment is placed at the bottom of the drum through which bees can freely enter into it for getting harvested honey out from that drum.
10) Bee brush: This beekeeping equipment is used to gently sweep away any bee from the beekeeper body or beehives. It is used to brush bees away from the veil, clothes of beekeepers and also to remove pollen from their legs after visiting flowers.
11) Smoker fuel: Bee smokers use different kinds of fuels like sawdust, burlap fiber, corrugated paper boards, etc., but paraffin wax or high-quality hardwood sawdust are considered as best smoker fuels for beekeeping.
12) Hive stand: A hive stand is a very important part of beekeeping equipment that provides stability to a beehive. It is usually made up of wood with a wedge in the center or four legs at an equal distance from each other.
13) Beehive: this is the most important piece of equipment. Selecting bees for your beekeeping hobby can be done by looking at hives available for sale, or taking parts from several hives to make one complete hive. It is important to select the proper type of hive depending on what you want to do with your bees. For example, if a beekeeper wants to harvest honey, using a hive with a removable bottom board is the best choice. On the other hand, if the beekeeper wants to focus on raising queens, the use of a top bar hive will be beneficial.
14) Gloves: Beekeeping gloves are an important part of bee-keeping equipment that gives some protection to beekeepers’ hands while working in a beehive. It is important to select the proper type of gloves based on their use. Use lighter gloves for general work with bees and heavier gloves for pollen collection or other activities that might require a stronger grip.
15) Hat with a Bee Veil: Beekeeping equipment that is used to protect the head and face of beekeepers from sunlight, heat, etc. it should be made up of light colors like white or cream to provide a sufficient amount of visibility in the beehive.
16) Sleeve board: A beekeeping equipment sleeve board is used to separate the honey storage chamber from the brood chamber in a beehive. It allows the beekeeper to work with queens without any disturbance of other bees.
17) Queen cage: A beekeeping equipment queen cage is used to introduce the newly bought queen into the beehive. It is made up of wire mesh with a small opening on one side through which worker bees allow new queens on their mating flight.
18) Queen marker: It is a piece of beekeeping equipment that helps in marking the queen bee. It provides an easy way of finding and identifying queens so that there is no difficulty in the re-queening of bees.
19) Essential oils: Essential oils are used to suppress the aggressive behavior of bees. Usually, these oils consist of peppermint or lemongrass oil or herbal extracts.
20) Bee diseases kit: A bee diseases kit is an important part of beekeeping equipment, which has all the necessary things that will help beekeepers to know about all the diseases that bees fall victim to, and causes of bee diseases, and how to treat them.
What are the different types of bee species?
Bees can be classified into two groups: social and solitary. Social bee species include honey bees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, and stingless bees. The honey bee is the most commonly kept because it has a reputation for producing large quantities of honey and pollinates crops. Bumblebee and carpenter bee are also social bee species but they are not as abundant as honey bees. The Stingless bee is the only bee species that are not a social bee.
1. Social bee species
a. Honey bee
The honey bee is the most common bee species kept in beehives. This bee species has three castes: the queen bee, worker bee, and drone bee.
• Queen bee – The queen bee is the only member of the honey bee colony with fully developed ovaries. A single egg can produce more than 3000 worker bees and or drone bees.
• Worker bee – The worker bee is the female bee responsible for collecting flower nectar, pollinating plants, and building honey bee nests.
• Drone bee – The drone bee is the male bee in the honey bee colony that cannot sting, does not collect any food, and will be kicked out of the hive in winter.
b. Bumble bee
Bumblebee is a social bee species that live in large colonies composed of a queen bee, worker bee, and drone bee as well as a nest. Each bumblebee colony has one to five hundred bee members. A worker bee will forage for nectar and pollen to feed the other bees. The bee species will use wax to make honeycomb and store nectar. Nest usually has multiple entrance holes, one bee nest can have seven to ten bee holes.
c. Carpenter bee
Carpenter bee is a social bee species that live in large colonies composed of a queen bee, worker bee, and drone bee as well as a nest. Each bee hole has one bee and some bee holes will have multiple bees. A worker bee will forage for nectar and pollen to feed the other bees. The bee species will use wax to make honeycomb and store nectar. Nest usually has multiple entrance holes, one bee nest can have seven to ten bee holes.
d. Stingless bee
A Stingless bee is a social bee species that live in large colonies composed of a queen bee, worker bee, and drone bee as well as a nest. Each bee hole can have multiple bees. A stingless bee colony has on average 2000 bee members but some species can have more than 100000 bees. A worker bee will forage for nectar and pollen to feed the other bees. The bee species will use wax to make honeycomb and store nectar. Nest usually has multiple entrance holes, one bee nest can have seven to ten bee holes.
2. Solitary bee species
a. Mason bee
Mason bee is also called leaf-cutter bee. This bee species lives predominantly in North America and Europe.
• Nest – Mason bees typically make a hole in tree branches, walls of houses or fences to make bee nests.
• Pollen – Mason bee can pollinate flowers because it collects flower pollen; however, its primary food source is bee nectar.
b. Potter bee
Potter bee is a bee species that prefers to make its bee nest in clay pots, blocks of wood, and other similar structures. This bee species can be found in North America and Europe.
• Nest – Potter bees typically make bee holes on the sidewall of the house.
• Pollen – Potter bee can pollinate flowers because it collects flower pollen; however, its primary food source is bee nectar.
c. Digger bee
A digger bee is a bee species that prefers to make bee nests in the ground. This bee species lives predominantly in North America and Europe.
• Nest – Digger bees typically make bee holes on the ground to make bee nests.
• Pollen – Digger bee can pollinate flowers because it collects flower pollen; however, its primary food source is bee nectar.
d. Cellophane bee
Cellophane bee is a bee species that prefers to make bee nests. This bee species lives predominantly in North America and Europe.
• Nest – Cellophane bee typically makes a hole on the wall of the house to make bees nest.
• Pollen – Cellophane bee can pollinate flowers because it collects flower pollen; however, its primary food source is bee nectar.
In conclusion, beekeeping is a very interesting and engaging hobby. It gives pleasure and satisfaction to the person who does it. You can make money out of it or simply enjoy the beauty of nature and relax while watching your bees pollinating flowers and making honey in their hive.
Beekeeping requires patience, time, and dedication but you will love every minute of it. This hobby is perfect for adults, children, and even elderly people who don’t have much time to take care of the bees themselves but want to collect honey nevertheless.
Beekeeping demands precision so you will have to learn some basic bee biology and keep your eyes open while learning the ropes in this hobby. However, we hope that we’ve given you some useful tips in this article about beekeeping and that you won’t make the same beginner mistakes as we did!