If you’re thinking about or planning to start beekeeping for the first time, beekeeping prep may be high on your to-do list.
Beekeeping prep includes learning all you can about bees, setting up equipment in the perfect location and creating a food supply for your new winged friends.
Beekeeping prep may seem overwhelming to the new beekeeper. Trust me, it is.
As a new beekeeper myself, I was very nervous about receiving bees for the first time. I knew nothing about them or how to care for them nor did I know where to even begin.
It can be stressful not knowing about a new venture where you have to care for living creatures. But, why make it so stressful?
If you talk to most beekeepers, they will tell you that beekeeping is an enjoyable thing to do. They’ll tell you they learned so much from the bees themselves.
So, take a deep breath and embrace your bees homecoming. Here are beekeeping prep tips to feel confident and prepared to receive your new bees.
Beekeeping prep requires studying.
But, you can’t study too much so don’t dwell too much on it.
In fact, most of what a person learn is by doing the work. But, you should still attempt to learn as much as you can before jumping in feet first.
The best way I know to study up is to become a member of a local group or association. These groups generally include people with many years of experience.
You can also find people who are new like you. You can learn and grow together, while sharing experiences and meeting lifelong friends.
As a member of a group or association, you can learn about other resources. There are many books, videos and other resources out in the world pertaining to beekeeping.
You can potentially find your mentor within this group of experienced people, which I highly recommend.
Find a Mentor
I’m very passionate about finding a mentor for every new venture I take on. It’s a relief knowing that if I have a question or need help, my mentor is just a phone call away.
Several years ago, I learned the hard way how important having a local mentor really is. I listened to two many people’s opinions when I should have just followed one person’s opinion.
Learning about mentor ship was a game changer for my meat goat operation. I won’t make that same mistake again with bees. Before I even learned about beekeeping, I found my local mentor. Luckily, he’s a friend of ours who has been keeping bees for over 20 years.
I knew he would be a great person to ask advice about aspects of new beekeeping, such as where to put my hives and what equipment to buy.
When I decided to go into beekeeping, I had NO CLUE what to get for beekeeping equipment. Thank goodness for my awesome mentor.
He gave me a list of everything I would need to order for my three hives. I decided to just order all the pieces I would need from a company.
When the equipment come in, I had the fun job of putting the pieces together. Luckily, every piece came with instructions!
I also learned I needed to paint the outsides of the boxes with a good outdoor paint to protect the hives from weather.
Once everything was assembled, I set up my bee village in the most perfect spot on the homestead.
Find the Perfect Spot
My mentor also came out to my place to help me find the perfect location for my bee village within my property.
There are a million places I could have put them on our large homestead. I wanted to be sure they were given the most perfect spot to thrive.
My bee village is set on the east side of my pond dam. They have plenty of shade and sun. The hives are out of the wind and the bees have nearby access to water. Plus, there’s a timber area just to the east of them that is home to wildflowers and trees.
I learned I would have to plant some more flowers and plants to attract my bees and make sure they had plenty for their nectar flow.
Plant some good foods for them
Bees need lots of different flowers, legumes and plants to pollinate. I learned they can travel up to five miles to find what they need!
Entrance feeders with sugar water during peak times can also help to make sure the bees have plenty of sweetness.
Learning Is Not Over
You can’t learn everything before the bees come. The learning is nowhere near finished when you get your first bees.
I know of older members of my local beekeeping group who have been keeping bees for 30 plus years. And they are STILL learning.
One thing is for sure: The beekeeper learns from the bees.
Beekeeping prep helps the new beekeeper prepare for the learning that is to come.
What are some ways you learned about beekeeping?
~ Much Love ~