If you are a new beekeeper, you will definitely need first year beekeeping goals.
First year beekeeping goals will give you something to strive for and look forward to. Achieving first year beekeeping goals will help you end your inaugural year with a bang. They will help you glide into year #2 much easier.
Before I received my bees, I tried to prepare myself as best I could before the bees arrived. I gained quite a bit of knowledge, but there is so much information to still learn. The biggest thing I learned is that there is more than one way to perform skills within beekeeping.
There are several different ways to install the bees. Lots of ways to feed bees. And many many different hive set ups to choose from.
Before you become too overwhelmed, have you found your mentor yet to help you? A mentor is an important first-step to deciding if beekeeping is worth trying out.
Once you have found your mentor and learned some basic knowledge about beekeeping, you’re ready to set some first year beekeeping goals.
How to Set Goals
To reach your first year beekeeping goals, follow these three simple steps:
1. Set your Long-Term Goal – This goal is the big sha-bam. This is the goal you will strive to reach in the end. It can take years to find the end.
2. Set your Mid-Term Goals – These can be goals that can be reached to work towards your long-term goal. The mid-term goals usually take 6 months to a year to achieve.
3. Set your Short-Term Goals – These are smaller goals that can be reached to work towards your mid-term goal. The short-term goals usually take from a few days up to 6 months to achieve.
Ideally, you work backwards and then forwards. You write out your long-term goal. How are you going to reach that big goal you have?
To answer that question, you can set your mid-term goals. After looking over these goals, you can set your short-term goals to reach those mid-term goals.
Once your goals are set, you can start your journey. Start at the bottom with the short-term goals to reach the mid-term goals. Then, when the mid-term goals are met, you can start your journey towards reaching those long-term goals.
First year beekeeping goals are written to keep me motivated for the first year.
Here’s my top 5 first year beekeeping goals.
Successfully Install Bees & Queen
Equipment is often confusing to the new beekeeper. My mentor helped me choose proper equipment for three Langstroth Hives. Without him, I would not have known even where to start. Here’s my equipment list.
I also ordered my packaged bees through a local beekeeping group I joined. We finally received them the second week of May, which is unusually late. Usually, the end of April is the normal time to receive packaged bees.
Anxiety is high when waiting to receive the first package of bees. Packages weigh about three pounds or so. The package includes bees, the Queen, and a can of sugar syrup.
The most interesting part is making sure the bees and queen make it into the hive and stay there. There are several ways to install packaged bees. Here’s one method. And here’s the method I used since it was rainy my first bees. I also made sure my bees had plenty of sugar water when I installed them.
The bees are HUNGRY when they arrive. Even though there is sugar syrup included with the package, they still need to be fed.
The first week, depending on weather, the bees will venture out of the new home. They will explore their surroundings and find pollen.
Bees will begin to build a supply into their hive for sustenance. But that will take some time.
Keeping the bees fed will sustain them into the hive and help the hive populate after the Queen lays her eggs.
Promote a Healthy Hive
It’s important to keep the hive strong and healthy. The best way to do this is to not bother the hive too much.
After my bees are installed, I will only be checking my hives every couple of weeks. I don’t want to disturb their progress.
I need to learn about parasites, such as mites. I need to learn about wild bees and wasps that might attack my bees. I will keep planting new varieties of flowers and plants for the bees. As the supply inside the hive expands, I plan to split and expand my hive units.
I definitely have a lot to learn about keeping hives healthy this first year. But one thing I’ve learned from older beekeepers: The learning NEVER ends.
So, one of the biggest first year beekeeping goals I have is to never stop learning.
The learning does not stop once the bees are in the hive. This is only the beginning. The number one person to learn from is your mentor. It’s best to follow one person’s advice anyways because there are just so many ways to beekeep.
I have joined a local beekeeping chat group my mentor leads. The group meets monthly. There are 30-40 beekeepers there each month. It’s amazing to listen to stories of beekeepers of all different levels. Many of my questions have been answered via this face-to-face chat group.
YouTube videos have also been very helpful. I enjoy this channel. I learned about it at my chat group and refer to it regularly.
Smart beekeepers are always learning in their favorite ways. There are many ways to learn. The most successful bee hives aren’t successful because of luck. Good management is key to successful and sustainable beekeeping.
My long-term goal is to be able to take honey from the bees when the brood boxes are overflowing. This is long-term because it won’t happen until the first year is complete.
One other thing I learned is that I probably wouldn’t get honey the first year, unless the hives produced an oversupply. There must be enough honey for the bees to endure the winter months.
If I were to take honey from the hive the first year, I would be stealing from my bees.
Although I was disappointed I would have to wait so long, I’m willing to do the right thing to ensure a sustainable and healthy colony.
Bees have been on this Earth doing their thing for many many years. They know what they are doing. They don’t produce honey for us. The honey is for the bees to sustain themselves.
Sustainable bees and hives promote sustainable beekeeping. This is the key to successful beekeeping.
The Long LONG Term Goal
At the end of year one, I would love to be able to have the knowledge to help other beekeepers start up. There are two main reasons they don’t start:
Afraid of Being Stung
Start Up Cost
Not Enough Knowledge
You can never learn enough about anything. Beekeeping has been around for thousands of years.
But, if we don’t maintain healthy bee colonies that pollinate and self-sustain, there will be no bees left in the world. Bees are essential to life here on Earth. I’m privileged that God is giving me the opportunity to become a beekeeper.
My top 5 first year beekeeping goals will help to promote focus, clarity and strength through the path of any first year beekeeper.
~ Much Love ~