How To Start Beekeeping
There is a lot of information explaining how to start beekeeping both on
the internet, and available in books.
On this site, you’ll find some
useful introductory information, as well as links to more in-depth
sources, and free items to download and use, including a beekeeping book
and bee hive plans. The audience for this website is very varied, but hopefully there will be something to suit you.
This website is being updated on a regular basis, so please return - or why not subscribe to my RSS feed (see navigation bar left) for updates.
I recommend that before you take any steps, such as purchasing honey bee hives and other equipment, it would be a good idea to decide what kind of beekeeper you want to be. This will influence the approach you take, which in turn will determine how you equip yourself with beekeeping supplies.
This is a growing movement. It focuses on beekeeping in a way that supports the natural behaviours of the honey bee (such as how the bees naturally build honeycombs). This approach uses natural methods of dealing with issues such as varroa, and advocates sustainable honey harvesting (i.e. not being greedy by removing all the winter stores of honey from the bees, and instead, only taking an amount that is not detrimental to the bees). But there’s much more to it than this. It may or may not be for you, but why not take a look at this introduction to a few key principles.
Here you will also find a free book to download.
Used Beekeeping Equipment
Considerations for keeping bees in the town or city.
Advice about purchasing second hand beekeeping equipment and supplies, including how to clean it.
If you want to know how to start beekeeping, you'll be keen to understand what kind of beekeeping equipment you need. Information here.
Honey Bee Hives
Whether you want to be a natural beekeeper or a traditional (conventional) beekeeper will determine the kind of hive you choose. A quick overview of the types of beehives available.
Bee Hive Plans
Bee hives are expensive. Download free plans to make your own beehive. Several versions to choose from.
Honey Bees For Sale?
If you are about to start beekeeping, perhaps you will be given a swarm. If not, you will have to purchase some bees to start you. Go from How To Start Beekeeping
to these guidance notes here.
Background information on Varroa mite (or Varroa Destructor
). There is a link to treatments, including non-synthetic, natural options and a study to download.
Feeding Honey Bees
Bee Hives For Sale
Recipes for fondant and syrup for the times when your honey bees need to be fed.
Go from How to Start Beekeeping
to this page listing things to consider before you splash out on the purchase of a bee hive.
If you want to know how to start beekeeping, why not take a look at this range of great beekeeping videos showing Natural Beekeeping in action. You can always take a look at them again later. There is a nice short clip featuring popular BBC TV gardening presenter, Carol Kelin.
Some of my favourite links to other great beekeeping sites, with lots of information.
History Of Beekeeping
Beekeeping and honey gathering go back many years. Here is a brief history.
Some great beekeeping books, as well as books along related themes.
Find out how to start beekeeping organically. However, you'll find that organic beekeeping is not so simple as it may sound! In general, beekeepers who choose to start beekeeping in an organic way, simply follow the principles as closely as they can, but in terms of reaching a certifiable standard
.......well, this depends on which country you live in, but most beekeepers would find this impossible. Nevertheless, avoiding chemicals in the hive, using natural untreated wood, and keeping your bees on an organic allotment or garden plot are perfectly achievable standards for many beekeepers. You may also be interested in this feature about
A-Z of Honey Bees And Beekeeping
Brief descriptions of terms used in beekeeping.
Other subjects of interest:
Honey Bee Deaths Explored
Take a look as some of the issues around honey bee deaths.
Bee Plant Lists
You’ll want to make sure you have as many foraging opportunities for bees as possible.You’ll find some calendarised plant lists here, including garden plants, herbs, wildflowers, shrubs, trees, and even fruit & veg!
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