Tip #1:- Learn the true art form thats within beekeeping, it is the act of acquiring colonies of bees, maintaining the health of your bees and hives ensuring that they give good harvests when harvest time comes. All beekeepers that have productive colonies have taken the time to gain knowledge about bee species as some types can be aggressive, they can harbour disease, become prone to parasites and end being victims to predators also.
All of these factors can affect the productivity of your bees which will end up yielding less than satisfactory harvests. So before anybody dives in head first into the world of beekeeping, a bit of research must be done so that one has above average knowledge about beekeeping (Or get a Step-by Step beekeeping guide from the links below).
Tip #2:- Safety is an integral part of beekeeping, bees are very gentle when treated with respect and its possible to go on for years without being stung. However its still important that safety principles are adhered to all the time. Get yourself a good beekeepers suit and it must consist of a long sleeve jacket, long pair of pants that can be sealed at bottom to prevent bees from crawling up your legs, a hat that has a veil and gloves.
I cannot over emphasise the importance of having a first aid kit near your apiary, because even if your become very cautious when handling these insects, there will be that occasional stinging and if anyone has hypersensitivity to beestings, they must receive immediate medical attention.
Tip #3:- Every trade needs a place whereby production takes place, so does beekeeping. Youll need some space to keep your colonies called the apiary. An ideal place would be in a farm as most farmers welcome beekeepers with open arms because of their understanding of the role bees play in pollination. However not everyone can have access to farmland. Its still possible to be a beekeeper in urban areas, but extra precautionary measures will have to be taken.
Tip #4:- Join a beekeepers association in your area so that you may be able to receive some support about most things in beekeeping. Most states dont allow individuals to become beekeepers if they are not registered as beekeepers and this where the support from the association will come handy. Theyll prepare you to be able to meet the required standards by the authorities, and help you set up an appropriate date for the inspectors to come and grade your apiary accordingly so that you can be certified as quickly as possible.
Tip #5:- Once the above steps have been dealt with the next thing to do is to acquire some hives and bees. There are various ways of getting bees but Id assume that if youre reading this article youre a complete newbie, so my advice is that you buy packaged bees. I prefer packaged bees simply because they come with complete Queen, drone and some worker bees. You can be sure that they are disease free, as all packaged bees have a documented history.
You can contact your beekeepers association and they refer you to some reputable suppliers on their data base so that you can get your first package of bees and a good hive to get you moving in the right direction.
Tip #6:- Now that everything is in place its time to install your bees in their new environment so they can get going and start producing honey. You want make sure that the queen is properly installed in the hive (for detailed steps of installing the queen refer to the Step-by-Step guide, accessible from the links below), then prepare syrup mixture and water source to be place outside the hive so that your bees wont have to travel long distance to get nectar.
Tip #7:- Bees are able to take good care of themselves, but an excellent beekeeper will make it easy for them so that their sole focus is on honey production and growing the colony. Regular inspections of the hive are a must, so that any imminent problems can be identified and dealt with or avoided completely if its possible.
Common threats to bees are diseases, pests, parasite and predators and many of the above can be easily dealt with. If you inspect your hive regularly at least two or three time every week, youll notice patterns in behaviour and movement of your bees and whenever theres a slight change youll pick it up instantly.
In conclusion Id like to say that success in beekeeping lies with good management practise, scheduling your inspection intervals, being able identify diseases & pest problems quickly. Once you have these processes nailed down harvesting pretty much work out perfectly, so engage yourself as much as you can towards learning this great practise so that you can reap great rewards