Building Your Own Bee Farm: Everything You Need to Know
Everything You Need to Build Your Own Bee Farm
Bees have been in the news in the past few years, much more than at anytime before (except for maybe the killer bee scares of the 80s and 90s). In case you missed all of the news, honeybees are having a very difficult time right now. They’re one of the organisms that we rely on for pollinating many of the plants that we rely on for food production, and without them, we would be eating a limited diet and living on a very different planet.
Something you can do that requires little initial investment, a modicum of learning, and little effort or time is to set up a backyard beehive. There are multiple kits that you can order or purchase to get you started. But, the list of what you actually need is pretty small.
Read on for a list of the bare minimum equipment, what you’ll need to take your beekeeping to the next level, and even a little information on how to get the honey without much time, energy, or expense.
The Bare Necessities
First of all, you will need a hive for the bees, complete with boxes, and trays for the production of honey, the raising of larvae, and to house the queen and all of her offspring. You’ll need some protective clothing – typically a good pair of gloves and a hat with bee netting will be enough to get the job done. You’ll also need a smoker – a device that produces jets of smoke that you can direct onto bees and into the hive to make the bees more docile.
You can get bees in one of three different ways: order them from a beekeeping supply company (the postal service will deliver live bees direct to your door); get them from a local beekeeper; or you can attempt to hive a spring swarm of bees.
You’ll also want a good book on the raising and keeping of bees. One short article just isn’t big enough to convey the ins and outs of when to harvest honey, how to troubleshoot problems, and when and how to expand your operation if you so desire.
Payment in Honey
Bees make great neighbors. They are friendly, easy to get along with, and will help pollinate your garden as well as the gardens of your neighbors. Beekeepers are standing by in many cities throughout the country, ready to offer you payment in honey for letting them keep a hive in your backyard, garden plot, or on your roof, depending. You’ll get the satisfaction of helping to bolster the numbers of one of the essential organisms for living our way of life, while reaping payment in actual honey.
Living the Sweet Life
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to get started in beekeeping. With a little expense in equipment and time to learn the basics of good beekeeping, you’ll be on your way to honey and a lush, productive landscape in no time!
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