Beekeeping 101: Is Beekeeping For Me?
This blog is for people wanting to get into beekeeping or, maybe you started last year and things didn’t go as well as you had hoped. We want to get you started off on the right foot, equip you to have fun (this is a hobby!) and give you the resources you need to keep your bees healthy and happy.
What are some of the considerations I need to think about before starting?
How do you feel about getting stung by a bee? Am I allergic to bee stings? Have you ever been stung? No matter what anyone tells you, you will get stung periodically. For a small percentage of people bee stings can be more than a nuisance, they can cause a potentially fatal allergic reaction. If you are allergic to bee stings, then beekeeping is probably not the best hobby for you. For others, a bee sting hurts and may cause local swelling but this normal and you will find that it subsides fairly quickly.
Do you love to learn new things? Beekeeping = learning… you will quickly realize that once you think you have most things figured out, you will encounter something you have not encountered before. Even seasoned beekeepers are continually in a state of learning.
Do you have enough time? While beekeeping on a small scale does not take a tremendous amount of time, there are certain things that need to be done at certain times through the year. Procrastinating or not devoting the necessary time to care for these wonderful insects will be problematic for their health and well being. For one or two hives you are probably looking 1 to 2 hours per week from Spring until Fall.
Do you have enough money in your budget? We often get asked, “How much does it take to get started in beekeeping?” The answer to this question is… it depends… it depends on how fancy you want to get, if you want to buy everything right away or can get by slowing purchasing the non-essentials, and obviously how many colonies that you want start out with. For the basics you are looking at around $350 - $400 per hive for woodenware and bees, and then another $200 for basic tools and safety equipment.
Do you have a suitable location for your bees? In Ontario, and other jurisdictions there are specific laws governing hive placement. You also need to think about: Are there sufficient nectar sources through the season, a source of water, how much sunlight does the proposed spot get, are there any other things in the area that would affect my colony health?
We at Anderdon Bee Co. want you to be successful and have fun in your adventures in beekeeping. We have helped many people become beekeepers and we pride ourselves on being available to support you by providing relevant, accurate information, as well stocking the tools and equipment you need to for your apiary. Come visit us, call us, text us, or visit our website for more information or to get started!