Beekeeping is fun and rewarding! Let’s make sure you’re on your way to success.
1. Allergies. Let’s get straight into it. Bees don’t enjoy stinging just for the sake of stinging. They’re defending their colony. So, are you allergic to bee venom? The initial swelling – might last a few days at first – is a normal reaction. For us, we’re used to it (although it still pinches when stung!)), having acquired an immunity.
2. Costs. It’s not a cheap hobby to get in. Costs add up quickly, whether for purchasing hives, tools, bees or extraction equipment; those expenses will all be worth it and amortized over a short few years.
3. Number of colonies. While you can start with just one, you might run into problems (for ex. if the queen dies), your colony will slowly decline and you’ll have no way to fix it. By having a second hive, you can pull resources from one to boost the other.
4. Location. A number of municipalities allow for beekeeping in urban areas. But, the rule of thumb in Ontario is that any hive shall be at least 30 m from property lines.
5. Beekeeping goals. Before getting involved in beekeeping, set your own objectives. Do you want to harvest honey? Save the bees? Get wax and propolis? By setting up your own goals, you’ll determine the path to take.
6. Sufficient flora. Are you living in the middle of a floral desert, surrounded by
endless acres of nutrient-poor cash crop fields, or in a bucolic valley with millions of flowers?
7. Time commitment. On a weekly basis, you should perform a quick inspection to see where your colonies are at. While some weeks it might take one hour to examine three hives, some others might require more involvement on your part (like during extraction or mite prevention).
8. Equipment. How do you want to keep bees? While the actual hive designs may differ, one thing is for sure: your hives will need to be made with removable frames to allow for inspections. Langstroth, Warré, horizontal, flow hives; the choice is yours.
While we could go on and on about the do’s and don’ts, we strongly encourage anyone wishing to get started to join a beekeeping club, find a mentor or get personalized at-home consultations. Please beekeep responsibly!
Submitted by: Al and Joe, Owners of Buzzing Bee Apiary
email@example.com | www.buzzingbushapiary.ca | 416-994-3248