In this article, I will explore the different ways you can get started on your new beekeeping hobby. Beekeeping is a great way to improve mental health and spend some time outside in nature. It’s been around for centuries and can be done as a solitary activity or in a group setting.
Bees have an integral role in the food chain, so it is crucial that we understand how they work and what they need to survive. Beekeepers provide these resources by caring for their colonies with regular inspections, feeding them sugar water when necessary, treating them for disease when needed, harvesting honey from the hive during the summer months when it has reached its peak flavor and volume – all without disturbing or harming any of the bees!
7 Benefits of Beekeeping as a Hobby
Beekeeping is easy to start
Beekeeping can be done as a solitary activity or in a group setting and it really doesn’t take much time to get started. All that is needed is: an outstretched hand, some honeybees, and a place for the bees to live (a “hive”). Once you have these things there are many ways you can try your hand at beekeeping.
It’s good for your mental health
Studies have shown that beekeeping can help improve mental health by reducing stress levels and anxiety while increasing overall happiness in the person caring for the hive!
All of my friends who have started keeping bees would never give up this activity for anything! Not only are they outside getting exercise, but they are with their friends having fun all while learning something new.
You can make tasty treats
If your beekeeping is successful you will be able to harvest the honey during the summer months. This means it has reached its peak flavor and volume! You can preserve this by turning it into delicious treats like honey peanut butter fudge!
Honeybees pollinate our crops
Honeybees pollinate a lot of different plants we rely on for food, and including them in your daily diet helps you get healthy and nutritious nutrients and vitamins! For example: did you know that without honeybees we wouldn’t have apples, avocados, blueberries, and almonds?
The honey is great for your skin
Honey has antibacterial properties that can help reduce acne, heal wounds, and it also moisturize the skin!
It’s a relaxing hobby
Beekeeping is good for both your mental health and physical well-being. Spending time in nature with bees will help to lift your mood while keeping you active at the same time! Bees are not dangerous; they can actually be very calming because of their gentle demeanor.
Despite this, beekeepers should always exercise caution around their bees (for example: wearing protective clothing and not getting careless when opening up a hive). If handled correctly these animals can provide hours of entertainment without harm to either party!
How to Get Started
Buy your bees
You can order honeybees online from a beekeeping supply company or you can try catching them yourself!
To catch bees, there are several different ways you can go about it, including softly blowing on the hive to encourage them to leave (they are very docile creatures), taking off protective equipment, and using an outstretched hand to capture 18-20 of them.
If this is done just right they will crawl across your palm and into a container without harming themselves or stinging you!
Put your bees in their new home
Once you have the correct number of bees you need all that’s left is putting them in their new home! The hive should be placed near a stand of trees so the bees have plenty of pollen and nectar to feed on throughout the season.
Watch them go!
Your hive should be up and running within a week or two, at most a month depending on what kind of environment it is in. Once you have everything set up your bees will start going about their business as usual!
This includes: making honey and pollen (both very delicious), forming new honeycombs (a fascinating process to watch), and taking care of their young (including cleaning them by licking off any dirt or impurities).
Harvest some honey!
When the harvest time comes around make sure not to take too much; leave enough for your colony to survive through winter (but take some for yourself so you can enjoy this delicious treat!).
35 Common Beekeeping Terms
Abdomen: the part of an insect or other arthropod that contains the stomach, reproductive organs, and gut. The abdomen usually has a segmented external covering called the cuticle. In most insects this is hard enough to protect these internal parts from damage and allow respiration through spiracles in it.
Absconding swarm: Absconding is a complex social behavior, but generally it occurs when the colony has outgrown its space and will move to new pastures or habitats.
Afterswarm: When worker bees swarm from their hive they leave behind some fertile queen cells that might hatch into queens for third swarms. Afterswarms are smaller than colonies from first-time swarming events because experienced beekeepers may have destroyed old combs before removing them from hives to prevent wax moth damage during winter storage periods.
American foulbrood: (AFB) A disease of honeybees caused by the bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae. The incidence and severity of AFB is related to management practices such as hive hygiene, pesticides use, feeding techniques and queen health.
Apiary: A place where bees are kept; especially one with hives but may also include stand-alone beehive boxes or a natural apilary such as wild honeycomb found on trees.
Apiculture: All aspects or branches of beekeeping including knowledge relating to social behaviour within colonies, the production and handling of queens and worker bees for mating purposes in order to build up stocks from which swarms can be captured when required for new colonies, the production of beehives and their equipment for use in apiaries or elsewhere, harvesting honey from colonies to provide income from a beekeeper’s business, swarm control techniques when desired by an individual beekeeper.
Apis mellifera: The common European honeybee that is distributed worldwide but excluding Australia and Antarctica. It differs from other species in being more gentle natured, less likely to sting unless provoked (although they will do so much more readily than most solitary species) with physical features such as pollen baskets on its legs which distinguish it easily among insect stings without close examination.
Bait Hive:A hive used as a honey bee swarm trap. It is usually made of an old brood box with frames, one or more supers from another colony and either empty drawn combs or foundationless comb.
Bee blower:A device that emits a stream of air to clear bees away from the entrance to their hives which are being opened for inspection purposes in order to avoid stings. The technique may also be employed during harvesting when there’s a need to brush bees off full frames without damaging the comb surface on which they’re clustered before extracting honeycombs .
Bee bread: This term refers both collectively and individually to different foods gathered by worker bees including pollen, nectar, water droplets, and farina of the young larva.
Bee brush: A cloth, usually with bristles on one side to remove bees from frames or equipment without harming them.
Bee escape: This term is used in America for a device which enables people who are allergic to bee stings but who must handle hives – such as beekeepers, commercial pollinators and researchers -to avoid being stung by allowing a colony of bees to pass over their bodies while they remain protected by an upright wire mesh screen that prevents honeybees’ ability to land on those parts of the body not covered. The person wears protection like heavy clothing so he or she can move through colonies wearing this device during inspections without fear of injury .
Beehive: A box or similar container, often of wood but also made from other materials such as sheet metal and plastic, used for housing a honey bee colony ().
Bee metamorphosis: This term describes the changes that occur in worker bees during their life. The process includes three stages – egg, larva, pupa- before they are ready for mating and become queens or drones to begin another cycle of change.
Beeswax: This term refers to the wax created by honeybees from glands on their abdomen and used for building comb, sealing cells in which eggs are laid and also as a protective coating over exposed parts of themselves such as their abdomens when they fly outside the hive during pollen collection
Bee veil: A net-like garment with wide mesh that covers most of the head and neck worn or held in one hand by beekeepers so it can be pulled up quickly if bees start stinging before moving away . It should not touch skin directly but instead cover hair, particularly at ears where stingers might enter through clothing gaps. The wearer needs to have enough air beneath this device so his or her clothes are not pulled up as well, which can lead to more stings
Bee venom: The compound produced by honeybees that is used for defending the hive and themselves. It causes pain when it comes in contact with skin.
Boardman feeder: A cylinder-shaped device made from wood or plastic on top of a stand where individual frames containing drawn comb sections are inserted vertically so they fit inside the circular opening at one end which has a screen mesh over them to keep bees from entering while still allowing access to both sides .It’s designed specifically for extracting honeycombs during harvesting operations without damaging their surfaces too much before extraction begins
Bottling: This term refers primarily to collecting liquid honey after it has been strained and uncapped. It can also refer to the entire process of collecting honey from a bee colony, including extraction
Bottom board: This term usually refers to one part of a beehive which is placed below an upper frame that has beeswax foundation sheets or wax starter strips on it .It provides storage space for frames between uses as well as providing protection in winter when snow covers other parts of the hive
Brace comb: A type of comb found in brood cells where several generations are raised at once. The individual combs are attached side by side with no overlap while they extend over two adjacent frames so there’s room for another generation if needed. Brace comb may contain up to eight layers although fewer are more typical.
Colony: This term refers to a group of bees that live and work together in the same hive.
Drone: Male honeybees who don’t do any other chores within their colony, they feed themselves by sucking nectar from flowers or consuming pollen collected on foraging trips.
Guard Bees: These are worker bees that are housed in the entrance to a hive. They form an outer layer of defence against intruders and they also regulate the temperature by fanning their wings.
Honey: This is a sweet substance made from nectar gathered from flowers, but it’s not very tasty.
Pollen: A powdery material collected by beekeepers on either side of frames when harvesting honey which contains male germ cells that fertilize female eggs within brood combs. The pollen granules contain protein nutrients for larval development.
Propolis: This word refers to resin collected from tree buds or bark as well as other sources such as plant resins and small amounts secreted by worker bees themselves for use in constructing comb. It has antimicrobial properties which make it useful for sealing gaps in the hive.
Queen: The female bee who is exclusively fed royal jelly as a larva and goes on to become the reproductive member of her colony. She lays eggs that develop into worker bees, drones, or queen bees.
Queen cage: This term refers to a small box made from wire mesh with some sugar syrup inside which contains an egg-laying queen so she can be moved from one place where there are too many competing queens (supersedure) to another location when needed.
Raw Honey: This term usually refers to honey unpasteurized by heating it over 40 degrees Celsius . Raw honey retains all its natural properties and tastes much better than heated versions. It’s also less likely to contain potentially dangerous bacteria or pathogens.
Royal Jelly: This term refers to a substance produced by worker bees and fed exclusively to female larvae during the first three days after they hatch from eggs, which makes them turn into queen bees.
Swarming season: Honeybees swarm when they’re looking for new homes either outside or inside a building. A swarm of bees is made up of many thousands or even as many as 50,000 honeybees and these can be extremely defensive if they feel threatened.
Virgin queen: This term refers to a new female bee in the colony that hasn’t mated with any drones yet. She’ll mate either with the old queen who will then die off after mating once (supersedure) or she’ll fly away from her original hive when swarming season arrives .Once this happens, there’s no way for workers to tell which eggs are fertilized by male sperm cells carried over from mating flights so larvae become worker bees instead of queens.
Worker Bee: These are female honeybees whose main job is taking care of everything inside their hive and they also go on to become foragers or nurses. Worker bees are infertile females who have developed from fertilized eggs laid by a queen bee.
Beekeeping is a great way to spend your time, especially if you are looking for something that is both mentally and physically stimulating. Taking up beekeeping as a hobby with your family or friends can be fun and enjoyable, plus it has many wonderful benefits that are also good for the planet!