Thursday, August 6, 2015

Top tips for wannabe backyard beekeepers

Honey bees
I became interested in beekeeping after talking to my uncle, who is a beekeeper, and observing how few bees were around to pollinate fruit trees. 
Having started with one hive, I am building numbers with a medium term goal of 80 hives.
I love it because it's outdoors and directly helps the environment. Plus, honey fresh from the hive is amazing!
Before starting out as a hobby beekeeper there are some tips you need to know:
1. Check local rules as some councils do not allow back yard beehives.
2. Having your hives side by side is a lot easier long term. It means you can transfer frames of stores/brood between the two, if one hive is weak.
3. Check the location of your hives on your property. Bees take-off from the hive in the same way aircraft take-off from a runway so you want their flight path to be away from your washing line and whoever lives next door.
If the hive is pointed toward a doorway or gateway, having the bees fly past can be in unnerving and increase the risk of stings.
If bees are flying past washing a lot they leave little brown stains on anything white, which isn't very good.
4. Read a Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand a few months before you get your first hive. This is a very good book and will tell you everything you need to know.
5. Obey the rules regarding recording and reporting, it is about protecting the industry.
6. Join a club! You can learn a lot from others

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