If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the wonders of nature while supporting local ecosystems, try backyard beekeeping. The process is easy and rewarding.
Backyard beekeeping requires some basic equipment, including a smoker and veil, and can be done on a small budget. You can also catch a swarm or purchase a starter kit that includes the nucleus hive, queen and brood (bees).
The hive is the heart of backyard beekeeping. It serves as a living space for the bee colony and houses its queen and her eggs, as well as food stores, such as pollen and honey.
When you’re setting up your hive, be sure to give it plenty of room by spraying it with sugar water and adding several empty frames to the brood box before placing the queen inside. It’s important to do this early in the season so the bees have a place to start their new home.
Beekeepers also need to ensure they’re preventing unwanted animals from entering their hives. Raccoons, skunks, voles, and other mammals can chew through combs and damaged equipment to eat the bees, making it difficult for them to build up a thriving colony.
The best way to prevent robbers from getting into your hives is to keep your yard clean and avoid using boardman (entrance) feeders, syrup containers, and honey supers that are open during a nectar dearth. You can also add entrance reducers or robbing screens to smaller colonies.
Bees are one of the most important pollinators on the planet and play a vital role in our food system. They are facing more challenges than ever, but by introducing them to your yard, you can help them thrive and improve the ecosystem around your home.
New beekeepers should learn the basics by attending a class or joining an organization that will provide mentoring and hands-on experience. It’s also a good idea to consult with an experienced beekeeper in your area to learn best management practices.
Once you’ve begun your hives, it’s a good idea to check them daily (doesn’t need to be done every hour). Make sure the hives are healthy and have plenty of brood and adult bees. This helps ensure a healthy honey harvest next spring.
Bees aren’t only a sweet treat — they play a vital role in our food supply by helping local plants thrive. Whether you grow flowers or fruits, having bees in your garden can make all the difference.
If you’re interested in getting started with beekeeping, it’s important to do your research. You should read up on the best practices for backyard beekeeping and find a beekeeping association in your area that can offer support.
You should also be on good terms with your neighbors if you want to have a successful hive. It’s always a good idea to give them your phone number and encourage them to call you with questions or concerns. This way, you can address any issues that may arise quickly and keep your hives healthy.
Bees are important for pollinating flowers and trees that produce fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and other edible products. Without them, more than 80 percent of our crops would not survive.
The honey produced by bees is a thick golden liquid that we consume and recognize as a sweet treat. It is made from the nectar of flowering plants.
Honey is a supersaturated liquid, packed with more sugar molecules than water. The bees collect the nectar, regurgitate it and then pass it to other bees.
When the bees return to the hive, they store the nectar in small wax cells called honeycombs. The cells act like jars that the bees seal with wax to keep out bacteria and moisture.
It is important to provide your bees with a consistent source of water year-round. This can be a koi pond, a bird bath, a dog bowl or any other natural water source that is at least fifteen feet away from your bee hive(s). The more water you provide the better off your bees will be.