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November, 2008 | Beekeeping
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Archive for November, 2008

How to Start Beekeeping

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The first step that is important for a beekeeping startup is to know the seasonal cycles. As there is no period during which the colony is fully inactive, careful planning of the timing or seasonal cycle is very important.  Flowering of plants, nectar flow are influenced due to seasonal change in weather pattern.  So, first check out the seasonal cycles before venture to start beekeeping.

Next step to start a beekeeping is to manage honey bee colony.  Honey bees generally build nests in a cavity where the combs are attached to the upper part. To manage hives, you need to manipulate the combs so as to adjust the space needs or to inspect the condition of the colony. Hence, a practical system is a prerequisite to start beekeeping that allows easy replacement and removal of combs without destroying them.  Knowledge of bee space also helps in construction of hives that separate the brood nest from the honey stores.  This allows separate access to each area.

Next step to start a beekeeping venture is to select hive.  There are many options like movable hive, simple package hives which have a screened box that has honey bees and a queen bee, fixed-comb hive, etc.  Whichever type of hive you select, it should be cost-effective and provide the desired result which is speeding up the process of obtaining honey.

Next step is to select arrangement of the apiary and placement of hives.  To protect bees from toads and ants, you can opt for putting hives on stands that are at least one to one-and-half foot above the ground.  Tall grass and weeds need to be cut so as to lessen the number of ants and other insects and to keep the apiary clean.  You should not place hive close to each other in long straight rows as this might results in drifting and may confuse the bees of different colonies.  This can also lead to transmission of disease.

Once the hive place and type are decided, it is important to have a proper gear to work with and equipment needed to start beekeeping.  As it is well -known face that bees sting, to protect from bee stings, the person working within the apiary should be well-protected.  A smoker helps in controlling bees and thus minimizes stings. A veil is important part of protective clothing.  This can be made of plastic screen or metal screen or nylon mesh or mosquito net.  A veil should cover full face as well as neck.  Rubber or elastic bands can be used to hold it in place or hold it over a hat.  The veil material should be dark as it limits reflection and help in clear visibility while working in sunlight. Gloves and loose fitting full body gown are a must while working in an apiary. 

Next, find a source of bees.  You can get them from a bee farmer or other bee keepers or local outlets.  Place these bees in hive and let the colony built.  Next reap the fruits of your labor by extracting honey and selling it to make a tidy profit.