How To Keep Bees In Your Garden?
With many of us desiring greater self-sufficiency, beekeeping for beginners has grown in popularity over the last decade. Many people want to learn how to raise bees because they understand how vital bees are in pollinating many of the plants in our gardens and the meals we eat.
With bee populations dropping at an alarming rate, every gardener can assist by keeping beehives in your backyard and providing a safe home for them, in addition to planting pollinator-friendly flowers and other wildlife garden ideas.
The benefits of beekeeping for beginners
Along with the environmental benefits of assisting in the survival of critical pollinators, beekeeping for beginners can give a variety of personal rewards. Furthermore, introducing bee-friendly flowers to your garden is a simple method to make your plot more environmentally friendly.
It's a fascinating subject to research, it's calming and stress-relieving, and it helps pollinate garden vegetables and flowers. Other advantages of learning how to maintain bees include "exercise, social opportunities to interact with other beekeepers, learning new skills, and a pleasant hobby." beekeepers gain a better understanding of the environment and which flowers to grow. It's amazing to watch bees forage on blooms for pollen or nectar. This might help you make better selections as a gardener when considering flower bed ideas.
Myths about beekeeping
Unless you've done it, you undoubtedly have an idea of what beekeeping is like in your head. Here are some frequently inaccurate beliefs regarding this hobby:
- You'll need a large yard.
A typical residential yard (approximately a quarter of an acre) is ample. A hive should have at least 10 feet of open area around it for easy bee access.
- It's expensive
Hives should face southeast (for morning sun) and have afternoon shade if feasible. The equipment and bees cost around $300. A beginning set that includes a hive, leather gloves, a bee veil, a smoker, a hive tool, and instructions costs around $200. Bee colonies cost $90-$100 and are available from local providers in the spring.
- It is time-consuming.
During the spring and summer, you'll need to inspect the hive once a week to check on the queen and the honeycomb-making progress. A swarm is a bad thing. It appears to be threatening, but a swarm is a normal phenomenon, and the bees in it are not on the defensive. It occurs when a hive becomes overcrowded, and some or all of the colony departs in search of a new home. Swarms can sometimes be seen resting in uncomfortable places (in a tree by a school, for example).
Purchasing beekeeping equipment
Aside from initial investment and a few minutes of care each week, you'll also need a few tools and other equipment. The following are examples of standard items and their projected prices:
a veil and gloves: they are available with and without hats. More mesh equals improved ventilation.
a smoker: to keep the bees calm, blow smoke from burning newspaper and pine needles into the hive.
a hive tool: a tiny crowbar is used to take out frames and scrape off superfluous wax.
a hive: hives come in a variety of sizes, finishes, and materials.
When is the best time to begin beekeeping?
The optimal time to order equipment and bees is in the fall or early winter, for spring delivery. Early winter is an ideal time to take advantage of beekeeping associations' classes. Most beekeepers appreciate sharing their knowledge, so look for one to serve as a mentor and you'll soon be on your way to a rewarding, fun hobby or business.
How time expensive is beekeeping?
Because beekeeping is a seasonal occupation, the amount of time you must devote to it will change throughout the year. Beginner beekeeping may take more time while you learn the ropes, but once you've established a pattern, it will take up less of your time.
From late March through September, you'll need to spend approximately an hour each week monitoring the hive to ensure the bees don't swarm, and a bit longer at times if you wish to feed, treat, or remove the honey. In the fall and winter, this is reduced to a weekly check to verify they don't need feeding, as well as time spent maintaining, cleaning, and repairing equipment.
Honey gathering can be time-consuming and messy, but your honey is the best and tastes like nothing else you've ever tasted. Honey extractors are frequently loaned out by your local beekeeping group or association to individuals in the association who do not have them.
Should beehives be in the sun or the shade?
The solution is that beehives should ideally have both sun and shade. According to the experts at been built, if you have a place with early morning sun and afternoon shade, that is ideal.
'If you live in a hot region, you will most likely prefer more midday shade. Bees are extremely flexible organisms that can generally make practically any setting work as long as there is food and water around.
Choose a location.
Bees require four things. First, they require sunlight, or afternoon shade if the weather is hot. Second, they must have easy access to clean water close to the hive. Every day, we refilled the water in a large plant saucer with stones in the center for the bees to settle on. A shallow bubble fountain might also work well.
Third, the hive must be sheltered from the wind, which can blow rain (or snow) into the hive and make it more difficult for the bees to keep the hive warm. Finally, bees require solitude. Place the hives away from high-traffic areas, play spaces, swimming pools, and pet areas.
Allow ample bee room for each hive—ideally, 50 feet away from high-traffic areas—but if space is restricted, keep the hive in such a position that the entrance is near a tall fence or hedge. This will force their flight path overhead to avoid collisions with people and pets. And keeping them hidden from view will keep both bees and people happy.
Set up the place
If possible, keep hives facing south and off the ground to protect them from dampness and pests. We poured a cement pad to make upkeep easier after clearing the bush and leveling the area.
Set up the bees
The time to place your bees in their hives is in the spring when flowering flowers provide a food supply. Once you've decided how to obtain them, the best chance for installation instructions is to rely on your supplier.
Provide food for the bees
Young colonies have a lot of work ahead of them, such as storing pollen and nectar, sealing all the cracks and seams in their new home, and caring for the queen and new offspring. We fed them "nectar" to ease their transition. Here's how to do it: fill the quart jars with an equal mixture of granulated sugar and water. Place the feeder lids on top and invert the jars into the holes. The lids should be barely damp, not dripping. The bees will drink from the lids as much as they require.
Inspect the hives from the inside out.
A large part of beekeeping consists of simple observation and response. If you are a beginner beekeeper, inspect the hive once a week for a couple of months to learn. Once you're at ease, reduce your frequency to every two weeks. Check that the outside of the hive is clean and clear of bee dung, that the landing board is clean, and that there are no ants on the hive.
Check the frames for larvae and eggs after opening the hives (on warm days only). If the queen is healthy, there will be a large number of larvae at various stages of development. Consult a specialist if you don't notice evidence of a healthy queen. A smart place to start is your local beekeeping guild.
Finally, the less frequently you visit the hive, the better it will be for its health. To keep the bees quiet when opening and properly inspecting the hives, smoking is required. The bees are stressed as a result, and it takes them roughly a day to recuperate. As you learn more, you'll discover that you don't need to remove as many frames to understand what's going on within. And you'll learn a lot just by watching the bees come and leave the hive.
Inspect for pests and illnesses regularly.
Varroa mites are the most common pest encountered in hives. They can weaken and finally kill the hive if left unchecked (see pest control, below, for hints about checking for mites and mite control). Other pests to keep an eye out for are the little hive beetle and the wax moth. American and European foulbrood are two diseases to be aware of. Early intervention is frequently the difference between a healthy and a dead hive.
Increase the size of the hive as needed.
Begin with a single deep hive body-brood box. Top it with a second brood box when the bees have filled it with 7 or 8 frames of bees and brood. Allow the bees to develop brood cells in the second brood box as well. When the second brood box is full (7 or 8 frames of bees), top it with a queen excluder, if using one, and then the honey super (the box from which you will collect most of your honey).
Is beekeeping money worth it?
If you ask any beekeeper if beekeeping is worthwhile, the answer will be a loud 'yes.' Aside from the environmental and personal benefits listed above, you will gain a fascinating insight into the world of these amazing pollinators.
Keep all this in mind while you decide to keep bees in your garden. Make a wise decision!
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