Learn how to start beekeeping BEFORE you invest your time, money and energy! Learn what equipment you have to have, how to set up your hives, how to choose the right bee species, and so much more in order to get started beekeeping.
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So, how do you get started beekeeping?
One of the things I hear the most is, ”Have you been stung before?!” AND “How do I get started beekeeping?”
I started beekeeping in 2020 thanks to an America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Grant by the Bayer Fund to our school. The structure of how they award grants has changed a bit, but you may want to see if you qualify for a grant from this company. From then I have been able to successfully overwinter bees in Iowa (over 100% efficiency-we had a swarm in the middle of winter!), make splits, graft queens (12 out of 32 cells WITH children’s help), and collect and sell delicious honey.
What terminology should you know about beekeeping
First, I would recommend reading these two posts to become familiar with some beekeeping terminology:
What things do you need to get started beekeeping
Second, please check out this all-inclusive how to start beekeeping – equipment list below. This includes options:
- Unassembled hive boxes
- Kits with unassembled hive boxes
- Necessary tools for starting beekeeping
- Personal protective equipment (suit/veil),
- Materials to make Vivaldi Boards for the winter
- Bottling honey and labels
- Buying bees
- Storage for equipment.
Trust me, you’ll want your own designated place to store beekeeping equipment that is away from the elements, is tightly closed, and *bonus* if there is a light source (to keep wax moths away).
How to start beekeeping – Equipment List
In all, you must understand that beekeeping has a startup cost, just like having any other livestock. Bees are not free to keep, unless you plan on cutting down trees or hanging off of cliffs to harvest honey. Just because they are small insects does not mean they are “cheap” or necessarily “easy” to keep.
Being a beekeeper means you will take on your own set of knowledge and skills to keep bees alive and happy. That being said, the saying in the beekeeping community is, “If you ask a group of ten beekeepers to answer a question, you’ll get 11 different answers.” Everyone has their opinions on how to raise bees, and none of them are wrong, if their hives are happy and healthy. Right?!
You also may want to enroll yourself in a local beekeeping course, or take an online course. I especially appreciate the knowledge and expertise Ellen Bell of Bell Farm, and highly recommend her courses, found here: Bell Farm: Online Classes. You can see our Beekeeping in Iowa Spotlight on Ellen Bell of Bell Farm here.
I’d be happy to provide you with an estimate and recommendations for getting started with beekeeping in your area. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an in depth look at our fees for this service.
You’ve got this. I’m cheering you on!
This is the start of something GOOD! (I can tell!)