Many people who are fond of country life dream of having their own apiary on the allotment. How to start keeping bees? Where to get the necessary knowledge and how to prepare for the first season? These questions are certainly bothering the beginner beekeepers. We answer the most important ones.
Your own apiary. How to begin the adventure with bees?
How to begin when you have never had any contact with beekeeping but you really like the idea of your own beekeeping? The own apiary on the allotment, its maintenance and running undoubtedly requires some preparation.
Bees are living creatures
So you need to prepare yourself for keeping bees so that it is a well thought out activity and not a one-off move that will end in failure. Beekeeping has centuries of tradition, so it’s worth to consult books, materials on the Internet and first of all visit a breeding farm of someone who has been involved in it for years. From other beekeepers we can learn many practical tips. In the center of our attention has to be the bee, its specific requirements and mistakes that are usually made while breeding it.
What conditions should our plot of land meet to have our own apiary?
Unfortunately, not everywhere we will find the right conditions for placing a beehive. Both legal and practical requirements have to be met. The location of the apiary must be at least 10 m away from the borders of the plot and roads. It is also necessary that it is covered with rich vegetation.
The apiary on the plot cannot be a nuisance to the neighbors. Make sure that you are not allergic to bee venom. You should also remember that the establishment of an apiary must be reported to the County Veterinary Inspector. You also have to take responsibility for a swarm of thousands of bees, which can be a danger to people and animals
What should be the location of a bee apiary?
As a rule, hives should be located in a dry, sunny place sheltered from the wind. They should also be fenced off and planted with shrubs, such as willow, dogwood or snowdrop.
The apiary: the first hives
It is quite obvious that a beginner beekeeper will make big or small mistakes. Unfortunately, bee diseases, the chemicalization of agriculture or the occurrence of a cold winter can expose the lack of skills that beekeeping novices have.
One, two or maybe more? Number of hives at the beginning
Because of potential mistakes a beginner beekeeper should rather start with a larger number of hives. Then it is more likely that our own apiary on the plot of land will survive and the next time, together with the gained experience, it will bring better food. In a close vicinity, you need to grow honey-growing plants that will entice our bees and allow them to produce a large amount of valuable bee products.
Your own apiary and the choice of the type of beehive
We can buy various types of beehives on the market. It is difficult to point out any particular and best model. A given beehive must fulfill the basic tasks that are set before it. It has to protect against both frost and overheating, be ventilated and provide easy access to valuable bee products. Usually the cost of one hive is about 400-600 zlotys. In addition to the hives, you need to make sure that your own apiary on the plot has watering bowls with clean water.
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Not only your own apiary: beekeeping accessories
When we start beekeeping we need to buy important beekeeping accessories. These include, among others, beekeeping frames, beekeeping wire, a vacuum cleaner or a honey extractor. Of course, a beekeeping apron, a hat with a net, pads and gloves will also be necessary.
Your own apiary and bringing in the bees
Once you have the place and the beekeeping equipment ready you need to bring in the bees. There are at least several breeds to choose from. The most popular are the Central European bee, the Cracovian bee and the Caucasian bee. It is very important to select the breed according to the requirements of the region so that the decision is optimal. You can buy bees from another beekeeper or from a breeding station.