Start your own sweet Beekeeping income stream
What Beekeeping Involves
As a beekeeper, you essentially manage your bees. Simple.
Some beekeepers focus on renting out their bees, while others focus on producing honey for sale. Some do both.
It depends on your goals and ideas about beekeeping.
Looking after bees involves keeping the bees healthy, prepare colonies for production, and replace the queen bee when needed. In this article, you’ll learn about the supplies you need.
You’ll also keep a caring eye on the queen, so she is healthy enough to produce thousands of eggs to grow your colony and honey production.
Then during the summer months, you’ll prepare and add frames and honeycomb boxes to the hive to ensure that the bees have enough space to produce honey at their optimum level.
Eventually, you’ll harvest the honey to sell.
This beekeeper is risking being stung! No protective clothing or gloves.
Gadgets are needed a smoking device to tame the bees, protective clothing, and a knife or stick to remove the combs from the hives. In natural beekeeping, you don’t take all the honey. You leave honey some for the bees to use for food instead of giving them artificial food choices.
Some beekeepers also become consultants and help remove swarms where they’re not wanted, saving the bees from being killed. Beekeepers also rent them to other beekeepers for a passive income stream.
Decide on becoming a beekeeper for fun or a hobby for a new sweet income stream. A full-time beekeeper earns about $70 thousand a year and usually need to travel to re-locate hives as the season changes. If you want to earn money, you’ll make more if you live in a climate that gets colder. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy beekeeping, earn a little money on the side, and contribute to our natural ecosystem, no matter where you live.
Supplies You Need
To become a beekeeper, you don’t need that much equipment. It’s all pretty standard. There are essential tools keep safe as a couple of hundred beestings can be fatal. This is why it’s important that beekeepers practice and exercise safety
There is an investment to be safe, keep your bees healthy, and use the right equipment for the job. Some people have developed homemade tools, or you can buy those already tried and tested.
- Hives – You can buy hives of all types. Before you buy a hive, consider how large of a hive you can handle. If you aren’t strong, you will want to buy smaller hives. If you’re strong and can pick up a lot of weight or afford tools to help you, then you can get a larger hive. Plus, there are top bar hives which you don’t need to lift. You also need to know whether you just want to support pollination or if you want to produce honey.
- Bees – When you buy bees you buy a “nuc,” which is a nucleus colony or a starter hive of bees that consists of five frames. When you get it home, you remove the empty frames from your hive and add those. You can also get free bees by attracting them to a hive using lemon grass oil.
- Hive Tool – This is a hook device that you use to lift the frames. It has a flat side that is used to scrape off wax and propolis that gets on the frames and hive walls. Some people open their hives with screwdrivers, but it’s always nice to have the right tool, so you avoid harming bees or yourself.
- Smoker – When you want to calm honey bees, you’ll use a smoker. A smoker does what it sounds like; it generates smoke. When you put smoke near bees, it turns off their internal pheromone alarms and interrupts their defenses so that you can move them or collect honey. Some people think smokers are used to control swarms, but this is not accurate, as honey bees that are swarming aren’t as interested in attacking as one might think. Honey bees only attack when protecting something.
- Protective Gear – You’ll need a bee suit, which is a jacket with a hat veil and gloves. This will keep you from being stung due to a bee getting caught someplace and getting scared. Honey bees don’t typically attack and sting in high numbers, but you must always be protected. It keeps your bees safe and healthy and avoids painful situations that can arise.
- Bee Brush – When you need to remove bees from a surface, a bee brush is the tool of choice; it’s long and soft so that you can gently remove bees off your honeycombs without damaging anything. But it’s also firm enough that it can remove bees from frames and other equipment without harming the bees.
- Feeders – You’ll need different types of honey bee feeders depending upon your goal. You can get entrance feeders which are inserted via a tray into the entrance of the hive without bothering them or going into the hive. There are also open-air feeders which are not preferred methods of feeding honey bees; other wildlife will use them, which can transmit disease. Many beekeepers swear by the baggie feeders, which is just a zip-locked bag filled with food placed in a space and cut open so the bees can get to it.
- Bee Food – There is a lot of different thoughts about bee food. Some people just use Karo syrup, but others like to use more natural options. Even though bees forage for nectar, pollen, and water, its best to leave some of their honey to feed on if they don’t have enough food. Avoid feeding them poor nutrition such as corn syrup. Let them eat their honey for a productive and sustainable colony.
- Lemon Grass Oil – This oil acts as a pheromone to attract swarms of hives. It’s one way to bait and attract honey bees to make your hives their home. Most people purchase hives, but if you know that you have swarmed on your property, this is a good way to get bees to your hives without spending a lot of money. However, you may have to find a queen.
- Strainers – When collecting the honey, dead bees, wax and other debris can get into the honey. Therefore, it’s best to strain it so that it looks clear and beautiful instead of looking as if it has trash in it. There are stainless strainers, nylon strainers, and various types of strainers that you can get. It depends on your goals, and sometimes the local laws if you’re going to sell the honey. It also depends on whether you’re harvesting on a large or small scale.
There is a lot more equipment you can get for your beekeeping enterprise, but these are the basics that you’ll need to get started. The most important thing to do is learn some more about beekeeping practices.