Beekeeping is one of the oldest agricultural arts in the world. For centuries, people have learned that bees produce one of the sweetest and most useful substances in the natural world – honey. Honey has multiple purposes. It is food for the bees, it is a sweet substance that can be used for cooking and for pastries, and it can be used as an antibacterial agent that prevents the growth of microorganisms in wounds. You can even put honey in your face or on your skin to foster softer and smoother skin. If you want to make your own honey and be a beekeeper, here’s how you can learn all about the art.
- Read about bees. First of all, you should read up and do as much research as possible, on bees themselves. After all, the bees are the creatures that you will be working with. You should know everything about them, including their social nature, how they behave when threatened, how they gather nectar, how they produce honey, how they reproduce, and how they protect their beehives. All of these will help you successfully raise a bee colony.
- Know the equipment. Apart from bee knowledge, you should also have the specialized knowledge on what tools and equipment you will need to be a beekeeper. There is safety equipment that you need in order to be able to approach the bees without getting bitten or stung. For instance, there are protective suits that you can wear. There are also smoking techniques to force the bees to leave their hive so that you can harvest the honey or check the structure and size of the actual bee hive. There are also boxes that already look like honey combs where you can house the bees. Using human made beehives is good because it allows the bees to focus on honey making.
- Beekeeping associations. Next, try to contact beekeeping associations. You can only learn so much from books. The best information comes from people who actually work with the bees. The beekeeping associations will usually hold gatherings where you can learn in-depth and personalized knowledge about bees. Beekeeping associations can even work as the network where you can find bee equipment suppliers. You can even get to taste samples of various types of honey products that were made from the nectar or various flowers.
- Know the laws. If you intend to start beekeeping, it is important for you to know the laws with regards to beekeeping. Because beekeeping is potentially dangerous, you need to secure permits when operating a beekeeping business. This is especially true if you are beekeeping in urban areas where bees are usually not allowed to be raised.
- Coordinate. Finally, try to get an apprenticeship with other experienced beekeepers. This will give you information on how to actually work the materials, how to actually deal with the animals, and will give you the chance to see bees and honey production in motion. Most beekeepers will help other fledgling beekeeping apprentices without fees, and will gladly accept your assistance as the only thing for exchange.
With these in mind, you should be able to learn everything about bees
and beekeeping. In no time, you should be able to start raising your own
bees and producing your own honey.