Beekeeping Tips

Beekeeping Tips – For My “Buzzin” Friends

Beekeeping tips from Carolina Honeybees Farm

Beekeeping is a fascinating and detailed endeavor.  A few beekeeping tips will help you get off to a great start.

It’s All About Local – Get Beekeeping Tips From Locals

One of the most important considerations for anyone interested in beekeeping is knowing local conditions.  You must connect with beekeepers in your  area.  Local beekeepers will be knowledgeable about forage (food) and weather conditions that affect the health and vitality of your colonies. While the internet is a wonderful source of information, what works for beekeepers in Nebraska may not work well in Florida.  Join a local beekeeping club and seek out area beekeepers to help get your hobby off to a great start.  Success in beekeeping requires the input of time and experience.

Good Beekeeping Books Are Your Friends

A good book can provide beekeeping tips that your havent heard before.  Bee culture is constantly changing.  Keep up with the times.  My three favorites for beginning beekeepers are:  The Beekeeper’s Handbook – I love the large pages, diagrams and detail.  My latest purchase was The Beekeepers Bible– I am enjoying the historic art photos and recipes.  And of course, Beekeeping for Dummies give a good foundation to any beginner.

How to Feed Your Honeybees

Feeding bees in upstate South Carolina - Carolina Honeybees FarmThe subject of feeding bees can cause turmoil in some beekeeping circles.     Should you feed ?  What should you feed ?  You will need to answer this question for yourself.  Some beekeepers believe you should never feed honeybees.  Let the strong survive and the weak die.  I see the “Darwinism” merit in this idea.  However, I think of the horses and cows that we feed hay during drought times.  Is this any different ?   I can not tell you what to do but I will share my ideas.  Feed your bees if and when they need it.  (Never feed bees when boxes are on the hive collecting honey for human consumption).  My food of choice is pure white cane sugar.

Where to place your beehives

Beekeeping tips for beginners. Carolina Honeybees FarmYou will find beekeepers in cities like New York, the swamps of Georgia and the fertile valleys of California.  First, make sure your city (county) allows bees.  Second, if you live in a neighborhood be respectful.  Place your colonies away from public sidewalks, play areas, etc.   Third, Your bees will need access to water.  In most areas, bees will be able to find water from a nearby stream or other natural water source.  You may also provide a water source for your bee colonies using a water garden or fountain water feature.  You do NOT want your bees to find your neighbor’s swimming pool first.  Have a water source ready before your bees arrive and keep it filled. Raising your colony up off the ground will preserve the wood, help guard against skunks and maybe save your back.   Lastly, honeybees remember the location of their hive so moving a hive can be a challenge.  Put some thought into a suitable location before your bees arrive.

Ordering Bees – Order Early (November-January)Ordering bees - beekeeping tips-Carolina Honeybees Farm

While you may be lucky enough to catch a swarm of wild bees, most beginners will purchase a package of honeybees.  Suppliers begin taking orders for bees in November-December for Spring delivery.  If you are lucky enough to have a local bee supplier, this is the best way to begin.  Honeybees can be mailed through the postal service but it is not unusual to experience shipping problems.  If you order your bees in late winter, you will have several months to get ready for their arrival. Be cautious when buying established colonies of honeybees.  The purchase of honeycomb and wooden parts increases the chance of receiving bee pests or diseases.

Beekeeping Tips For Pest Management Plan

Varroa mites are the #1 pest of honeybees worldwide-Carolina Honeybees FarmHoneybees are facing many challenges.  The #1 problem facing beekeepers worldwide is the pest known as the Varroa Mite.  Beekeepers often disagree on the best management plan for dealing with varroa.  Some beekeepers are convinced that varroa resistant bees are the answer.  Other beekeepers rely on chemical treatments that are approved by the FDA.  Organic or “soft” treatments are also available in our arsenal against varroa.  The IPM or Integrate Pest Management plan incorporates all components : biological, mechanical and chemical.  Keep abreast of varroa treatment developments.   A new beekeeper may escape varroa problems the first year – only to have their colonies collapse in the second year.  Have a plan.  Failure to plan for varroa is a death sentence to your colonies.

Read, Learn, Listen – Just do it ! – Beekeeper Charlotte


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