Do you feel like installing a beehive in your garden, but you don't know where to start? Are you wondering what is important, what to keep in mind and what rules to follow?
Then these 10 tips will help you get started with beekeeping.
Take a course
There is so much to learn about bees and beekeeping. The more you learn about them, the better you will understand these valuable pollinators and become a better beekeeper. You will know successes, but also setbacks. Hang in there and learn a lot!
Click here for our basic beekeeping course!
Find a godfather or godmother
As a starting beekeeper you don't know everything in advance. So it might be handy to call on someone in case you have any questions. Ideally, this person has some years of experience, can give you advice or even come by to help you.
Check the internet for an active local beekeepers association in your area. They usually organize lectures and courses, make bee colonies available and also lend beekeeping equipment such as honey extractors and wax melters.
Choose a beehive type that suits you
Choosing the type of hive you want to bee with is the most difficult decision you have to make as a starting beekeeper. Carefully compare all types of beehives and choose the one that best suits your style. Once you have chosen a particular beehive type, we recommend that you stick with your choice, because the different parts related to different beehive types are not interchangeable.
We recommend starting with a small bee colony. This is a newly raised bee colony in May/June, also called a 'nuc'. These will probably no longer swarm, so you have plenty of time to get to know the bee population well.
Place your beehive in a good location
Once you have installed a beehive, you cannot simply move it. As a starting beekeeper, it is best that you immediately choose a good spot for your bees. Place them far enough from your neighbors (10-20 meters), out of full wind or sun, and definitely put them off the ground.
Write down what you do and see
It is best for every beekeeper to keep a hive card. On this card you write down what you have seen in the bee colony and what actions you have performed as a beekeeper.
Bees notice when you are stressed at work. This can make them more irritable and sting more easily. Make sure that you are always well protected. What you need: a beekeeper suit, protective gloves and always wear long trousers.
Keep your neighbors happy
Better a good neighbor than a distant friend, that's no different with beekeeping. Make sure your neighbors don't have to worry. Invite them for a tour and give them a pot of your own honey. This way they can enjoy your bees instead of getting annoyed by them.
Every beekeeper is obliged to register with the Federal Agency for Food Safety (FAVV). This agency intervenes when an infectious disease occurs. You can register as a beekeeper via this link: http://www.afsca.be/professionelen/erkenningen/ Request/
Now you can get started! Consider these 10 tips and starting your own beehive in your garden shouldn't cause any problem!
If you want more information, follow our basic beekeeping course.
Click here to learn more about our basic beekeeping course!