Here at World of Beekeeping we often get questions about the cost of beekeeping. Unfortunately as most of us know, beekeeping isn’t the cheapest of hobbies. And like most hobbies you potentially have to invest quite a bit of money prior to determining if you even like beekeeping!
That’s hard to take for most folks and rightfully so. Then what do you do if you aren’t in a position to afford bees right now and aren’t even sure if you’ll like beekeeping?
Find a Mentor!
At many beekeeping organizations there are beekeepers willing to take on apprentices. It could be that they’re going for a certification in beekeeping and need to take an apprentice to meet those requirements. It could be that they love beekeeping and want to share that love or it could be that they simply could use some extra hands and extra help.
Either way finding a mentor is a great way for you to dive deep into beekeeping without too much investment.
So what should you expect from a mentor and what should they expect from you?
- Your mentor should be able to explain most of the concepts of the hive and share their knowledge of beekeeping.
- They should let you (within reason and more as you become more familiar) dig in to their hives and do some hands on help with inspections.
- They should be able to point you to further learning resources and help you find answers to questions they might not know the answers to.
Here’s what you should be willing to provide to a mentor if you decide to become their apprentice.
- Recognize that the best of plans change and you’ll need to be flexible. If the wind is howling and it’s dumping rain your mentor isn’t going to do a hive inspection. You will need to be able to reschedule without being upset should plans change. You’ll also need to understand that while your mentor will do their best to schedule around your schedule this might not always be possible. Bees sometimes need tending to when it’s not convenient.
- While your mentor may have equipment for you prepare to provide the basic safety gear for yourself.
- Show up on time and ready. If you’re not able to attend make sure they know in advance. Good communication makes for happy relationships.
Have you apprenticed another beekeeper? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Photo by Jessica Dally