There’s an old joke in the beekeeping world that if you ask 20 beekeepers the same question you’ll get 30 different answers. While amusing, for the beginner it can be extremely frustrating to find the “real” information. So why can’t you just get one simple answer? Sadly, because there isn’t one simple answer to most questions.
There’s a term the French use in wine called terroir (no, not terror! and pronounced tare-wa) that is used to describe the complete growing conditions of a particular wine grape. That means not only the climate but the soils, the winds, the amount of sun… basically anything that would affect the grape. When it comes to beekeeping this same concept plays largely in the answers you’ll get from beekeepers.
For example my city lot seems to have a constant breeze (sometimes a full wind) blowing most every day of the year. In other areas of my same city you can have stagnant air the entire day for days on end. That wind can affect my bees, helping to cool them in the hot days of summer but also cooling them in the winter when I’d like to keep them warm. As I learn more about beekeeping and try new things I’ll likely find that what works for me on my plot may not be what works best for someone in another area.
And so that’s why you start with the knowledge you have and learn more all the time. Beekeeping isn’t for those who like to learn something and then be done with it. With new diseases and pest popping up regularly a beekeeper’s education is never over. Hopefully that excites you!
So where do you go to learn and what tricks should you try first. Here are our favorite resources:
Basic Beekeeping Video and Beyond the Basics Video Yes, we’re pushing our stuff here but we made these specifically to answer the questions you have about beekeeping. Hopefully you’ll like them too!
World of Beekeeping Forums Did you know that we have a forum for asking and answering questions? We love it when you post your questions on the forums because then we have a great feel for what people are trying, what is working and not working and what questions we can help answer on the blog. More importantly though you’ll get feedback from a lot of different people and often learn from their mistakes!
Your Local Beekeeping Organization As we mentioned in our previous post your local beekeeping organization is a great place to find out what people in your area are trying. Each geographic location has its own unique challenges from too much sun and heat in warmer climates to cold, damp conditions in places further away from the equator. By connecting with your local beekeepers you can get a better feel for what challenges might be more important for your area and what those around you have done to be successful.
If you could have one answer to one beekeeping question what question would it be? (Disclaimer: we make no promises that we can actually answer this question with only one answer!)
Photo by Jessica Dally