If you’re new to beekeeping you may feel really overwhelmed right about now. For many of us our new packages are showing up in a few weeks and while putting the package into the hive is a bit frightening the prepping is simply overwhelming. Here’s a nice list from Ron on what you should be doing and thinking about right now.
- Location, Location, Location – where are you going to put your hive? Make sure that bees have a good clear flight path (just like an airplane!), that you’re not too close to your neighbors or your patio, that the bees get good morning sun and not too much shade in the winter and most importantly decide for sure where you want it to be. Moving the hive later is extremely difficult, even just a few feet can be a disaster so make sure you like your place and figure it out now so you can think through the benefits and drawbacks of your chosen location.
- Gear- While many of us spend the night before we get our packages assembling gear we always promise ourselves that we won’t do that again this year so let’s not! Put everything together now, get it painted and ready to go. Here’s how to put our Beekeeping Kit together.
- Look Out Buying Someone’s Old Gear- While it’s tempting to purchase hives that are already made and used some pests can live in wax for decades and used gear might have chemicals that will still be in the wax. You’ll want to consider this if you’re thinking about used gear.
- Safety Gear- Do your friends really want to come over to see your bees? GREAT! But what about their gear? Do they have their own veil? Probably not so now is a good time to put together a visitor kit with an extra veil, jacket and/or suit and gloves. If you have kids that come over make sure you have gear that will fit them. We all want to encourage kids to learn about bees and they’ll love putting on the gear and becoming a beekeeper with you. And just in case, get an EpiPen prescription from your doctor and have that EpiPen in your house. Many may not know they are allergic and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Sugar Sugar- You’re going to go through a lot of sugar feeding your bees once you get the package so go get a BIG bag of the stuff. Now is a good time to practice with your feeder too. Make the syrup (it won’t go bad) and learn what it’s like to change it out now, before it’s an emergency. Here’s a video on how to feed your bees.
- Review and Refresh- You’ve watched the basic beekeeping video but it’s time to watch it again. Get out the emails, poke through the website and fill your brain with the information you’ll need to feel really comfortable once your package arrives.
- Go Out There and Make a Friend- Find people in your area or online that you can talk to. You can find our map of beekeepers here (make sure to add yourself!) and/or post on the forums if that works better for you.
What concerns you most about starting with bees? Let us know!