Many folks have decided that this year isn’t the right time for them to get started with bees. Others are keeping bees but are still worried and concerned about what they’re doing, after all caring for thousands of tiny animals is a little intimidating! So how do you become more comfortable keeping bees or get to experience and learn beekeeping when you don’t have a hive of your own? Why volunteering of course!
Many bigger beekeepers will allow volunteers to come out and help them work their hives. Whether it’s helping shake hundreds of packages into their new homes or simply following along on a hive inspection, many beekeepers encourage others to help them with their work, and it’s a great experience for us to learn more about beekeeping in a hands-on way.
So how do you go about finding someone to work with? The first and most likely option is to get in touch with your local beekeeper organization. Many of these organizations have mentor programs and even if you don’t sign up for a mentor you may find folks who could use your help in their bee yard. This time of the year many larger beekeepers are seeking folks to help them hive packages and it’s possible that you could turn this experience into a long term volunteer opportunity. You can also check out our member map on our forums. Here you’ll find members of World of Beekeeping and you can connect with them to see if they could use your help.
Finally, before you go out to assist another beekeeper with their apiary make sure you know what to bring. Do they have an extra veil and gloves for you or should you bring your own? And of course remember, long sleeves, long pants, no skin goes uncovered and all light colors.