February 4, 2021

Thinking About Keeping Bees? Read This!

Firstly, YES to you thinking about the idea of keeping bees, it’s a brilliant, rewarding and much needed journey.

80 – 96% of angiosperms (plants that flower and bear fruit) require pollinators for reproduction, 1/3 of the food we eat – EPA.org

If you can’t keep a beehive, there are other ways you can care for bees like planting pollinator flowers, providing bee safe water sources, having a solitary bee hotel, or supporting a local beekeeping by buying their honey! 

Remember as you read, I’m not an expert beekeeper, I’m about 6 months in and I haven’t made it through a winter yet… But I know enough to tell you that getting bees in September isn’t the best time of year and starting to think and plan right about now in the northern hemisphere so that they arrive before the summer and don’t try to get settled and create stores for the winter right before winter. 

What I’m providing here isn’t at all everything you need to know to keep bees, but more of a roadmap to learning that I didn’t have. So I hope it helps to give you a very general framework you can use to start your learning. 

Try to start in spring not coming into winter like I did!

So I’d really suggest starting to think now, which is what I’m doing all over again for a second hive! So if you want to join along with me as I get my second one, start doing some learning and planning now! I wrote a post about things you want to start thinking about as you delve in which is linked below. 

Don’t get overwhelmed with what’s “right”

There’s a LOT of information and opinion out there. I’ve learned that someone will always think you’re doing it wrong, so I try to keep the perspective that the world needs more bees, and so if I’m using a smoker when someone thinks I shouldn’t, or feeding when someone things I shouldn’t, or if you’re taking honey when someone thinks you shouldn’t… if we’re doing what you’re doing on the journey to building a hive, and doing our best, I personally think that’s ok and good. 

If nothing else, before you start:

  1. Read my post on 11 things to think about and research at least those and the questions that they give you.
  2. Take time to learn as much as you can before you start. I probably watched 40+ hours of videos and asked a few beekeepers both local and further away all my questions! 
  3. Finding a mentor (though a bee club or friend) who you can turn to for questions when you hit something you just don’t know. 
  4. Having a source of help for local knowledge as bee keeping really changes by region and what you might find in training, videos, reading, from further away will be different from what you find locally. 

(SOME OF) WHAT TO LEARN: 

There’s a lot to learn and you can always learn more but I think you want to start by having a general understanding of how bees work! Learning parts of the hive and what happens in them, and the life cycle of bees, and what bees live and do what in different areas of the hive will start to give you a framework to put your learning on, but also to know what you don’t know. You’ll also want to know about the different kinds of hive and then specifically about use, care and harvesting of the one you choose as well as the care, threats and weather conditions specific to your local area. 

READ 11 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE YOU START BEEKEEPING HERE! 

 

SHARE THIS POST

Related Posts

The Green Edit: Home

Eco + Conscious Living

SHOP THE GREEN EDIT WHERE YOU ARE: UK Canada Australia    The Green Edit: Home, my first hardback book in real life print is now available in the UK, Canada, and Australia….

14 Places We Buy Shoes for Ethical Options

Eco + Conscious Living, Eco + Conscious Living

This is a list of the ethical shoes we own, buy, and wear and I hope it helps you narrow down your search or get some ideas! 

How I Research + Choose a Brand

Eco + Conscious Living, Gift Ideas

When I want to find a new item to bring into my home – how do I go about searching out a the right company for me?  So many of…

UK Veg Box Review: 4 National Favourites Side by Side

Eco + Conscious Living, Health and Wellbeing

We first got a veg box the year before Clayton was born as I began my journey to reduce plastic food packaging and food miles. It was a local farm…

What is a B Corp? Here are some we love + use every day!

Eco + Conscious Living, Gift Ideas

What is a B corp brand? There are many certifications a brand can get that mean an array of different things, but B corp is one of my favourites. The…

Creating a Non Toxic Bed: What We Use

Eco + Conscious Living, Health and Wellbeing, lifestyle

Why Do I Care What We Sleep On? Everything I bring into my home gets assessed in terms of its impact on people, planet and our personal health! All three…