So You Want to be  a Beekeeper? Dave Carter, 1 st  Year  Beekeeper
Sharing  Lessons  from my 1 st   Year . . .
Bees are Really Cool and Lots of  Fun Expect to feel Excitement, Fascination, &  ANXIETY .
You will likely be searching many sources for the one right answer to your beekeeping questions . . .
When in doubt, ask a wise & experienced beekeeper from DBA . . .  <ul><li>But remember  – If you ask 5 beekeepers the same...
Beekeeping  Takes Some Time <ul><li>How much time?  More than it takes to care for our cats, but less than it takes to car...
You will need  some new toys (equipment);  with many options and little time to choose. <ul><li>Bee Hive(s) & Supers </li>...
Beekeeping has a cost. <ul><li>Bee Hive & Supers  ~  $125- $175 </li></ul><ul><li>(bottom board, hive & honey supers,  fra...
Get your equipment and prepare it NOW ! ! !  (or well before the spring bee season) If you have some handyman skills, you ...
Picking a Hive Location ... (Don’t Worry) <ul><li>Put them where they are convenient to get too. </li></ul><ul><li>Sunny l...
There are a lot of bees in those hives, so give them a little respect. <ul><li>Bees are usually “ so nice you can pet them...
Placing Bee Package in Hive(s) . .  <ul><li>The hardest part is the waiting to check the queen! </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoy th...
Some Additional Wisdom ... The Queen  <ul><li>You may curiously & anxiously - -  search  & search & search - -  for your n...
Some Additional Wisdom . . .Feeding  <ul><li>Get a big pot to make sugar syrup several gallons at a time. </li></ul><ul><l...
Some Additional Wisdom...”Empty Space” If you forget a frame, or leave an empty super on top, bees will be busy bees.
Some Additional Wisdom . . . Supers  <ul><li>Have Plenty of Extra Supers on hand, with frames and foundation. </li></ul><u...
Some Additional Wisdom . . . Don’t Needlessly Worry about Things <ul><li>If you start from a bee package, mites  & disease...
Some Additional Wisdom . . . Expectations <ul><li>Expect to have fun, meet new friends, and be amazed by the bees. </li></...
Most  Important  1 st  Year Wisdom <ul><li>The bees are in charge, but will often adjust to help the  beginning beekeeper....
Questions ?
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So You Want To Be A Beekeeper

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Presentation given at the Beginning Beekeepers Workshop held by the Delaware Beekeepers Association in Smyrna, DE on January 23, 2010.

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So You Want To Be A Beekeeper

  1. 1. So You Want to be a Beekeeper? Dave Carter, 1 st Year Beekeeper
  2. 2. Sharing Lessons from my 1 st Year . . .
  3. 3. Bees are Really Cool and Lots of Fun Expect to feel Excitement, Fascination, & ANXIETY .
  4. 4. You will likely be searching many sources for the one right answer to your beekeeping questions . . .
  5. 5. When in doubt, ask a wise & experienced beekeeper from DBA . . . <ul><li>But remember – If you ask 5 beekeepers the same question, you may get 5 different answers (all of which are probably right). </li></ul><ul><li>Beekeeping is an “Art” as much as a “Science”. </li></ul><ul><li>Do what feels right, and adapt when needed to best help your bees. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Beekeeping Takes Some Time <ul><li>How much time? More than it takes to care for our cats, but less than it takes to care for our dog. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A few afternoons reading, studying bees, reviewing catalogs, and ordering supplies in Jan/Feb. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>About a full day (or several evenings) to assembly, prepare, and paint equipment by early March. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A few hours a month to check hives and perform some maintenance (feed sugar syrup, add supers, cut weeds, record notes, etc.). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many hours of fun just watching your bees work & checking blooms to see what they are foraging on in your area. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>About 40-50 hours during 1 st Year </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. You will need some new toys (equipment); with many options and little time to choose. <ul><li>Bee Hive(s) & Supers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 or 10 frame boxes? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wedged, grooved, or divided? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full, medium, or short? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wax or plastic foundation? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hive tool. </li></ul><ul><li>Smoker </li></ul><ul><li>Vail/Jacket </li></ul><ul><li>Gloves </li></ul><ul><li>Bee Brush/Feather </li></ul><ul><li>Feeders </li></ul><ul><li>Notebook </li></ul>Smoker Brush Hive Tools Gloves Feeders Spray Bottle Veil Hive
  8. 8. Beekeeping has a cost. <ul><li>Bee Hive & Supers ~ $125- $175 </li></ul><ul><li>(bottom board, hive & honey supers, frames, </li></ul><ul><li>queen excluder, Inner cover, entrance reducer) </li></ul><ul><li>Bees ~ $75 - $85 </li></ul><ul><li>(3lbs. & queen) </li></ul><ul><li>Clothing & Tools ~ $75 - $125 </li></ul><ul><li>( Veil, gloves, smoker,2 hive tools, bee brush) </li></ul><ul><li>Feed & Medications ~ $35-$60 </li></ul><ul><li>(Mite & Nosema medication, Sugar, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Beginner Bee Class ~ $80_____ </li></ul><ul><li>Total Yr. 1 w/one hive = ~ $390 - $525 </li></ul><ul><li>Total Yr. 1 w/two hives = ~ $590- $785 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Get your equipment and prepare it NOW ! ! ! (or well before the spring bee season) If you have some handyman skills, you can save some money (but may want to focus this on future years).
  10. 10. Picking a Hive Location ... (Don’t Worry) <ul><li>Put them where they are convenient to get too. </li></ul><ul><li>Sunny locations make bees earlier risers & a bit happier. </li></ul><ul><li>Wind breaks are helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>Southeast facing is supposed to be best, but my bees don’t seem to care. </li></ul>My bees are here by my shed.
  11. 11. There are a lot of bees in those hives, so give them a little respect. <ul><li>Bees are usually “ so nice you can pet them ”. </li></ul><ul><li>But they too, sometimes have a bad day. </li></ul><ul><li>Purchase AND USE your protective equipment, or your bees may teach you a lesson. </li></ul><ul><li>YOU WILL GET STUNG!!! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Placing Bee Package in Hive(s) . . <ul><li>The hardest part is the waiting to check the queen! </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoy the day and don’t worry. </li></ul><ul><li>Do it with a mentor if you are nervous, so you can have fun. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Some Additional Wisdom ... The Queen <ul><li>You may curiously & anxiously - - search & search & search - - for your new Queen. </li></ul><ul><li>You may never see her . . . . . I didn’t!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Be happy when you see eggs and brood. (It means she is fine.) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Some Additional Wisdom . . .Feeding <ul><li>Get a big pot to make sugar syrup several gallons at a time. </li></ul><ul><li>Entrance feeders may be convenient …. </li></ul><ul><li>BUT, they may lead to robbing and angry bees. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Some Additional Wisdom...”Empty Space” If you forget a frame, or leave an empty super on top, bees will be busy bees.
  16. 16. Some Additional Wisdom . . . Supers <ul><li>Have Plenty of Extra Supers on hand, with frames and foundation. </li></ul><ul><li>You never know when you will need to expand your hive(s), or </li></ul><ul><li>Collect a swarm for a new hive. </li></ul>From This To This In 2009!!!
  17. 17. Some Additional Wisdom . . . Don’t Needlessly Worry about Things <ul><li>If you start from a bee package, mites & diseases are unlikely to be a major concern in year one. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t need a honey extractor this year – so just meet someone who has one. </li></ul><ul><li>Bees are more forgiving than you think if you don’t do things perfectly, and... </li></ul><ul><li>You can learn, adapt, and do things differently in the future. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Some Additional Wisdom . . . Expectations <ul><li>Expect to have fun, meet new friends, and be amazed by the bees. </li></ul><ul><li>DO NOT expect any honey the 1 st year. </li></ul><ul><li>The 1 st Winter is not a beekeeping lull , it is the beginning of your 1 st season of the bee bounty. </li></ul><ul><li>Starting Year two is even more exciting then your 1 st year!!! </li></ul>
  19. 19. Most Important 1 st Year Wisdom <ul><li>The bees are in charge, but will often adjust to help the beginning beekeeper. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Questions ?

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