The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has some wonderful educational videos about keeping bees. While we recommend taking some courses from your local beekeepers to learn more first hand, these videos are a great resource if you’re interested in learning more about this wonderful hobby.
Without bees, we wouldn’t have food, plants, or life around us. Farmers wouldn’t have crops to feed their animals. Gardens wouldn’t exist. Bees are the most important creature to our existence! As bee populations continue to decline around the world, we encourage people to do their research about beekeeping. That’s why we’ve compiled these resources from The Old Farmer’s Almanac!
Tips for Beginners
There is a lot of information out there and it can be overwhelming when you’re thinking of taking on the hobby of beekeeping. Here are a few tips from MyBeeLine to help you figure out where to start:
- Learn About Bees First! Not only should you learn proper keeping methods and equipment, but you should take the time to learn about honeybee biology, behaviors, and lifecycles. This will help you figure out the best type of honeybee for you, and make it easier to maintain a hive.
- Use Frames. You’re always welcome to stop by or give us a call if you have trouble figuring out what the best type of frame is for your hive
- Inspect Your Hive Regularly. We recommend inspecting your hive every 7-10 days. This gives you an opportunity to check for any signs of disease or stress.
- Don’t Harvest Too Early or Too Often. In fact, we recommend that you don’t take honey from your colony in its first year. If you take too much honey from your bees, you can lose your colony to starvation during the colder months. Get advice from experienced local beekeepers if you’re unsure how much honey to harvest.
- Two Hives Are Better Than One. Everything is better in pairs, and managing two hives isn’t much additional work. This also gives you the option to transfer honey, pollen, or brood from a stronger to a weaker hive.
- Start Early In The Season. Ask local beekeepers what the best time is to start a colony, or join one of our beekeeping 101 classes. Starting too early can kill your bees because of a lack of available food, but if you start too late, you risk colony starvation in winter.
- Use New Equipment. While it is cheaper to get used equipment, it might have problems that a beginner beekeeper wouldn’t recognize or be able to fix. If you do decide to go with used equipment, be sure to reach out to an experienced local beekeeper to make sure everything is on the up and up.