As soon as we tell any family member or friend that we have started a beekeeping hobby, we immediately get tons of questions.
Well, usually a laugh or a bewildered look first, but after that - questions.
We have gathered the top five right here to help clear the air and answer any questions some of you might be wondering out there!
1. How did you decide to start beekeeping?
Our decision to start beekeeping came pretty spontaneously. I, together with some friends and family, came up with the idea to start a fun hobby that we could all be involved in. After we crossed off knitting and frisbee golf, we landed on beekeeping and never looked back!
We went in completely blind, knowing barely anything about bees except their dwindling population and started learning! Our goal has always been to learn more about the bees and how to help them, with the production of honey as just a bonus!
2. How much time/work do you have to put in?
At least for our first few months, the amount of time our bees have taken up is about an hour or less per week. We learned early on that messing around with your hives too often is a big beginner mistake. I can see why it's tempting though, it is so fun to get in there and look around! We often find ourselves sitting and watching the activity outside the hives, in complete fascination.
Later on, when the winter comes, we will close up our hives and let them brave out the winter on their own. For those months, there is no work involved at all except crossing your fingers that your bees do well over winter and look good when you open them up in the spring. Stay tuned in to our blog this year and see how we do over winter!
3. Have you gotten stung? How bad does it hurt?
The biggest surprise we have had so far is that NO ONE has gotten any stings! We do go out in bee suits and gloves while inspecting our hives but at least one or two of us are also out there in a t-shirt and shorts getting up close with the cameras. We have unfortunately had a few doggy stings but none have had a very bad result. We will let you know the pain level when that fateful day arrives!
4. When is the honey coming?
We get this question all the time! For the time being, we are just focusing on our hives health and progress and will focus more on honey once they are stable. Our whole idea going into beekeeping was to learn about the bees and help them, along with the environment. A bit of honey for ourselves once a year would just be a bonus! Who knows, if our hives thrive and there is lots of honey we might have extra for a few friends!
5. How can I help the bees without keeping my own?
There are so many ways you can help the bees without having your own hives! You can host hives in your yard for example, and have the owners come to check on them for you. You can also plant lots of flowers or flowering fruit and vegetable plants in your garden, be mindful of certain pesticides and try to buy from local farmers when possible.
If you are ready to start keeping your own bees - let us know! We would love to help you get started!