Keeping Bees: A Honey of a Hobby

Keeping bees for honey – Images by tastybit, aperte, ejhogbin, The Foodie Gift Hunter, Scrap Pile, Don Hankins and and blumenbiene

Have you ever dreamed of keeping bees and gathering your own honey? Me, too. It looks so easy; the bees do all the work, we get all the golden honey for our reward, how hard can it be?

This interest in keeping bees intrigues many of us, so let’s look at how feasible it is to keep bees to have our own source of pure honey.

Basic Beekeeping

This site is wholly dedicated to helping you set up your own beekeeping operation. Basic Beekeeping is by a family bee farm operation and the operator is a Master Beekeeper. They offer classes in beekeeping, sell the bees (imagine the mailman’s face when he hears the bees!) and equipment, and they offer podcasts about beekeeping.

Backyard Beekeeping

Here’s another bee keeping website that’s worth a visit. Notes on Keeping Bees in Urban and Suburban Neighborhoods offers good insights you’ll want to read. One thing I found interesting is how important fences are to urban or suburban keepers of bees and it’s not for the reasons you might think. Lots of good information here on this dedicated bee site for consideration on whether or not you want bees.

Bee Laws about Bee Hives

In Intermediate Beekeeping — Lesson Six Bee Laws we can find good points of law about the keeping of bees. Some aspects I’d never thought of such as liability, contracts (applying to bees?) and working with state inspection authorities are dealt with here. Oh, and there are many intermediate lessons on all aspects of beekeeping to understand if you want go into beekeeping.

Harvesting Honeybee’s Honey Inexpensively

Here’s an interesting post by Linda, a beekeeper in Atlanta, Georgia, who shares a post entitled Four Ways to Harvest Honey without an Extractor  where she uses pictures in a slide show that show the process of harvesting honey without an expensive extractor. She says there are over 980 posts on her site about keeping bees. A website well worth bookmarking!

Honey bees fiercely guard their hives and honey – Image by madaise

Living Dangerously: Harvesting Wild Honey

So you aren’t really sure if you want to keep bees, but you know where a wild hive is – are you really thinking about robbing it for the honey? Before you head out the door, read How to Harvest Wild Honey just to cover all the bases, if you know what I mean. Annmarie Kostyk will give you tips on how to calm the bees before robbing them, what equipment you will need, and some tips for processing the honey when you get home.

Selling the Honey YOUR Bees Made in YOUR Hives

Eating the honey is motivation for a lot of beekeeping but making money by selling honey is motivation for a lot of other beekeepers.  Lesson Seventeen: Selling Honey is one of the most comprehensive posts I’ve read on the aspects of selling honey and honey-related products.

Beekeeping for Dummies

When starting from zero, it’s good to have every detail spelled out. This book, Beekeeping for Dummies, does just that. Too often, we read information written by authors that assume we have some knowledge of the information – and in many cases, we are left clueless as a result. This book is a good one to start out with if you want a hard copy to wrap your hands around while you read and learn.

Beekeeping is a complicated business whether it is one hive behind your house, trying to “manage” a wild hive you occasionally raid, or keeping a large number of bee hives, but it seems to be rewarding in a number of ways. I haven’t even mentioned the importance of bees in pollinating the plants that produce our food – bees are amazing creatures! Helping to save the world is another reason to promote and keep bees. Whatever your reason, it is a sweet calling.

Have you any experience with keeping bees?

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  1. says

    Yup, my husband and I have been beekeepers for a year now, and are getting an additional nuc this May (we had one die last summer, and one is still doing well through the winter). We love it! Highly recommend.

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