Thinking about becoming a beekeeper but don't know where to start?
Here at Wild Mountain Bees, we love honeybees. Educating others on the wonders of these little creatures is our passion. Mary came to us with the desire to learn more and to become a beekeeper herself, so what can she pass on about getting started?
1. Education -- We are fortunate enough to be in WNC where there are beekeepers a plenty and tons of information to be learned. Mary has found not only the support and knowledge of our Queen Bee Sarah McKinney, but also of the Buncombe County Bee Club. In addition to the beginner beekeeping classes that Wild Mountain Bees offers, the BCBC is offering a hands-on beekeeping course this February. The resources are endless in our area! For the absolute novice, find a good book in our shop, and check out our trusty resources page. Be aware that the internet can be a wealth of misinformation!
2. What you really need to get started -- Mary learned quickly the necessity of a good bear fence in our neck of the woods. That's something you just can't skimp on so be prepared to invest in one! Other necessities are going to be (at the very least): a veil, a hive kit, a smoker, and a trusty hive tool. Be very careful if you decide to get used equipment -- most diseases and issues can be wiped out with fumigation, but not all (so be certain that these used hives did not have American Foul Brood).
3. When to get started -- Understanding the responsibility of maintaining a hive, she recommends that you find a semi-permanent to permanent spot to take care of your hive. Make sure you are ready to take on the investment of keeping bees & then go for it!