Knowing all to know about beekeeping is a great start if you’re interested in becoming a beekeeper — which I think every prepper should be. Beekeeping has great benefits, whether under normal circumstances or when SHTF. Bees can produce several foods and products, such as beeswax and honey.
There’s rarely a food as sweet as honey. Asides from this unrivaled sweetness, honey is also beneficial to health. It is the antidote to many diseases, which is a remedy to have in a survival situation. Beeswax, meanwhile, is used to make soap, candles, and other products.
Simply put, bees are one of the five most important livestock for preppers. Although they are much smaller in size than other animals, they are the raw material for various goods that can be stored for years.
Did You Know?
Honey never spoils, not even after a thousand years. Honey dating back to thousands of years BC have been found in Egypt.
All To Know About Beekeeping — Starting A Beehive
Usually, bees can be kept anywhere, but the first consideration is to check if your locality permits it. If you live in a rural area, you’ll have little or no trouble finding a comfortable spot to set up your hive. If you’re a suburbanite, you can set it up in the backyard. As a precaution, build a half-fence around the hive to keep your kids & pets away. Bees have to at least be required to fly higher than a fence before getting to your neighbor’s apartment.
Before starting, check with neighbors. You have to iron out issues with people who may be troubled by your plans. Some persons are allergic to bees. Keep in mind that exposing an allergic person to bees may lead to death. Thus, you may have to rethink things. If you cannot set up the hive in your immediate surroundings, I suggest you do so with a relative or friend in another location, although you two may have to share the benefits.
Things To Do Before Starting A BeeHive
- Build or buy the beehive. You can get one for affordable prices on Amazon and other online stores, in local stores, or from beekeepers org. A beehive can be produced using different materials.
- Obtain essential tools. This includes bee smoker, queen catcher, bee feeders & other accessories that may prove crucial. You’ll find out more about such accessories as you become more familiar with beekeeping.
- Buy safety gear, most importantly, a beekeeper suit. This includes a veil, hat, gloves & safety footwear.
- Finally, buy bees for the colony. Ensure that you purchase bees from a trusted supplier. Orders are ideally placed before February, so Apiaries can start shipping in March & April, depending on where you live. The bee queen comes in a distinct container while the other bees are clustered and fed a sugar solution while being shipped.
Putting Bees into the New Hive
Installing bees in their new hive may come as a problem if wrongly done. This is because they may be triggered to sting you when threatened. Here’s how to do so.
Meet your bees
Before you open the box containing your bees, spritz sugar syrup on the outside of the package to stop them from flying about when you open it. Be sure your smoker is smoking well at this time, and although you will hardly need it, as the bees would very likely be docile due to the long transportation, it is better to be on the safer side. Pry the package open with a hive tool & get the bees to leave by shaking the box.
Separate The Queen
The queen is always in a separate box, but if she isn’t, differentiate her from the crowd. Every other queen should be installed in their new hive before the queen is brought out.
Measure The Size of Your Hive
Your hive may be too large for the bees available, so you have to do some measurements before making adjustments. Using the size of the new colony (the bees), replace the false bottom, and remove unnecessary frames. It is ideal to position the false bar about 10 bars from the front. That will allow you to have a brood best in the hive’s front.
Install The Bees
Remember that you’ve kept the bees occupied using sugar syrup initially. When the hive is all set up, empty the box into it through the openings. Having a feather or bee brush will be helpful here. Scatter dust around the cage, ensuring that every bee is transferred into that hive.
Extra Notes After Bee Installation
- Avoid all contact with the hive for one week, at least. The bees require time to bow to the queen. If, after some days, she is freed from her cage, it means that she has been welcomed and accepted by the colony. Else, it may be up to you to help her break out.
- The feeder should be kept full at all hours during this time.
- Pay attention to happenings inside the hive. If undertakers remove the dead bodies from the hive, it is an indicator that the colony is fully settled. Also, make it a point to check out for gathered pollen. Bees that gather pollen are thriving in their colony.
- Give them a few days after the installation so they can agree with their environment. Regular inspection is required throughout this time. Determine if they have started making nectar and pollen. Also, the comb should be in construction after some time.
- Note that bees will be confused & fly randomly during the first days. They will become used to the environment soon enough, though.
Concluding All To Know About Beekeeping
Knowing how to get bees without buying is a crucial part of all to know about beekeeping. Yes, you don’t necessarily have to buy bees for your hive. Should you be stranded in the wilderness, you won’t find any way to order bees anyway. To start beekeeping without ordering bees, all you need to do is cut a branch of a tree they are gathered on and place or shake inside a box. The remaining steps are the same as what to do if you buy. Remember to wear your safety clothing. It’s important.