Lots of people around the Unites States enjoy honey. It has been estimated that the average person eats more than 1.3 pounds of it every year. Many have taken up beekeeping. This can be a very rewarding experience. If you are thinking about making bulk honey, you may now know where to start with your hive. Here are some tips to make the experience more successful and enjoyable.
- Learn as much as you can about bees. Making bulk honey will never work for you if you do not invest the time in getting to understand bees. Honeybees are very interesting. You should research their habits, ecology, biology and what they like and do not like. You should know where the honeybees you are going to keep are from. You should know how they organize themselves and how long they live. The best beekeepers know everything about their charges.
- Use movable frames for your hive. Beekeeping hives are not all alike but whe you have movable frames, you can make sure your honeycombs stay planted and secure. You will also have a more stable structure that gives your honeycomb the support it needs. These also make it a lot easier to inspect the inside of the hive when you need to. They also make maintenance and raw honey extraction a lot easier.
- Make sure your brood and honey supers are the same size. Some beekeepers use different sizes for both but you can simplify your life a lot by keeping everything the same size. If you have to split the colony, this makes that a lot easier.
- Use medium sized boxes. You will find one key to bulk honey production is a happy queen. Honeybee queens love to lay in a medium box and lay their eggs there. These boxes are better for you as well. They will be easier to lift when they are full of raw organic honey.
- Do not get scared by bees that are swarming. This can be scary for many people but it the most natural thing in the world for honeybees to do. This happens when the bees reproduce, which is the biological imperative of all living creatures. What happens is they will split the hive into two hives and half of the bees leave with the queen. You will need to simulate this if you want to keep your bees.
- Consider smaller hives. In the spring, when the bees naturally swarm, you will need to do the hive splitting. It is easier to keep track of the bees and keep them around if you have smaller hives to deal with. Some beekeepers really enjoy the process by which a new queen bee is created. It is an interesting process and you can teach your kids a lot about nature when this happens.
- You can get local bees. Many of the queen bees from beekeeping kits are imports from New Zealand or Hawaii. These bees were specifically bred to produce bulk honey and to be able to resist diseases. That does not mean the local bees are bad nor does it mean you cannot get good bulk honey from local stock. You may even find the locals have fewer health issues.
- Give your bees some privacy and space. This may be more of a problem when you first get started with your beekeeping. It is easy to want to check on your new friends and see what they are up to many times during the day. The problem is the bees will not see as friendly observation can get pretty stressed out. They are not so much concerned with you looking in at them but when you open the hive to watch, you let out all of the heat.
- Keep your bees dry. You want your bees to be warm and happy so you wrap up the hive. That does keep them warm but it also traps in moisture that will kill the bees. Make sure the beekeeping materials you use to keep the bees warm, do not keep moisture in the hive.
There are a lot of reasons to start keeping bees and getting bulk honey is just one of them. Bees are interesting to watch and manage. They are also fun to keep.