There are many wonderful things about Beekeeping, it’s often hard to know where to start…
Lets start with a few short facts:
* there is alot to learn – but you don’t need to know everything straight away.
* a good mentor will be your saving grace…one that doesn’t mind you messaging and sending photos at any time of the day/night.
* there’s alot of information out there, how do you decipher what’s relevant to you and your bees…see previous point!
* it’s not going to be cheap…but you don’t have to buy everything at once…if you did, you’d probably be looking at getting some change out of $2000…but there are economical ways of doing it also.
* there are many options and many variables with beekeeping – you will learn what suits your bees, what suits you and what suits your environment.
Things to consider:
* why do I want to keep bees? Honey production, pollination of my fruit and vegies, to help the dwindling population, as a sideline business?
* where am I going to position my hives? location location location
* do I have enough food for them, or will I need to plant more? The answer is always = plant more bee food!
* can I give them the time they need. Spring, when the weather warms up is a crucial time, are you going to be able to stop what you’re doing in order to check your bees? Half an hour is all it will take.
My advise to new beekeepers is always:
* join your local beekeeping club – the closest to you may be (ours) West Gippsland Bee Keepers in Warragul, or South Gippsland Beekeepers in Leongatha, or potentially Latrobe Valley Beekeepers in Moe. I’m going to write another page listing all the Bee Clubs in Victoria…stay tuned for that one.
* get a good book – highly recommend The Australian Beekeepers Manual by Robert Owen (I’ll have them in stock soon, but your local bookstore can totally get it in. You may even find it in the library, but it’s a book that you’ll go back to time and time again)
* do an introductory course – I recommend Martin Dunn at Hive Skills – he does a great hands on course at the EcoBnB – Vue at Jindivick
* have an experienced mentor – obviously a service that I provide and would love to help you with all your beekeeping needs.
When we are ready to set you up with a hive, you will need to register as a Beekeeper, it’s easy, and free for less than 5 hives. Simply follow this link to the Victorian Agricultures website – click here. There is also some very good information in this section of the Vic Ag’s website – click here. Here’s a link to the Apiary Code of Practice, actually a very interesting, and not tedious read – click here.
Your record keeping obligations are outlined in < can’t find that document at the moment, but I will >. And I have a great cloud based system that I use to record hive inspections, it’s an easy ‘tick box’ system that I’ve set up and you can use it on your phone, with the results being collated in an easy to read excel type document. I’ll set you up with this as part of one of our mentoring sessions.
There is certainly lots of information out there, and I find it easy to become overwhelmed by it all. You can keep an eye on my Facebook page for links to these blogs when I start going through alot of my favourite resources and useful information. @comeflywithmebeekeeping on Facebook or Instagram.
Feel free to take a look around this website for anything you might need before we get started, I’ve just crunched the numbers on a bundle deals.
Thanks again for your interest, and thanks for supporting small, local business.