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10 Mistakes Most Newbie Beekeepers Make

When we start, we often make mistakes. I have tried to put them together in this article in order to help you avoid them from the start. Beekeeping is a demanding and difficult hobby. It is important to go through this period without getting discouraged in order to progress and make the most of this wonderful pastime that is beekeeping.

Do not dare to visit his beehives

The newbie beekeeper is often reluctant to visit. He does not dare either simply for fear of the bees or simply for fear of doing wrong.

Dare! Think carefully about what you want to do. Only have one goal per visit. Prepare your equipment and try to mentally make your visit before opening the hive. If the fear of bees is present, have someone accompany you but intervene yourself under the supervision of a beekeeper.
It is by opening the hives that one becomes a beekeeper. Don't be ashamed, we've all been there.
Offer your services to others in order to familiarize yourself with working in the hive.

Visiting too often

This is another defect often observed in new beekeepers. Be aware that every visit disturbs the bees in their work. Some claim that with every visit, you lose a jar of honey. Difficult to prove.

What is the right pace of visit. I would say once every ten or two weeks. A little more during the swarming period or a visit every eight days allows the queen cells to be removed before they are capped.

Stay alone in your corner

Avoid working alone in your apiary. Beekeeping, after a good course, talks through exchanges with others. There are more ideas in many heads, and you will learn a lot by discussing how to run your hives with other beekeepers. Everyone has their tips and tricks and are always proud to share them.

You also learn a lot from the mistakes of others that force you to think about your practice.

And then the techniques evolve. Today, we don't treat varroa like we did five or ten years ago. It is therefore important to keep abreast of the evolution of products, of those that are no longer suitable and also of new methods such as the breaking of lay, for example.

Have only one beehive

It seems normal to only start with a beehive. Yet it is a mistake.

Indeed with a single hive, you have no point of comparison in terms of movement in the flight hole, pollen inflow or even the development of the hive.

In addition, if the queen is lost, a second hive allows you to insert an open brood frame to breed queen cells.

With one beehive, you will hardly be able to reduce swarm fever without putting your crop at risk.

As soon as possible, switch to two beehives: it doesn't take much longer and you will have more fun.

Visit beehives without protection

The bees sting. Never forget it. Do not allow yourself to visit a beehive without adequate protection. Also do not let anyone accompany you without protection, you need to get a beekeeping suit.
Avoid strong odors such as perfumes as well as sudden movements that the bee's vision accelerates. Impacts on hives or hive stands are also very badly felt by bees.

Don't use the smoker

For a small intervention, it is sometimes tempting not to take your smoker. This is a mistake because you are forgetting the only tool available to you to calm the bees.

For a small intervention, always take your smoker with just a paper ball and a little fuel. It only takes two minutes but can save you some inconvenience.

Place an empty super

The dimensions of a beehive are calculated so that all the space is used. For example, the space between a frame and the side of the hive is exactly 8 mm which allows the passage of a bee and prevents construction.

If you remove the body frames without putting a partition or if you place an empty super, the bees in the period of honey flow will have a great time building in all directions from the inner cover. You will only have to cut out these anarchic constructions which will serve at best as wax to be recovered in the melter.

To avoid this waste and loss of energy for the bees, use the partitions and place frames in the supers.

Don't keep learning

Starting beekeeping without having followed a solid training seems extremely difficult to me. In the beginning, few things are easy in beekeeping and it is common to get discouraged. There are the stings, the failures inherent in any start-up of activity, sometimes a certain hostility from neighbors or even family.

And even if you've been trained, keep training. There are refresher courses, conferences. Besides, any contact with experienced beekeepers is a good opportunity to exchange views and get advice.

Do not treat your hives

Today the varroa is in all the hives, except in Australia. In addition, varroa mites have developed resistance to certain treatment products. It is therefore essential to take preventive measures throughout the season. Learn how to get rid of Varroa

Turn a hive orphan

With the exception of special cases such as to induce royal breeding or to manage an aggressive hive, no one visits a hive with a view to orphaning it. Yet you would be amazed to know the number of times this happens when you start.

Crushing a queen between two frames is more common than you might think. But the most common mistake is to orphan a colony by removing the queen cells.

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