Getting started in beekeeping: Your first hive

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Getting started in beekeeping: Your first hive

You really start beekeeping when you have a beehive. It cannot be improvised. In this article, you will learn how to start beekeeping and have your first beehive.

How to learn beekeeping

Take a class

Many beekeeping groups give beekeeping courses, generally over two years. Take a good beekeeping course. You are going to tell me how to know in advance if the course will be of quality? Here are the features you should be aware of:

From practice

Beekeeping cannot be learned from a book. It is necessary to practice. Does the course you plan to take include at least 50% of practical sessions? Does your school have an apiary?

Owning a beehive

In a good course, it is compulsory to have a beehive. Beekeeping is not learned by looking but by practicing. A good beekeeping group will offer you a school apiary where you can leave your hive for the duration of the course. It is important that there are several beehives to see and understand special cases that other students are facing

Course content

Compare several programs with each other.

The experience

Try to meet beekeepers who have taken the course at this school in the past. They are in the best position to describe the strengths or weaknesses of the training to you.

Learn in companionship

Companionship consists of learning beekeeping in the field by following a beekeeper. This is a great method if it is supplemented by a course afterwards. In companionship, it is often possible to have your own hive with the beekeeper. Keep in mind that having a beehive means visiting it regularly in season.

The quality of the training obviously depends on the rigor and the didactic talent of your trainer.

You must of course adapt to the pace of your trainer. He teaches you beekeeping either for the pleasure of sharing his passion (most often) or to get a helping hand.

Do not hesitate to do one or two seasons with a beekeeper. They are generally passionate people, who like to share their knowledge. You will learn lots of tricks, tricks of the hand. The beekeeper, over time, develops his own method. This is perhaps the only downside to this way of learning: you will probably not see all the possible techniques but only those used by your teacher.

And to go further

Reading good beekeeping books is essential especially at the beginning. This gives you time to study a technique, to think about it before putting it into practice. Please note: I am not saying that beekeeping is learned by reading.

The book is only there as a complement to a good course to study or review poorly learned or not yet applied practices.

Work with others

Sharing his passion with other beekeepers is very informative and also very enjoyable. Keep in touch with people who have taken the same course as you. Register in a beekeeping section near you.

The solidarity of beekeepers in the event of a hard blow or for the loan of equipment often comes in handy, especially at the beginning. The first year when you only have one or two hives, it is rare that you have already invested in a honey extractor.

Follow conferences

The beekeeping groups regularly organize conferences on various subjects. It's also a great way to learn more and to be able to exchange views with colleagues.

Look on the Internet

There are good sites that often publish articles. Subscribing to updates from these sites is often informative.

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