Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Beekeeping- Starting Out

We really are only novice beekeepers having only started out with one hive in 2009 and then another hive last year. So although I don't think I'm qualified to give advice about beekeeping per se, I do know about researching, reading, thinking and dreaming of having hives and honey of our own. Ramsey asked a couple of questions about beekeeping and the shops where you can buy equipment. The first step is the dreaming of having your own bees, and doing a lot of reading and researching. We have found The Bee Book: Beekeeping in Australia to be fairly informative and helpful. It is especially good that it is Australian so has information relating to our conditions and the pests and problems which are prevalent here. The cost of around $55 is a little steep but it is available at many libraries to read before buying (that's what we did anyway).
After the reading and the decision is made, there are probably many suppliers of beekeeping equipment. To date we have purchased from Penders at Cardiff near Newcastle and Bindaree at Murrambateman near Canberra. I think it would be best to phone these companies rather than email as I have had difficulty getting emails back from both of them. It isn't cheap to set up a hive from scratch and once a new hive is purchased, the hardest part of the process is procuring bees. Fortunately for us we made contact with a local apiarist and sourced bees through him. I think it is pretty much the best way to go.

In New South Wales, all hives must be registered and there is some useful information available through Industry and Investment NSW. Courses are available from various providers which can give a good idea of safe handling of bees and hives.
We had been interested in beekeeping for some time and finally made the decision to start up. The honey was the main drawcard for us to become apiarists but the bonus of having hives full of pollinators for the garden and orchard is fantastic.
The rewards are very sweet and they really aren't too much work if you are keen.


Ramsey said...

Thanks for the bee post, I am glad you enjoyed the drive back through our part of the woods! You should come back for the lantern festival a great night!

Ange said...

My dad had a hive when we were growing up, and I have a plan to install a hive at the back of our property. Even without the honey, hives are just lovely to be around ...

Lisa said...

It's impressive to me that you're "game" about trying new things - good luck with it!

Bec - Farmers Wife said...

Along our path, we are still in the "dreaming" stage but it is one of our goals to have acouple of hives.

Just wondering how much honey you get from a hive? Many thanks for the post.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

You are so brave! I HATE bees!!!!!!!!! Been stung too many times!

HAZEL said...

OOoo! Bees! I think that is the next lot of 'livestock' I want to add to the menagerie. I am going to join a beekeeping club about an hour from home. I should be able to get all the information I need...I hope. I have been thinking about it for a while, but your post sold me...especially the last ling. Thanks, Tracy.

Ramsey said...

Hazel make sure you set aside a week or two to brand your new livestock. You may need a magnifying glass as well !

Hee hee hee. ;)

I once was present when a bee keeper (with a carefully composed face) told someone who was considering starting out in bees of the lengthy process in bee branding. We all had a good giggle when the newbie left.