Beekeeping is in right now, and for good reason. Bees are dying at a rapid rate, and people who care about the environment are doing all that they can to make the world a more welcoming place for these honey-making little workers. In addition, beekeeping provides the keeper with local honey, which has myriad health uses and can go a long way in fighting seasonal allergies.
Gabriela Bratkovics has been a beekeeper for years, and she’s passionate about providing bees with healthy homes. Check out Gabriela Bratkovics’ top tips for people who are just getting started with the art of beekeeping.
First, according to Gabriela Bratkovics, you’ll need to spend some time going through the process of preparing your bee habitat. One of the biggest mistakes newbie keepers make is ordering bees before their habitat is prepared. Gabriela Bratkovics recommends first checking local laws and talking to your homeowner’s association to ensure that you’re permitted to keep bees in your area. While some areas welcome beekeepers, others have strict regulations on bee habitats.
Secondly, you’ll want to consider the path that your bees will take from their food to the hive. Bees will take the most direct route possible, and they’ll leave droppings as they fly. You’ll want to be sure that they’re not flying over walkways you use regularly, or over cars. Gabriela Bratkovics recommends placing your hive in a sheltered area. While a hilltop may be a gorgeous setting, it’s not best for bees, says Gabriela Bratkovics. Hilltops tend to be windy and bees prefer to stay out of the wind.
You’ll need to make sure that water is readily accessible to the bees, and that they’re able to enjoy some sunlight. If you or a neighbor have a pool, be sure that a different water source is closer to the hive than the pool. Gabriela Bratkovics stresses the importance of also knowing the flowers in your area, and being sure that the nectar from the flowers will be able to support the needs of your hive.
Gabriela Bratkovics recommends investing in beekeeping clothing to minimize the number of stings you get from your bees. Wash your beekeeping clothing regularly – when bees sting, they release a pheromone that encourages other bees to sting as well. In order to minimize stings, Gabriela Bratkovics recommends washing your beekeeping clothing at least once a week.
Gabriela Bratkovics also recommends enrolling in a class either online or with a local beekeeper so that you can utilize an expert’s skills to answer your questions. Remember that beekeeping is journey, says Gabriela Bratkovics, and you’ll constantly be learning more about how to care for your bees along the way.