The ideal first step in getting started in beekeeping is to get involved with a local beekeeping organization to gain first hand knowledge and experience from more experience beekeepers so that you can avoid costly mistakes. If you live in the Central Mississippi area, or are visiting, then you are welcome to attend our monthly meeting.
Most beekeepers in our organization will allow you to visit their bee yard to show you what is involved in operating an apiary. We also maintain a list of mentors in our beekeeping club.
If you do not live in an area in which you have a local beekeeping organization, you may wish to find a beekeeper near you who will accept an “extra pair” of hands to help with the work in exchange for valuable information and hands-on experience. Usually by doing a simple Google search you can find a beekeeper in your area.
Much information may be obtained on-line. However, a variety of books, videos, and other materials are readily available and easily obtained by ordering from various retailers online. Simply do a Google Search. The beginner’s book that the CMBA recommends is Beekeeping for Dummies, 2nd edition.
What Equipment Do I Need to Get Started?
The amount of equipment that you need to keep bees changes depending on your plans for the bees. For instance, someone who wishes to harvest a surplus crop of honey would need much more equipment than someone who simply wanted to pollinate their garden. With that said, we have put together a list of equipment that a typical beginner would find most useful.
At certain times of the year medication and other treatments may be needed to maintain the health of your colonies as well. This in itself is a management decision that each beepeeper must make.