Beekeeping has gotten a lot of media attention in recent years and interest in beekeeping has increased. In the last 5-10 years there has been an influx of new beekeepers, many with no previous experience in agriculture or animal husbandry. A lack experience caring for animals with productivity as a goal can be a stumbling block, but conscious observation, focus and planning are all tools that we as humans have to overcome inexperience. In the last several hundred years many humans have become disconnected from agriculture.
Today most people in the US at least take food and its production for granted. When low on food stores all that most have to do is go to a grocery. This is an illusion. Most have never thought or cared about the preparation, months in advance, the physical WORK, the pests and weather conditions that threaten, or any of the other trials and tribulations faced by individual producers to PUT THEIR FOOD in the grocery. That food would NOT be there if SOMEBODY did not formulate a goal based plan. Becoming an Aparian is an important step towards a better understanding of food production and Agriculture in general. If nothing else it will give insight into all of the worries of a producer.
Do you already have bees?
if SO WHY did you get em?
if NOT why do you want em?
Do you have a fundamental understanding of biology?
Have you had any animal husbandry experience before?
Have you thought about your beekeeping goals?
If the answer to any of the previous questions is NO don’t sweat it. These answers are important for setting the stage as a beekeeper because your methods should be determined by your goals. People get into beekeeping for many different reasons. Far too often the GOAL of a prospective beekeeper is “to get bees“. It’s a start, but once they are in the box THEN WHAT? Having clear goals beyond “bees in a box” will make your life a lot easier. If you haven’t thought about these things SURPRISE, agriculture is about more than physical labor. I had bees for a several years before I began to think in this way.
If you think about it a while your goals may already be providing direction. Frequent reasons I have heard for beekeeping include:
- interest in bees and a desire to learn more about them
- to help with pollination for gardens and homesteads
- for REAL honey – unless you know a beekeeper or do it yourself you have no control over what is a bottle labeled honey. If you currently purchase your “honey” from large retail establishment support a local beekeeper! (see HONEY PRICING)
- Because people have been led to believe that Apis mellifera is in critical danger as a species.
No matter what your reason for getting started, it is important to plan and understanding WHY you are utilizing specific methods to reach your stated GOALS. You wear different clothing depending on weather conditions and planned activities, because your goal is comfort. Your goals as a beekeeper if considered in advance will guide you to proper methods of production and make beekeeping rewarding. It’s OK for plans to change over time…. But ya gotta have a PLAN of some sort as a framework for decision making, otherwise you will never find success, because you won’t be sure what success looks like. You’ll be on facebook or in a forum asking vague questions like why did my bees die.
Part 2 will be up and available soon so be looking for it. Let’s talk about specific GOALS leading to beekeeping METHODS. I will go into why swarm trapping became one of my goals.
What is YOUR goal in beekeeping?
Do you know what success looks like for YOUR beekeeping operation?
Do you want bees bad enough to throw more than MONEY into this undertaking?
Questions / Comments? Don’t be a Chump Cricket!
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