Tap to Read ➤

Beekeeping Tips for Beginners

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Beekeeping is an interesting hobby, mostly practiced for the collection of honey and bee products. As a beginner in beekeeping, it is necessary to understand about the equipment, bee source and other caring tips.
Beekeeping, also referred to as apiculture, is the practice of maintaining bee colonies. Beehives are maintained in a particular location called apiary or bee yard. In general, honey bees are kept for the collection of honey and beeswax.
Another objective for beekeeping is to promote pollination of garden crops, which indirectly increases the crop yield. For bee pollination, the apiary is located near the field or garden site. The number of hives may vary depending upon the size of the plantation area.
As a general rule, one hive per acre of land is followed. Some beekeepers (apiarists) breed the bees in a large population and sell them to other beekeepers.

Beekeeping: Useful Tips for Beginners

Beekeeping can be practiced anywhere, irrespective of the climatic conditions and locations where you stay. Since bees are social insects, they are easy to keep and maintain. However, certain caring tips should be followed for the successful rearing of honey bees. If you are allergic to pollen and bee sting, then you should not opt for beekeeping.
Another important tip is to learn the basics of handling bee colonies before actually keeping these insects. A careful handling of bees can prevent stinging. As a beginner in beekeeping, you have to purchase proper equipment and bee source.


The equipment required for beekeeping include a large cardboard box with a tight fitting lid, hives with foundation comb, smokers, secateurs, sack, gloves and veils. If available, you can opt for a box with a separate lid. Nowadays, ready to use bee equipment are available in the market.
You can purchase a bee equipment rather than building it on your own. Assemble it as per the manufacturer's directions. It is always advisable to use new equipment for beekeeping. Though used ones are cheaper than new ones, there is always a risk of pathogen contamination and/or spreading of diseases.

Bee Source

Speaking about the bee source, there are various options like collection of bee swarms, taking bees from trees or natural hives, purchasing established colonies or package bees and buying of a nucleus colony. Package bees and nucleus colony are the excellent bee sources for the beginners.
Collecting bee swarms and transferring bees from trees are not recommended for the beginners, as this can be difficult and dangerous. While purchasing a bee source, ensure that the bees are free of mites and diseases.

Bee Caring Tips

Favorable time to start with bee keeping is late spring or early summer. Bee veils should be worn while handling bees in order to protect the face and neck. Leather gloves or thick gloves of white or dark color are preferable to protect from bee stings.
You should provide water in a dish near the apiary, otherwise bees may use any water source present in the nearby area. At times of food scarcity or shortage of nectar, you can provide sugar syrup to the bee colony.
Overcrowding of bees in the hive should be checked, so as to prevent swarming or splitting of the colony. You can divide the colony, if the number of bees increases extensively. Beekeeping can be an interesting hobby, if you understand the requirements and caring tips.