So you are now a beekeeper! You acquired your style of hive (Langstroth, Ware, Top Bar) and have even gotten your bees housed in it. There is actually a step to consider before all this that is critical to managing your hive.
It is like getting a dog. Rather than throwing a dart at the dog pound to select your new pet you should be considering how this new animal will fit into your lifestyle. Are you looking for a hunting dog, one to accompany you wherever you go, a guard dog, and the questions go on.
Well tending to bees is very similar. What is your end goal? Over the past few months many have asked me that question. In fact today I asked a friend of mine why he was accumulating so many hives.
Hone in on the “why” of your venture.
This determines how you will manage them. For instance if you want honey, then you need to have hive supers ready for the flow. About mid July around this area is when you will harvest your honey.
But how will you harvest it?
Buy a extractor to spin the honey out of the cells or rent one. This requires a heated knife or scratcher to ‘uncap’ the cells. Or will you cut the comb into squares to sell your honey with the comb? Might not want to use plastic foundation. Or will you use the destruct method where you merely remove all the comb into a bucket or sieve to separate the wax from the honey. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The key here is to consider the issues before you move too far forward as it will determine your management of the hive.
Pollen or Propolis
You might consider harvesting the pollen or propolis. Great idea but your hive needs some equipment to manage this operation.
Another venture is the harvesting of wax. Lots of uses from candles to makeup. But again the methods of your beekeeping should be toward your goal.
Some are focused on creating queens. This requires a bit more patience and methodology. Many have started, many have failed and some are artful to accomplish.
The point here is to consider your purpose that you may design your hive boxes, frames, and equipment to support your goal. A lot of money can be invested in your hobby or business. Much like golf some purchases enhance your game while others have no benefit.
For me the mere fascination of these girls in their daily interactions is amazing. I could sit for hours watching their coming and going?