Beekeeping for beginners: where to start

Beekeeping for beginners can seem like a daunting and painstaking endeavor. In fact, the result is more than worth the effort. With the right approach to the craft, it is possible to expand the production of honey without special costs. For this, beginners need to familiarize themselves with the basic secrets of caring for bees.

Apiary for beginners

Before breeding bees, you should get basic knowledge so that you can later apply it in practice. A beginner beekeeper needs to start with the physiology of Hymenoptera. Basic information can be obtained from the scientific literature on beekeeping. It is equally important to understand the principles of the structure of the apiary. After all, it is she who is the main place for further work of a beginner with bees. A city dweller will have to purchase a land plot in the countryside.

The size of the apiary, the photo of which is posted below, is selected individually, depending on further plans for breeding insects. If the main goal of a novice beekeeper is to sell products, it is necessary to prepare a large area. If the apiary is built out of amateur interest, a small part of the personal plot will be sufficient for beekeeping.

What is an apiary

An apiary is a specially equipped area with hives with bees. Caring for bees and arranging their homes allows you to get a harvest in the form of various beekeeping products. In the future, they are eaten and used for medicinal purposes.

Beekeeping has spread tens of thousands of years ago. Initially, this type of agriculture was a form of active gathering. Later they began to breed domestic bee breeds. In ancient Egypt, hives were made from silt. Outwardly, they resembled miniature earthen pots. The modern design was received only in Kievan Rus, in the VIII century. During this period, hives began to be wooden houses with a hinged lid. They were placed in the very thick of the forest.

In modern beekeeping, the apiary is located in close proximity to civilization. For beginners, this makes it easier to observe the bee colony. A control hive must be built in the apiary. It serves as an indicator for assessing the productivity of beekeeping. In addition to hives, drinkers are installed on the territory of the apiary. The most optimal place for their placement for beginners is at the edge of the territory. In beekeeping, apiaries are divided into the following varieties:

  • pollinated;
  • complex;
  • honey market;
  • bee colony;
  • pollinated honey.

How many hives in the apiary

Bee breeding for beginners starts with the selection of the territory. Since bees love free space, one hive will need at least 1.5 m². In the process of teaching beginners, a few small hives are enough. Experienced beekeepers prefer to keep 10-30 hives under control. In total, beekeeping will require 15-45 m². You also need to take care of the spare area, as production can expand over time.

Should you start one hive?

In order to learn beekeeping, even one hive is enough for beginners. The swarming process will lead to the fact that by the spring there will be two from one bee colony. But you need to understand that a small apiary carries a big risk. The result depends on how responsibly the novice beekeeper approaches beekeeping.

Warning! The cost of creating an apiary pays off within a year.

What is it for and how to get an apiary passport

To be able to sell beekeeping products, it is necessary to register the apiary accordingly. After the paperwork is completed, the beginner beekeeper is issued an apiary passport. It contains the conditions for keeping bees, the strength of their health, breed and a list of honey plants growing around. Thanks to the passport, the following actions become available:

  • purchase of foundation;
  • buying and selling bees;
  • changing the location of the apiary;
  • sale of any beekeeping products.

The veterinary and sanitary passport includes 7 subsections. It is signed by an official, as part of a general audit, who conducted laboratory research. To obtain a document, you should contact the district office of the veterinary station. First, an application is submitted, the form of which can be downloaded on the Internet. Then an inspector comes to the apiary of a novice breeder. He takes samples from the hive and sends them to the laboratory. After receiving the results, a decision is made on issuing a passport. In the future, the apiary is checked annually. After each visit of the inspector, the corresponding marks are put in the passport. The need to obtain a new document in beekeeping arises when the owner of the apiary is changed or in the case of the end of blank sheets in the old document.

In beekeeping, problems with obtaining a passport from beginners can arise if deviations are found in the framework of laboratory research. In this case, it is necessary to thoroughly disinfect the apiary and eliminate the source of the problem. Only after that a second check will be scheduled.

After obtaining a passport, novice beekeepers have the opportunity to obtain other types of documents. They are needed if the beekeeper wants to win over the buyer, confirming the high quality of honey. Analysis of the absence of heavy metals in beekeeping products is done at will. The bee brood certificate confirms the absence of foulbrood in the biomaterial.

Important! In the absence of documents, it is strictly forbidden to sell honey from the apiary.

Choosing a place for an apiary

Before you start breeding bees, you need to pay attention to the selection of the territorial location of the apiary. Best of all, bees reproduce near fruit crops. It is desirable that the hives are located in the shade and away from drafts. The most suitable microclimate is observed in the southern part of the site. It is there that the bees survive the winter more successfully. It is important to take care of the closeness to the apiary of honey plants. Beginners are advised to set up an apiary near flowering meadows and orchards with fruit crops.

What a novice beekeeper needs to know about honey plants

To become a beekeeper from scratch, you need to study not only information about bees, but also analyze the best honey plants. Among the trees, beekeepers distinguish:

  • linden;
  • willow;
  • cherries;
  • viburnum;
  • forest raspberries;
  • mountain ash;
  • plum;
  • apple tree;
  • black currant.

In order to get a good bribe, some novice beekeepers sow the area with honey plants on their own. Thus, they significantly increase the quality and quantity of the crop. The most common floral melliferous plants include:

  • clover;
  • catnip;
  • phacelia;
  • Melissa;
  • cucumber herb.

What you need to breed bees

The process of breeding bees at home for beginners should start with preparing inventory and buying bees. Beehives can be bought ready-made or made by yourself. The second option involves the use of soft woods. When constructing a hive, it is necessary to be guided by the drawings of experienced beekeepers.

To protect the hives from bad weather, paint them with varnish-paint. When choosing a paint color, it is not recommended to give preference to black and red, since the bees do not distinguish between them. In beekeeping, it is desirable to use bright colors.

It is equally important to stock up on foundation sheets. They are inserted into an empty frame and then attached to it using a hot roller. If you do not put a frame with foundation in the hive, the bees will build up too many defective cells.

Choosing hives for the novice beekeeper

If you start beekeeping without experience, you can make mistakes at the beginning of the journey. It is advisable to study in advance all the nuances of the production of beekeeping products. For experienced beekeepers, multi-level structures will be the most optimal option. In them, bees develop much faster. A beginner in beekeeping cannot cope with such a hive alone.

Many beekeepers prefer to make bee houses with their own hands. This allows you to choose the most optimal design option for your capabilities.

Initially, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the varieties of bee houses. They are:

  • horizontal;
  • vertical;
  • monohull;
  • multihull.

When choosing a type of hive, it is necessary to take into account the physical capabilities of the novice breeder and how often he will visit the apiary. It is equally important to focus on the selected Hymenoptera breed.

The simplest houses are sun loungers of 20 frames. They do not need to be moved from place to place, which simplifies the beginner's activities in beekeeping. The advantages of such hives include the possibility of keeping two families at once. In this case, they are separated from each other by a partition.

Attention! The Langstroth-Ruth and Dadan hives imply periodic rearrangement, which can be a problem for a physically weak person.

What a novice beekeeper needs to know about inventory

The presence of inventory in the apiary allows a beginner to perform the necessary actions with bees at any time. Mandatory tools include:

  • framework;
  • foundation;
  • skating rink for building up frames;
  • smoker;
  • chisel;
  • aperture with a grating;
  • electric knives;
  • honey extractor;
  • protective suit.

The rest of the tools are acquired by beginners as needed. If you want to measure the daily weight gain of the hive, you can buy a scale. But most often, novice beekeepers do without them. If it becomes necessary to remove the queens, you will need:

  • dividing grid;
  • dronetrap;
  • insulator;
  • incubator;
  • portable equipment.

Tips for a novice beekeeper on choosing clothes

Beekeeping is considered to be quite dangerous. In the event of a Hymenoptera bite, Quincke's edema may develop, which is fatal. Therefore, it is important to avoid direct contact with bees. The main condition for working in beekeeping is the absence of open skin areas. The beginner's protective kit must include the following items of clothing:

  • closed shoes;
  • gloves;
  • overalls;
  • jacket;
  • mask.

The cuffs of a beginner breeder's clothing should be elasticated as the bee is able to crawl into the suit. It is recommended to pay attention to white clothes. It does not cause aggression in bees. The material must be durable, smooth and water-repellent. Specialized overalls and jackets have a multi-layer structure. Some of them are flame resistant.

Beekeeping training from scratch

Bee care basics for beginners can be learned in specialized courses. You can also use information about beekeeping obtained on the Internet. If you plan to make beekeeping your main activity, you can enroll in a higher educational institution. In order to try themselves in practice, some beginners go to help experienced beekeepers. This helps to clearly understand the principle of working with bees. The desire to develop and learn new things is of great importance in beekeeping. This will allow introducing modern systems into production that increase the quality of the crop.

Selecting and purchasing bees

The breeding technique of bees is determined by their breed. The behavior of workers, the tendency to swarm and resistance to the harsh climate depend on it.

If the purebred breed is important to a beginner beekeeper, he should go to a specialized nursery. In more severe climatic conditions, Central Russian bees are used in beekeeping. In the southern regions, productive Caucasian women are in demand. If the choice has settled on the Carpathian breed, you need to remember that it is prone to swarming.

The main factor that you need to pay attention to when choosing bees for beginners is the stability of the breed to the area where the construction of an apiary is planned. The purchase must be carried out at a place located no further than 15 km from the apiary. When choosing, it is important to pay attention to the health of the bees. Negative signs include torn wings and petrified brood at the bottom of the hive. The seller must show the uterus to the buyer. The strength of the bee colony depends on its condition.

Where can I get bees

To start bees from scratch, you need to visit a specialized nursery. The cost directly depends on the breed. You can also buy bees from a private person. The price of one family varies from 3000 to 8000 rubles.

Some beekeepers catch wild bees on their own. They are considered to be more productive but embittered. Therefore, the fishing process is quite difficult for beginners. The most suitable way to catch a swarm is to use a trap.

The right time to buy bees

It is best for beginners to buy bees in early spring. During this period, you can most accurately analyze the state of the family and the activity of the uterus. The bees finish their flight and revise the stock. In summer, bees are at their peak. During transportation, there is a risk of death of the queen or brood. This often happens among novice beekeepers. Buying bees in late autumn excludes the possibility of checking the family for serious diseases.

How to choose a breed of bees

It is important for beginners to know everything about bees and beekeeping. This will allow you to choose the right breed of bees, thereby increasing the profitability of production. On the territory of Russia, the following breeds are most common:

  • Central Russian;
  • gray mountain Caucasian;
  • krainsky;
  • Carpathian.

The choice should be based on the location of the apiary. If you start a breed that is not resistant to cold in harsh conditions, the family will gradually die out.

Life cycle of a honey bee

Knowledge of the intricacies of the life cycle of Hymenoptera will allow beginners in beekeeping to control all the processes taking place within the family. The honey bee has a total lifespan of 40 days. Individuals born in the fall live longer, since they do not have to exhaust themselves with spring work. Throughout its life, a bee goes through several stages of development:

  • egg;
  • larva;
  • an adult.

From the moment of laying to hatching of the larvae, it takes about 3 days. Working individuals are engaged in feeding the larvae. First they are given royal jelly, and later - bee bread and honey. After 7 days, the adults carry out the process of sealing the larvae into the honeycomb. At this point, they no longer fit in their cell. After 12 days, an adult bee appears through the shell.

The first time she is in the hive, gaining strength to fly. Her tasks at this stage include cleansing the cells in order to prepare them for egg-laying. The first 4 days the bee is fed by her companions. In the future, she can get her own food on her own. This is due to the onset of the formation of the glands responsible for the production of royal jelly.

After 22 days from birth, the bee becomes an adult. She collects and transports nectar. In one flight, a worker can carry about 40 mg of nectar. Honeybees are constantly on the move, so they have a fairly short lifespan.

What a beginner beekeeper should know about bee nutrition

In spring, bees feed on pollen and nectar. In the course of their work, bees process them into honey. During wintering, honey, stored in the spring, is the main food. In some cases, a novice beekeeper has to supplement his wards with sugar syrup or vitamin supplements. It is especially important to ensure the availability of fresh food during the winter, when the bees consume more energy than usual.

How to care for bees for beginners

The profitability of beginner beekeeping largely depends on the quality of the bee care. At the apiary, it is important to regularly carry out work aimed at preserving the health of bees and increasing the yield. Mandatory procedures in beekeeping include:

  • disease prevention;
  • top dressing;
  • cleaning the hive from dirt and old brood;
  • arrangement of the hive for the winter;
  • breeding new queens.

What difficulties you will have to face: diseases and pests of bees

Beginners can judge the strength of the health of bees by the hive entrance. If there are dead or sedentary individuals on it, we can talk about a disease in the family. Not a single beekeeper is immune from their development. Invasive and infectious diseases are most common in beekeeping. They can be caused by fungi, bacteria or viruses. The most common diseases include:

  • melanosis;
  • aspergillosis;
  • paratyphoid;
  • varroatosis;
  • nematosis;
  • colibacillosis.

To prevent the development of dangerous diseases, it is necessary to fumigate the hive in a timely manner and treat it with special solutions. For each disease, a specific drug is provided. A novice beekeeper can understand the presence of diseases by reducing the activity of working individuals. Some bees may lie motionless near the flight board. Past diseases significantly weaken the family. Therefore, it is important to timely prevent various ailments.

Important! The health of the bees can be weakened if not properly cared for by the beekeeper.

All About Beekeeping: Tips for Beginners

Beekeeping beginners should listen to more experienced companions. It is much easier to learn from other people's mistakes. To make beekeeping as profitable as possible, you should:

  • prepare for wintering since spring;
  • purchase inventory only in specialized stores;
  • regularly carry out activities to improve the health of the family;
  • start breeding Hymenoptera with no more than 5 hives;
  • monitor the cleanliness of the apiary.

How to start beekeeping from scratch and not make mistakes

By drawing on the experience of other beekeepers, beginners can avoid potential problems with the apiary. Therefore, it is extremely important for beginners to heed the advice of more experienced colleagues. The most common mistakes novice beekeepers make include:

  • lack of feed stock;
  • the presence of bee diseases;
  • improper storage of the received beekeeping products;
  • the wrong choice of plants for honey collection;
  • weakening of the family or the beginning of swarming.

Is it worth doing beekeeping

Before starting to breed bees, beginners try to weigh the pros and cons of production. The main advantage of beekeeping is the ability to provide your family with any beekeeping products. As you know, honey is not only a good alternative to sugar, but it can also act as a medicine.

With the right approach, beginner beekeeping can generate a good income. It directly depends on the efforts of the beekeeper. About 35 liters of honey can be collected from one nest per season. In monetary terms, this equals 20,000 rubles. You need to understand that working in an apiary for beginners requires physical resources. In addition, no one is immune from fire, natural disasters and theft of the bee family.


Beekeeping for beginners, in most cases, is of interest because of the potential for benefits. But not everyone is ready to spend the maximum of their free time searching and studying information. If the beekeeper approaches his business with responsibility, the benefits will not be long in coming.

Watch the video: New UK Beekeeper Blog #1 - Transferring My First Ever Bees Into The Hive (September 2021).