Beekeeping 101: Why I Keep Honey Bees (and why you should, too!)
Have you ever wanted to keep honeybees and become a bee keeper? Maybe you saw an ad in the newspaper for “bees for sale,” or you saw some beekeepers at the local farmers market selling organic honey.
Perhaps you read about local raw honey and wanted the benefit of honey for health. Perhaps you wanted to study apiculture and establish an apiary (so you can be called an apiarist!). Or you’ve always wanted to get into the bee removal business for nervous homeowners demanding that you, “get rid of bees.”
Since 1981, I’ve been a beekeeper. I sell bee products. I tell bee facts. I’ve done bee hive removal. I’ve endured thousands of stings and owned several honey extractors.
One of my growing markets is for natural honey and comb honey. People buy my honey for allergies. I make my own bee hives and sell beekeeper supplies as well as teach beekeeping courses.
Every day (or so it seems) someone asks me how I got into beekeeping, how I decided to raise bees as well as produce my own queen honeybees. They ask me if I produce royal jelly. They want to know how many times I’ve been stung.
The conversation soon drifts to a timid request wondering if I would help them start raising honey bees. Would I mentor them? Do I have any used beekeeping equipment for sale? How much does it cost to get started? Where can they buy bees? Do I have bees for sale?
In this book I probe those kinds of questions. I share my experience (the good, the bad and the wonderful!) and hopefully give anyone who is thinking about keeping bees a little “heads up.”
I want to share how I got into this marvelous hobby called beekeeping, but also take the perspective of what I might have done differently.
Hopefully, my experience will help you decide if beekeeping is for you, and if so, how you can make the most intelligent decisions on getting started.
- Grant Gillard, May 2011
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