So, I will be keeping bees this spring and I am trying to read as much as possible because that is what I do. My ADHD kicks in and I hyper-focus only on one thing. I found a book that looked like it was user friendly on Amazon and then when I started reading it I realized that it was perfect for the first time beekeeper. It’s called Homegrown Honey Bees: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Beekeping Your First Year, from Hiving to Honey Harvest by Alethea Morrison. It is to the point and has everything in it step by step. It teaches you about the life cycle of bees, how to get started, the gear you need, the first month in weekly steps, The first season, How to collect your first harvest and when, what to do if your colony doesn’t survive it’s first winter, what sort of bee illnesses there are out there and how to treat them, how much work a hive really is. It also has great little stories of beekeepers and their accomplishment and bumps in the road.
The photos taken by Mars Vilaubi are VERY good. I’m a visual learner and Mars did an exceptional job of capturing all the different things that I needed to see to really understand. They even have photos of what bee stings look like for those of us that have never been stung.
I learned a lot in the past few days and am now not as ignorant about beekeeping as I was. I know that Drones are not the worker bees that I thought they were but just boys waiting to get lucky then only to die because their penis is ripped off after mating. That the queen only gets to get lucky for a short period of time and then she keeps the sperm to make enough bees to keep a colony going for several years (wow). That the other ladies of the hive do all the work and even decide on if it is time to rear more queens because the one in charge is ill or old or that the hive is getting too cramped to keep everyone in it so it’s time to swarm with a new queen. I’ve learned how to keep my hive from swarming by introducing enough space and so much more.
The only thing it does not really cover is how to split your hive to make more hives from your own bees but that’s what youtube is for right? Other than that I did not see many flaws in the book as a novice. I will be looking at this book many times in the process of getting started with my bees. This is a book that you keep referring to as you are starting out but for more in depth information I think a bee mentor will be the way to go. So off to my local bee club that luckily meets less than a mile from my home. I look forward to meeting more beekeepers and pick their brain and then enjoying the buzz of the bees and the honey they will provide my family.
Hope you are all happy, healthy and living the life you love.
Happy Valentines day