Curious about how to start beekeeping? Learn the costs, how much work is involved and the benefits of beekeeping here.
Wondering how to start beekeeping? Are you curious about how much effort and expense are involved and whether or not it’s worth it?
In today’s episode, Prep Dish founder Allison Schaaf teams up with her husband Brook Schaaf to share how they’ve started beekeeping and harvesting honey. They talk about how they got started, lessons learned and the benefits they’ve seen.
Even if you don’t plan to harvest your own honey any time soon, this is a fascinating look into the world of beekeeping!
Allison & Brook’s Beekeeping Insights:
1. Help is available – There are consultants who can come out to help you, companies with plans for different areas, people who provide virtual assistance and many websites and forums with information on how to start beekeeping. You can even lease the bees to start!
2. Cost – Equipment can be expensive. The bees themselves can be expensive as well. It probably costs close to $1000 to get started.
3. Failure – Sometimes hives fail. Some of the bees die (this is especially true if you buy the packages). One time our queen bee died so we had to order a new queen. Be prepared that you will experience some failure.
4. Knowledge & Maintenance – You can start out with very little knowledge (like we did!) but there’s a lot to learn to become an expert. Beekeeping is a lifelong learning venture.
5. Taxes – Depending on where you live, you can likely get a tax credit for beekeeping (you have to have a certain number of hives depending on your area). This may cover the yearly cost of beekeeping.
6. Raw Honey – The raw honey you’ll harvest is not recommended for babies under 1 year old due to the risk of botulism.
7. Bee Stings – We have gotten bee stings, especially when we move the bees. Be aware that they can stay agitated for days after you move them.
8. Community – Many people are very passionate about beekeeping and you can connect with other beekeepers in your area.
9. Educational – If you have kids, this is an excellent learning experience. In addition to the honey, you can also use beeswax to make things and do crafts together.
10. Delicious honey! There is a big difference in quality between honeys and this is excellent quality and tastes delicious. We probably got a gallon and a half last year from our 4 hives but you could get more from a very healthy hive if you’re quite experienced.
Bonus Tip: Check CraigsList for used equipment!
Resources mentioned in this podcast:
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