So you want to be a beekeeper, but are feeling a little nervous?
January 23, 2018
Embarking on your first foray into beekeeping can be daunting—it can feel like there's so much to learn. At one time or another everyone in Flow HQ was a nervous newbie. Here are some of our top tips to make your journey buzz more smoothly.
Find a beekeeping mentor and/or buddy
Although it is possible to learn through research, there's nothing like learning experientially. Pairing up with someone who lives locally and who has some beekeeping experience can help steady any nerves, as well as help to answer any of the (many) questions that you have about looking after your bees and hive.
It can also be helpful to find a beekeeping buddy, either someone who has their own hive or someone to learn alongside you with your own. It can be exciting to compare notes and learn together—opening your hive for your first brood inspection with a beekeeping buddy is also more fun and a little less daunting.
Check out how first-year beekeeper Jamie, from Venango County, western Pennsylvania, developed her confidence and knowledge of beekeeping.
Join the club
Local beekeeping club members can be invaluable for acquiring the knowledge and skills required to keep bees.
From pests and diseases to laws and regulations and general beekeeping know-how, your local beekeeping club should be able to support you in becoming an educated, responsible and passionate beekeeper.
Just like a hive, clubs will have their own “vibe”, depending on the volunteers running the club and even their particular beekeeping focus. Flow has created fresh interest in beekeeping globally and while some clubs have welcomed the energy and enthusiasm of their new members others have been more resistant to newbees and even to Flow technology (particularly if they don’t have any experience with our products) so it's worth checking out a few clubs in your local area.
We have received great feedback from many new beekeepers who have introduced a local club to their Flow Hive, where once sceptical beekeepers become converts, however, if you are finding it difficult to find support, check-out our Flow friendly Beekeeping Club Directory to assist you in finding your nearest club.
If there are no convenient bee clubs in your area, our Flow Forum is a great online resource where many experienced and new beekeepers share their journey and support each other by answering bee related questions. This is a handy way to learn from the comfort of your home.
Join our weekly Q&A with Flow Facebook Live
Weather permitting, the Flow team host weekly question & answer Facebook-live events. Cedar, Stu and our Flow team will run through practical beekeeping, hive inspections and harvesting tips in the Flow apiary. Jump online and have the opportunity to have your question answered. Available every Wednesday at around 10 am AEST—If you miss the live session, it’s always available to replay later.
Watch Cedar harvesting in the rain and answering your questions:
Do a beekeeping course
Many beekeeping clubs, community gardens and community colleges hold beekeeping courses, ranging from introductory to advanced. These courses can give a great overview of how to look after your colony successfully and are highly recommended for improving your confidence and knowledge with practical beekeeping.
After researching and acquiring all the right gear (hive, protective equipment, smoker) – it’s time to find some bees to get your hive busy!
This can be a difficult process if you don’t know where to look. Though a beehive is designed to be the perfect home for a bee colony, it is unlikely that they will move in on their own. Have a look at our FAQ to point you in the right direction.
Other Flow resources
Beginner beekeeping videos
Our beginner beekeeper videos are a great series and are free to watch, anytime, at your leisure. Whether you are a newbee or an experienced beekeeper wanting to refresh your skills, our beginner beekeeping series has handy tips and information to get you started on your beekeeping journey with confidence.
Support from our awesome team
If you have Flow-related bee questions, we’re here to help, and operate during Australian business hours, Monday to Friday – so don’t be shy, get in contact!
Email our friendly support staff
Phone in and kick back for a good old chat with Trace
Live chat get fast answers to your buzzing questions