New Beekeeping Basics

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There’s a lot to learn, so in your first year, focus on the basics.

 

Basic timeline for new beekeepers:


 Fall before getting your bees: 

  • Attend classes
  • Read books (Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile’s The Beekeeper’s          Handbook and Tom Seeley’s Honeybee Democracy are two of our favorites)
  • Join the Marin Beekeepers Association  

 

Winter before getting your bees: 

  • Order equipment and bees

 

Spring: 

  • Get your bees!
  • Learn how to inspect your hives and prevent swarming.
  • Attend classes and get as much info as possible

 

Summer: 

  • Monitor your hive to control swarming.
  • Learn to recognize when – and what – to feed, if necessary.
  • Help protect (and prevent) robbing by yellow jackets, ants and other bees.
  • In late summer, start to monitor varroa mite levels.

 

Fall:    

  • Continue monitoring % infestation of varroa mites
  • Learn about mite management options
  • Harvest excess honey not needed by the bees for winter. (Not always                             possible in your colony’s first year.)

 

Winter: 

  • Clean up equipment from dead out colonies.
  • Learn to identify American Foulbrood.