There are many hobbies that you can occupy your time with. There’s outdoor recreation, there are games, and so on and so forth, but have you ever considered beekeeping as a hobby you might enjoy. Over the last few years beekeeping has grown to new acclaim. It has grown so much that there are actually several organizations in the Boise are that are dedicated to the education of beekeeping and spreading of natural bee products. In this article, we will explain what beekeeping is, why beekeeping is getting so popular, how to get started, and how to know if you are allowed to keep bees on your property.
What is beekeeping?
In short, beekeeping is when you purposely provide an area for bees to colonize (sometimes known as an apiary). People do this so that they can either research the behavior, biology, and sociology of bees or to collect the honey, wax, and other bee byproducts from their hive.
This can be done on an industrial scale, but it can also be achieved by the amateur in their own backyard. The beekeeper cares for the bees by building the apiary, keeping the area safe from predators, and so on and so forth.
Why would I want to keep bees?
Now, there are many reasons a person might want to keep bees, but the most common one is the monetary benefit. Beekeepers can sell the honey, wax, and other byproducts for lots of money; however, there are many people that do keep these products for themselves. Local beekeepers have an advantage when it comes to selling honey, and in some cases will make higher profits than industrially produced honey.
The large demand for local honey is due to two factors: the supporting of the local economy and the possible health benefits. We will focus on these possible health benefits. It has been theorized that if a person eats a certain amount of local honey, they will eventually have less severe reactions during allergy season. We aren’t saying that this will work for everyone, if it works at all, as it is just a theory.
How do I get started?
There are many programs, guides, and companies that are designed to help beekeepers get started. However, before you decide to jump on in, it is best to find out if you are allergic to bee stings first. Now, we all know that beekeepers get those cool outfits to keep them from being stung, but you aren’t going to be wearing it all the time. Sure you will be wearing it when you are working with your bees, but with the presence of a hive, the amount of bees you will encounter will grow rapidly and you are bound to be stung sooner or later.
Once you have found out if you are allergic or not, you will want to get educated and get all the materials you need. Oh, and of course, get yourself some bees (topics we will cover in more detail in the next sections).
What if I don’t know anything about bees?
Well, we are glad you asked. Here in Boise there are some great organizations that offer very affordable classes for prospective beekeepers. All you will need to do is look them up online. The most prominent of them being the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club. Check them out.
You should also be doing as much research you can before you take any classes or go to any workshops. Go to the library, do some Google searches and learn as much as you can. This will increase your likelihood of raising some healthy colonies. Learn modern ideas and techniques, older ideas and techniques, and even the unorthodox ideas and techniques. This way you have other options after the ones they give you in your classes.
What do I need to keep bees? (Materials)
Like we said earlier, you will need your bees. Bees can be ordered online, bought from another local beekeeper, and so on and so forth. Do a quick search on Google for ways to buy them in your area.
Next, you will need some protection. This will be full body protection. The most important is the hat and veil. This will keep the bees out of your eyes and off you neck. Then you need a jacket and gloves.
After that you will want to pick the kind of hive you want to use and order one of those. The different kinds of hives will offer different advantages and disadvantages, so choose wisely. After that you will want a brush, a smoker, and a pry bar of some kind. (This is not a full list of what you will need, for a full list, please contact a beekeeping professional in your area).
Are there restrictions in my area about bees?
Yes, most likely. However, the rules will not only change from city to city, but they will also change from subdivision to subdivision. Check with your HOA. They will know what the rules are for beekeeping in your area. If they don’t have any, and don’t know what the city codes are concerning beekeeping, then talk to one of the beekeepers in the area. They will be able to give you more detailed information.
Beekeeping is one of those hobbies that won’t appeal to everyone, but it is one that many find relaxing and fulfilling. If you want to learn more about beekeeping and how to get into it, contact one of the many organizations for beekeepers here in the Boise area. The Treasure Valley is half agricultural and half urban, and due to this dichotomy, you can do things like keep bees in a normal suburban area. Other areas of the world aren’t that lucky.
To talk to Boise real estate experts about buying or selling property in the Boise, Idaho area, call the Hughes Group today. Our agents are there to help you with any questions you may have.