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Beekeeping Education For Beginners (Learn The Basics)

Beekeeping  Basic Equipments

 A comprehensive beekeeping education might take years to complete, involving much research and practical practice. You may, however, start beekeeping by learning some fundamental facts and procedures.

Begin your beekeeping education by reading beekeeping books, taking classes (in person or online), joining beekeeping organizations, reading beekeeping blogs and forums, and watching YouTube videos. The greatest locations to start are books and courses since they give the material in an organized and methodical manner.

In this essay, we'll go through the finest places to learn about beekeeping for beginners. It's important to remember that a lot of beekeeping advice is a combination of facts and views, so it's best to consult many sources.

Books about Beekeeping

These are the top three beginning beekeeping books that will help you get through your first few years of beekeeping.

Each of these publications covers a variety of beehive kinds. They do, however, prefer to concentrate on the most popular Langstroth hive.

Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile's The Beekeeper's Handbook

Beginning with "fun facts," The Beekeeper's Handbook is jam-packed with useful information for both new and experienced beekeepers, with over 100 images and a glossary of words to back it up.

For instance, one teaspoon of honey requires the work of 12 honey bees.

The Beekeeper's Handbook provides all you need to know to get started beekeeping, as well as more advanced subjects including queen raising and specific management issues. For years, this book may be used as a key reference source. The writers are certified beekeepers with years of expertise.

Diana Sammataro is a retired USDA Honey Bee Lab scientist. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a Ph.D. in Entomology and Apiculture. Alphonse Avitabile is a seasoned beekeeper, a former honey bee scientist, and a college professor.

Kim Flottum's book The Backyard Beekeeper — An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden

Another good book for beekeeping beginners is The Backyard Beekeeper (currently in its 4th Edition).

Beautiful color images take you from "getting started correctly" with the necessary equipment and location through gathering honey and manufacturing beeswax items.

The Backyard Beekeeper is designed for tiny hobby beekeepers that don't have a lot of room (hence, the backyard). The author goes over ways to safeguard your neighbors as well as urban beekeeping.

We found the typography in this book to be a little tiny, therefore we recommend reading it on a Kindle or other ebook device.

Kim Flottum, the author, is the editor-in-chief of Bee Culture Magazine, where he has been writing and editing articles for the last 20 years. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in horticulture and worked at the USDA Honey Bee Research Lab.

Howard Blackiston's Beekeeping for Dummies

In internet communities, Beekeeping for Dummies is often mentioned as the best-recommended book for novices.

Tips, cautions, things to remember, urban beekeeping points, and "all-natural" recommendations are all highlighted with symbols throughout the book. Beekeeping for Dummies even includes some recipes for using the honey you've collected.

Beekeeping for Dummies includes a dictionary and a list of useful references, much like previous publications. Appendix B, Beekeeper's Checklist, is particularly useful for newcomers. Beginners sometimes underestimate the importance of maintaining records, and this checklist is a great place to start.

The author, Howland Blackiston, served as president of the Connecticut Back Yard Beekeepers Association in the past. He's been a beekeeper for over 30 years, has written several articles, and has been on television and radio.

While these are the finest books for beginners, we recommend checking out our comprehensive list of the top beekeeping books for more suggestions.

Classes on beekeeping

Beginner beekeeping classes are provided both in-person and online.

Beekeeping Classes in Person
Local beekeepers or beekeeping groups in your region may provide in-person lessons at a low cost. These classes are usually one or two days long.

There are various benefits to in-person education:
  • You can get up close and personal with bees and equipment.
  • You will get the opportunity to ask questions of a beekeeper who is informed about the difficulties in your region.
  • It provides an opportunity to meet new and experienced beekeepers.
  • Instructors or other students might serve as a local resource for future guidance and help.
Live courses will be restricted in number and may have stringent limits on the number of people that may attend. If you locate something that matches your schedule, check availability in your region and register early to prevent getting turned down.
In reaction to the Covid epidemic in 2020, in-person courses were phased out throughout the nation. Expect these courses to reappear once the situation improves.

Beekeeping Courses Online

Online courses are offered by a variety of organizations, ranging from big educational institutions to individual, qualified teachers.

Online beekeeping lessons (or "remote learning" in today's lingo) provide a number of advantages:

  • You have the option of learning at your own speed.
  • During the winter, when beekeeping activity is low, online lessons may be seen.
  • Classes may be repeated to help you remember what you learned.
  • Online programs are often lengthier and more in-depth than in-person sessions, which helps to offset their higher cost.
One of the greatest deals in online beekeeping lessons is offered by the Ohio State Beekeepers Association. The 37-part video Web-Based Introductory Beekeeping Training Program offered by the Association is completely free.

There's more, however. Backyard Beekeeping, a FREE online textbook by Dr. James E. Tew and published by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, is included in the videos. Dr. Tew is an "Apiculture Advisor, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, and State Specialist, Beekeeping, and Associate Professor, Ohio State University's Department of Entomology."
Note: Dr. James Tew is also the author of Beekeeper's Problem Solver, another of our finest publications for advanced beekeepers (100 Common Problems Explored and Explained).
Because the training program has been available for some time, the video quality isn't up to par with what you'd find in more recent offerings. It does, however, do a great job for beginner beekeepers as a well-organized set of concentrated video parts. And, once again, it's completely free.

For new beekeepers, PennState Extension provides an online video education. For $159. you receive one year of access to the 9-hour course as of this writing. Handouts and interactive questions are included in the training. PennState Extension also offers beekeeping manuals and materials.

As of this writing, the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education (New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station) provides Bee-Beekeeping: ginner's The Basics of Apiculture for $300. (with some discounted prices available).

The material of the Rutgers course takes roughly 14–15 hours to complete. However, unlike the PennState program, which is accessible for 365 days after enrollment, Bee-Beekeeping ginner's is only offered for a 2-week period in November, which is a huge disadvantage.

David Burns, a Certified Master Beekeeper at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, has created the Online Beekeeping Academy. The Academy provides seminars on mite management and queen raising, among other things. Classes may be purchased as a package at a reduced price. The basic beekeeping course costs $59 as of this writing.

For many years, David has been posting beekeeping videos on YouTube. You may check out his YT channel for free before paying up for his classes.

Beekeeping Associations may teach you how to raise bees.

Beekeeping organizations are an excellent way to meet other local beekeepers. The American Bee Journal's list of State Associations is a great place to start. To get a larger list, click on your state.

Many beekeeping choices are influenced by the environment in which you live. Local beekeepers that have a lot of experience with these challenges may be a big help.

The laws governing beekeeping differ from one jurisdiction to the next. Local organizations may assist you to understand the requirements by providing useful guidelines. The Empire State Honey Producers Association in New York, for example, gives beekeepers information on apiary, bear, and food legislation.

As previously said, several groups provide free or low-cost workshops to assist you in getting started with beekeeping. These live classes are an excellent way to get started.

Beekeeping societies may also provide pooled resources such as centrifugal extractors, which might be prohibitively costly for a single backyard beekeeper.

Online Forums And Beekeeping Blogs

Our blog isn't the only one that offers beekeeping advice and information. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Randy Oliver, a scientist and frequent writer for American Bee Journal, runs ScientificBeekeeping.com. Scientific Beekeeping aims to "search scientific studies for practical beekeeping applications, as well as filter through advice, opinion, and speculation found in bee periodicals and on the Internet, taking no positions other than to deliver accurate information" to beekeepers.
  • Rusty Berlew, a master beekeeper in Washington state, runs HoneyBeeSuite.com, a popular website. Her "goal" is to "address current beekeeping and bee scientific concerns." It is non-discriminatory and applies to both honey and wild bees."

On many online beekeeping communities, you may offer and receive advice.
  • Beekeepers who are willing to help visit the Beesource Beekeeping Forums. You could even get a well-known author to answer some of your queries.
  • Another location to obtain answers to questions is on Facebook. Find organizations for general information and others for particular information about your area. Among the organizations we monitor are Beekeeping Techniques, Beekeeping Basics, and Northeast Beekeeping.

Keep in mind that these forums contain beekeepers from all over the world with varying levels of expertise and geographic locations.

YouTube Beekeeping Channels

It should come as no surprise that many beekeepers make educational films available on YouTube. Aside from our YouTube videos and the David Burns videos I mentioned before, we like the following channels:

Don The Fat Bee Man is a fictional character. Over 58k people have subscribed to The Fat Bee Man's YouTube channel. I enjoy his laid-back demeanor and find his explanations to be straightforward.

The Vlog of the Bee. This channel hasn't been updated in a while, but it doesn't make the material any less valuable.

Vino Farm is a farm that produces wine. I believe that Jim, the channel's presenter, occasionally exaggerates a point. Nonetheless, his films and user comments may be highly instructive. Jim isn't hesitant to confess his errors or ask for help when he's not sure what he's doing. He also devises novel approaches to his beekeeping problems.

Jeff Horchoff Bees covers all facets of beekeeping, as well as some carpentry.

These video channels are not set up in the manner of a course that you may follow. You may, however, use them to get answers to particular questions or to learn more about beekeeping in general.

Conclusion

To start beekeeping effectively, you must first get acquainted with fundamental beekeeping concerns and procedures.

The most orderly manner of knowledge is found in beekeeping books and workshops. There are, however, a plethora of additional useful resources at your disposal.

This post is part of a series on how to get started in beekeeping, which includes a number of stages to help you get started and get through your first year of beekeeping.

We recommend that as you learn the fundamentals of beekeeping, you start preparing for your first hive by calculating how much it will cost you to get started.

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