It seems that I cannot learn any other way than by making mistakes. A lot of them! This was especially true when I first started this obsession.
Here are the top five things you should never do as a beekeeper. Learn from my mistakes!
1. I’m a fast learner. I will watch a few Youtube videos and I will quickly pluck those bees out of the wall.
This was my exact thought before my first cutout. Oh, how wrong I was! When removing 30,000 to 50,000 bees from a wall, it is best to have a solid plan, the right tools, and, if possible, an experienced mentor.
2. I don’t have enough money to buy a bee suit. I’ll improvise!
If you are seriously interested in beekeeping, it is always a good idea to get the essentials. That would include clothing that will protect you from the multiple bee stings you will likely get by “improvising”. If you can’t afford a bee suit, ask your local beekeepers club to see if someone will loan you one. While you are at it, ask if it comes with an experienced beekeeper to advise or assist. Beekeepers are some of the best people you will ever meet! We are always available for advice and sometimes a helping hand.
3. I can’t wait to see how much honey I will get! The bees will make more. Why should I leave any?
Honey is not a byproduct of the honeybee. It is their food, their life, and their future. Every bee, from the queen to the lowly drone, depends on honey to survive. We must remember this when doing cutouts as well as managing our hives.
Honey = Life
4. I only need a couple frames of brood (baby) comb.
Oh, this makes me cringe just thinking about this awful mistake!
Just as important as honey, the baby bees are the future of a hive. Yes, the queen can lay over 2,000 eggs a day, but when we remove a hive, things may not go as planned. The queen may die. You may not even get her. That is why it is very important to put all of the brood in with the bees.
Remember: A weak hive is more susceptible to disease, pests, and robber bees.
5. I wonder what my bees are doing now? Let me check.
This is why two, of my three, hives absconded. I was just so doggone excited! I loved checking in on them. It was so exciting to see the progress they made! Until they were gone. It took 2 hives absconding before I finally let the last hive do it’s thing.