Becoming a Beekeeper

Beekeeper Checking on His Bees

Things to consider before diving into the hive:

Are you interested in beekeeping? Use the guide below to help you get started on your bee-utiful journey.

Close Up of Bees in a Hive

  1. Family, Friends, Neighbors & Community

    Before investing your time and money into becoming a beekeeper, check your local ordinances. Municipalities have different rules and regulations about beekeeping. Also make sure your family, friends and neighbors are on board with your efforts. While bees do so many wonderful things, they can also bring safety concerns. Make sure no one in your family is allergic or hyper sensitive to stings or suffer from insect phobias. You should also check with your neighbors and address any questions they may have. Finally, be sure to make any visitors, friends or local community members aware of the new neighbors you’re introducing to your area. Supportive efforts of additional pollinator forage will also ensure your bees are well fed.

    Pollinator Flowers in a Field

  2. Keep the People and the Bees Happy

    The location of your hive is crucial to becoming a successful beekeeper. Bees need a water source near the hive, sunshine and a variety of continuous plants and trees that provide nectar and pollen. Bees will forage Between 3-5 miles from the hive, or further, so It’s important to provide them the land and resources that they need to survive. No one, not even a beekeeper, enjoys getting stung by a bee. To do your part in helping your family, friends, neighbors and visitors avoid bee stings, it’s best practice to create walking paths, planting paths and play paths that steer away from the hive.

    Beekeeper Costs

    *Start-up costs from Bayer beekeeper Veldon Sorenson

  3. Time and Money

    Beekeeping is not an inexpensive or hands-off hobby. To care for your bees, and ensure that you have all the items and space required, it will likely cost between $500-$600.

    The amount of time that it will take to properly care for your bees depends on where you live, what food is available and the time of year. You should also wait one full year before harvesting your hive’s honey.

  4. Join the Club

    Many counties and cities have local beekeeping clubs or associations. These groups are made of people just like you who want to be the best beekeepers they can be and they exist to help out fellow beekeepers. Many even offer beginner beekeeping classes. And since different areas can present unique challenges for beekeepers, having some friends with local expertise can be a great help!

Hive Boxes in a Field

If any of the info above has led you to conclude that maybe beekeeping isn't for you, don't worry! There are many ways for you to support honey bees including the Feed a Bee initiative. Consider planting a garden with bee attractant flowers or simply sharing the story of how our food is pollinated by honey bees and the stressors they currently face.