5 Things for Beginner Beekeepers to Consider
Bee club or class
There is a lot to learn with beekeeping. Terms that you should become familiar with and methods that may need explaining. Most will say you must join a club but some folks may not have one or feel that a 'club' is just not their cup of honey.
Online classes are available, like mine Zen Beekeeping, that you can take at your own pace and refer to over and over.
If you are on Facebook you know about groups. I give a word of caution for beginners here! These groups and forums tend to have loud folks that see their methods as the best way. You can ask for advice on the simplest thing and get a blistering answer . I have seen many new keepers just leave due to blusterous and belittling responses from know-it-alls that may only have one or two hives! Get your feet wet and leave the forums alone.
There are a ton of books out there. The library is your friend ! Blogs, magazines and studies will give you plenty to read. Read not only the technical details but of experiences. Each of us have so many stories that one many resonate with you. It may be methodology, reasons for keeping bees, similar environment, anything that may help you retain the needed information.
Mistakes are normal
I can't count how many mistakes I have made in my keeping of bees!
Some are simple and others are just plain stupid!! Then there are those mistakes that you were never prepared for, so if your knowledge base is small mistakes happen. Bees are living insects. We know alot but they will fly away even when we think we did everything right.
Get ready early
Bees have their own schedule and they do not care about yours! Holidays and bill paying means nothing to them.
Seriously, bees sell out early. You may be lucky if you wait till spring but the prices may be higher. Not only should you get ready early for buying the bees, but you need to prepare the hives ( boxes and frames). Some are handy in the wood department and while hive assembly is not horribly difficult, there are those that are all thumbs when it comes to it. (don't worry you can buy assembled hives if you have deep pockets!)
The point here is don't lose track of time in planning when and how you will get your bees and equipment. Take that class before you order bees and start reading.
Stake out your apiary
Where will you keep your new friends? Are you in the city? Got a roof? Maybe you have a neighbor with a big field. It doesn't matter where it just matters that you have a place in mind. Think of the places that can make it comfortable to keep your girls. Some shade, a water source close by and friendly neighbors may be some of the considerations.
So, get going!