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Commercial Beekeeping – How do you get started?

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We got this email the other day about getting started in Commercial Beekeeping. I thought our answer may help you, if you are thinking of going down this path as well.

Here is David's email:-

Hi,

I need some honest advise and guidance please. I am a 56 years old. I am thinking of leaving my industry and becoming a Commercial beekeeper.

How do I get Started?

David


Hi David,

Thanks for your email.

We sell beekeeping supplies and talk to lots of different beekeepers. So these thoughts are based on those conversations. Not on our experience of being a commercial beekeeper.

Start Reading

Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand

A good start to beekeeping is to get hold of a good book, we recommend the “Practical beekeeping in New Zealand” book. This book is commercial focused, so a great book to read before you get your first bees. We sell this book HERE.

other essential books are:-

Do a Commercial Course

Another thing I hear is a lot of beekeepers are doing is the Telford Apiculture course, this can be done via correspondance or classroom work. You can find out more on their website located HERE.

Start Slowly / Start as a Hobbyist

Beekeeping takes a while to learn, so start slowly with a few hives. It’s better to make mistakes on three hives rather than fifty.

A good rule is that if you can run 5 hives for a few years and get them through your winters, then start expanding.

Find a commercial Mentor

Photo courtesy of MARY-JO TOHILL/Fairfax
Photo courtesy of MARY-JO TOHILL/Fairfax

I hear finding a commercial beekeeper as a mentor is another good idea, ask if you can help him or her with their operation. Observe what they do, ask lots of questions.

Locations for your beehives

Another practical step, do you have access to large tracts of land to place your bees. some areas are becoming saturated with hives, this will lead to less nectar for the bees, hence less honey resources.

Your Health

Beekeeping is hard work, full boxes of honey weigh up to 40kg. so injuries and back issues are common place in beekeeping. You can use smaller height boxes this will help with this. Beekeeping is physically demanding and injuries do happen.

Well i hope that gives you some ideas, if you a completely new beekeeper, I would also check out our article Beekeeping 101 – Seven Steps to becoming beekeeper.

Good luck with your journey. Merry Christmas and have a great week.

Gary Fawcett

Gary enjoys designing new kiwimana products which we sell through our on-line shop.He is passionate about saving the Bees and encouraging urban beekeeping.Gary loves to write about issues that affect the Bees and our environment.He is also into tramping/walking in the beautiful New Zealand bush.
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