A Comprehensive Guide to Beekeeping Basics

Whether an urbanite or country-raised, now is the time to begin keeping bees. Enjoy fresh honey, help the environment, and care for these little critters!

| January 2017

  • If you know the resources of your location and the basics of how to begin, keeping bees can be done almost anywhere.
    Photo by Fotolia/serbbgd
  • “Self-Sufficiency: A Complete Guide to Baking, Carpentry, Crafts, Organic Gardening, Preserving Your Harvest, Raising Animals, and More” by Abigail R. Gehring.
    Cover courtesy Skyhorse Publishing

Abigail Gehring has put together a simple and informative guide to basic independent living in Self-Sufficiency (Skyhorse Publishing, 2010). Whether families are trying to move completely off the grid or just reduce their impact on the environment, this book is full of tips, advice, and instructions for everything, from tasks like building furniture and water systems to raising animals and making soap. Use this resource to find inspiration on living greener and more responsibility.

You can purchase this book from the Capper's Farmer store: Self-Sufficiency.

Beekeeping (also known as apiculture) is one of the oldest human industries. For thousands of years, honey has been considered a highly desirable food. Beekeeping is a science and can be a very profitable employment; it is also a wonderful hobby for many people in the United States. Keeping bees can be done almost anywhere — on a farm, in a rural or suburban area, and even, at times, in urban areas (even on rooftops!). Anywhere there are sufficient flowers from which to collect nectar, bees can thrive.

Apiculture relies heavily on the natural resources of a particular location and the knowledge of the beekeeper in order to be successful. Collecting and selling honey at your local farmers’ market or just to family and friends can supply you with some extra cash if you are looking to make a profit from your apiary.

Why Raise Bees?

Bees are essential in the pollination and fertilization of many fruit and seed crops. If you have a garden with many flowers or fruit plants, having bees nearby will only help your garden flourish and grow year after year. Furthermore, nothing is more satisfying than extracting your own honey for everyday use.

How to Avoid Getting Stung

Though it takes some skill, you can learn how to avoid being stung by the bees you keep. Here are some ways you can keep your bee stings to a minimum:

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