Are you thinking of getting into beekeeping? Whether you want the honey and other by-products of beekeeping or just want to pollinate your yard or acreage or help to save the bees, as exciting and rewarding as it can be, there are several challenging hurdles you will have to face:
Among the factors facing new beekeepers are:
-Can I keep bees? Do the local regulations allow me to keep bees? Anyone keeping bees in B.C. must be registered. It is also a legislated requirement to register the apiary locations where bees are kept. Beekeeper & Apiary Registration Form (Online form).
-How do I get started and where do I get my information?
-Is it easy to keep bees?
-I don't know the terminology/lingo. Talk to other beekeepers. It will come.
-How many colonies should I or can I have?
-How/where do I get my equipment. What and how much equipment should I purchase?
-Where/how do I get my bees? How much do they cost?
-How do I set up my new apiary and manage my new colony/s?
-How do I deal with changes in technology and ideas?
-How do I deal with the volume and discrepancies of information I see on the internet and hear from other beekeepers? There seems to be many conflicting views on how to manage colonies. Can I trust the internet?
-What about this new "Flow Hive"? Is it that good? Should I get one? Where do I get one and how much does it cost?
The best way to learn is by working with an experienced beekeeper. However, because we are all different and have different ideas and espectations, talk to other beekeepers and find out what is best for you and your bees. Another great tool is the internet. The challenge, however is in determining how reliable the source is. A majority of the sites you might access are from the U.S.A. and other areas such as Australia and New Zealand. Many processes, techniques and equipment specs. are different because of the latitude, weather, climate and snow free season, etc.
It is well known that many beekeepers are reluctant to change. They were taught by their Dad who was taught by his Dad and so on. It is, however important to understand that just because something works or worked for Joe Beekeeper doesn't mean that it will work the same for your colonies. Numerous factors including weather, climate, wind patterns, colony location, availability of food sources, use of pesticides nearby and numerous other factors can dramatically alter success of your colonies. Don't be afraid to collect the appropriate information from different sources and try one or more strategies to determine how well things work for you and your bees. To add to the confusion, even though a certain process/technique works one year, things could be quite different in later years. The factors mentioned about could change and alter the end result. Learn to keep an open mind and be prepared to make changes where/and when required. If something works for you and your bees, you can't argue with that!
Below is a list of resources including links to sites and/or contact info to assist the new beekeeper in getting started: This is an ongoing list that we will try to keep accurate and up to date.
Provincial Government Agriculture/Apiculture Agencies. These links will include info on bee courses, clubs, acts and regulations, inspectors, terminology, etc.: