10 Mistakes New Beekeepers Make

The art of beekeeping can be very exciting, but if you are a beginning beekeeper, you are most likely going to make some mistakes. Of course, no beekeeper will intentionally want anything to go wrong, but it happens. This article to contains ten major mistakes a new beekeeper makes.

1. Lacking Adequate Knowledge Of Beekeeping

Going into beekeeping without the basic knowledge of how it works can be devastating. Many beginning beekeepers are neither members of any beekeeping association nor involved in any beekeeping discussion group. It is wise to learn from any of the numerous beekeeping discussion groups on social media platforms, clubs and associations, books, documentaries, forums and YouTube videos.

2. Improper Feeding Of Starters

Feeding bees sugar water is a popular practice. It is a good source of energy for package bees since they can be very weak on arrival owing to the challenges of transportation. Unfortunately, not all beginners are aware of this fact, so the majority usually end up losing a good portion of their hive on arrival.

3. Unhealthy Inspection Of Hive

New beekeepers are prone to frequent observation of their beehive. It is good to inspect the hive but not to the detriment of the individual residents. Bees are generally very active. Frequent interruption and opening of their hives will disrupt their activity and make them feel unsafe.

4. Inadequate Number Of Bee Frames

Opps – Not enough frames Margaret
The frame is a significant and an indispensable component of the bee hive. It serves as the foundation on which the bee activities take place. Some new beekeepers go foundation less while others may not have enough frames to cater to the growing number of their inhabitants. Bee frames are the platforms that hold wax as it is produced. When it is not enough to cover all open spaces, the bees are most likely going to start developing their honeycomb in the free space available. Always make sure that you never have a lower number of frames in the box than is required.

5. Harvesting Honey At Inappropriate Times

This is one beekeeping mistake you will most likely make as a new beekeeper. It can be challenging to know when the time is ripe to make a harvest. It is not a healthy idea to harvest honey in the very first year from your hive. The big question here is whether the bees are mature enough to have produced enough honey for harvesting within one year. And the answer to that question is simply no. Kindly wait until after the first year before you begin harvesting.

6. Harvesting The Wrong Volume

For a new beekeeper, it can be difficult to know the right volume of honey to harvest. There is need to be both careful and conservative when harvesting. Be mindful of the fact that the bees, too,need a reserved portion of their honey and so harvesting too much will lead to starvation and eventual desolation of the hives.

7. Splitting The Frames After Removal

Splitting the frames in the wrong order after removal can be disturbing to the bees. Bees are sensitive and orderly in their working pattern. Splitting the frames may lead to temperature, moisture and ventilation challenges for weak members. This is mostly true for the brood nest.

8. Not Making Good Use Of The Bee Smoker

Smoke is an old time strategy used in calming bee security readiness. Today’s beekeepers make use of a hand held smoker for the same purpose. One who is new to beekeeping may feel that it is enough to rely on the bee suite since it can offer adequate protection against any possible attack. While this is basically true, the smoker is used to block the alarm mechanism and communication channels of the bees. It calms the bees, distracts them from your presence and protects your close neighbors from facing the dangers of bee stings. Always make use of the smoker if you want to avoid causing harm.

9. Lack Of Readiness Against Mites

Mites are a disease causing parasite that weakens bees by attacking and sucking off their fatty deposits. The good thing is that hybrid species can effectively resist the attacks of mites. This knowledge may not have been available to the new beekeeper when he ordered for his package.

10. Not Checking The State Of The Queen Bee

It is the queen that lays the eggs which lead to bee population growth. Without the Queen, the hive’s population will certainly start to decline. So in a nutshell, a beehive cannot really survive if there is no queen bee. To monitor how active the queen is, always check for the presence of eggs in the beehive. With it, the future of your beehive is protected.

Did I miss Anything

Did I miss any other common mistakes you see new beekeepers making? Please comment below and so we both can help the community.

5 thoughts on “10 Mistakes New Beekeepers Make

  1. Ian Story says:

    Perhaps point 11:
    At this time of year, after checking that queen is in residence, make sure all queen cells, capped & uncapped are removed, as the next time you check hive you could have a new queen if you miss 1 or 2 queen cells. That will put you back at least 4 weeks, before you have new bees appearing.

  2. Geof Hughes says:

    Further to Ian’s comment: Not only will you have a new queen in residence, you could have lost half of your bees, as they will have gone (swarmed) with the old queen! That will set you back a few weeks.

    Also, with reference to the article, does anyone know why you use smoke to calm your bees? (homework) Never seems to be explained, but the answer is interesting. Hi from UK. Geof.

  3. DingDongBees says:

    Big one I’ve seen a few times is tending to bees without proper protection.
    For some reason, new beekeepers are told that some bees are so placid they can be looked after without wearing a bee suit. No one should do this ever as even the nicest bees can suddenly turn on you. I’ve seen several well behaved colonies become aggressive for no apparent reason.

    • Margaret Groot says:

      Hiya, yes I personally always wear ptrotective gear as I don’t want to lose my eyesight due to a bee sting – this is very probable due to the fact that bees do recognise eyes on a human face. Bees can get grumpy if they are thirsty so I have a fine-mist-water-sprayer a gently spray above the beehive and the water distracts and cools as well. Cheers. All the best from Gary and I …it’s the kiwimana buzz…

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