Beekeeping, or apiculture, is becoming more and more popular among people of all ages. Being able to harvest your own local honey is fun, fulfilling, and great for your health. It’s easier than you might think to run your own colony of honeybees, but its important to do your research first. All of the resources listed here will provide you with accurate, helpful information about everything related to bees and beekeeping.
Getting Started With Beekeeping
There’s a lot to know before jumping into a pursuit like beekeeping. It’s good to learn as much as possible to make sure that you get all of the right supplies and give yourself the best chance at creating a successful operation. Preparation is key, and there’s a lot of information floating around out there. Follow these links to find accurate and helpful insights for the brand new beekeeper.
Beginner Beekeeping Tips — The University of Missouri offers this free guide to beginning beekeeping. With tips, facts, and some important dos and don’ts this is a great place to start if you’re thinking about becoming a beekeeper.
Beginning Beekeeping — This site is for anyone interested in getting started with beekeeping. There are several pages covering everything about apiculture, and there’s even an “Ask The Beekeeper" section.
Beekeeping/Apiculture Guide — From the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Services, this comprehensive guide covers all the bases of beekeeping from beginning to end, including more in-depth information like how to pass your state inspection and ways that you can pay for your project. The guide is free to download but you can also purchase a print copy for $3.
Nectar and Pollen Plants — A retired USDA apiculturist wrote this excellent guide filled with information about some different pollen and nectar plants and their effect on honey. Planning out your bee-friendly garden before getting started is an important component of beekeeping success.
All About Honeybees
Of course, the most important aspect of any beekeeping operation is the bees themselves. Becoming educated about honeybees and how they work is the first step toward becoming a successful and responsible beekeeper. Plus, they’re pretty interesting to study – it’s no wonder that so many people are fascinated by bees!
Honeybees by National Geographic — This is a very basic but informative page about honeybees. Reading this will help aspiring beekeepers learn more about what bees do and how they do it.
Honeybee Facts — Backyard Beekeepers is the home of this page that is filled with interesting information about the different types of honeybees. Some basic honeybee terminology is covered, too.
Honeybee Slideshow for Kids — This slideshow from National Geographic Kids has some great information and accompanying pictures to help teach young beekeepers all about honeybees. Excellent quality images show just how bees go about gathering pollen and making honey up close and with perfect clarity.
Bee Guide From Pollinator.org — Here you can find downloadable state-specific bee identification guides that can be printed off and used as a reference when identifying the types of bees in your area.
Just because you live in a city doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the experience of keeping your own bees. Urban beekeeping, or backyard beekeeping, is catching on all over the world. If you know how to work within the space you have available, you can enjoy all the benefits of beekeeping right where you are. These pages will guide you through the basics of urban apiculture so that you can decide if it’s right for you.
Honey Love Urban Beekeeping — Honey Love is a nonprofit organization that exists to promote urban beekeeping and to provide the resources necessary for anyone to get started with their own beekeeping operation. Their core purpose is to protect and preserve honey bee populations everywhere.
Backyard Beekeeping — This page provides a step-by-step guide to creating your own urban beekeeping operation, with lots of helpful information to help you keep your hive happy – and your neighbors, too.
Avoiding Urban Beekeeping Problems — This article, from Mother Earth News magazine, discusses the potential problems of beekeeping in the city and how to prevent them from happening to you.
10 Urban Beekeeping Tips — This three-page article outlines everything you need to know before you begin a beekeeping project in the city. These basic but necessary tips will help save you from making some common mistakes.
More Beekeeping Resources
The beekeeping community is comprised of all kinds of people, most of whom are willing to share their knowledge and insights. The internet makes it easy for apiculture enthusiasts to keep in touch and help each other out. The sites and pages listed here all offer valuable information – including plans and instructions for making equipment – for free.
BeeSource — Beesource is a website dedicated to helping beekeepers find the information and support they need. There’s a user forum full of fellow apiculture enthusiasts willing to lend an ear and share their advice, insights, and even a little bad bee humor.
Build Your Own Beehive — Beesource Beekeeping offers this page full of free downloadable beehive building plans for any type of size of hive you want to build.
Beekeeping Equipment — This educational page gives a very thorough explanation of basic beekeeping equipment. There are instructions and plans for making your own apiculture tools, too.
Pollinator Partnership — You’ll find all kinds of fun resources and information about bees and the people who love them. The site is very active and updated regularly with information about group events and important beekeeping news.