How to start successful beekeeping ?
The first step in planning a beekeeping project is to become familiar with the bee-human relationship in your area. Talk with those in the area who are involved with bees. Accompany them when they work with bees.
If you have no experience working with bees, it is possible to learn a lot by working with local beekillers, bee-havers, or beekeepers. By knowing how they work, you can make suggestions for improvement with more credibility, and it will be easier to adapt an appropriate beekeeping technology to the area.
Also, you should get through a couple of stinging incidents before committing yourself to beekeeping. Bee stings are an integral part of beekeeping. A beekeeper has to deal with them.
Once you become familiar with the local bee-human relationship, ideas for introducing improved methods should be formulated. Whom to work with? What equipment to use? Where to market hive products?
If you are just beginning with bees you would probably be better off working with just one or two individuals in the area. By selecting farmers who have the respect of their peers and have good contacts in the community, your efforts will be multiplied. Keeping bees yourself and using methods different from those used in the area is a step in the right direction. Word will get out, and sooner or later you will be talking with your friends and neighbors about beekeeping.
Always start beekeeping with at least two hives. This gives an opportunity to compare the progress between a number of hives, and more importantly, it allows the project to continue should one colony die out. Also, management aimed towards an apiary instead of individual hives can be stressed.
In planning a project, set realistic goals. A small project which succeeds is more meaningful than a large one which is attempted but fails.
Change is slow. It must start with an idea. The successful presentation of an idea is a realistic expectation for introducing improved methods to the bee-human relationship in some areas.
The equipment to be used in a project depends on the local situation. You should assess the availability of needed inputs as well as the technical aid available in choosing what type or types of hive equipment are appropriate.
Identifying people in an area who can make beekeeping equipment and getting it made can be success in itself. it can require a lot of patience to coordinate getting the equipment together.
Local outlets for marketing are available for hive products in most areas. Check for those people who are already using honey or beeswax. Often, they are eager for a steady supply of a good quality product. If not already using honey, local bakers and candy makers are a potential market. Check also with those who may provide potential markets for beeswax.