Becoming a backyard bee-keeper needs a few ground rules but the golden rewards soon trickle in.
First, though, admit this: Bees aren’t like fluffy little kittens. They can sting. That does hurt. Repeat. With a little instruction and some commonsense, it can be a satisfying hobby and one that might even turn into a cottage (garden) industry.
Joining a bee-keeping club is Step 1. There’s one near you. Such clubs are full of knowledgeable chaps and ladies who have bee(n) there and done that. They know all about local laws (the basic rules, regulations and obligations for bee-keepers come under the ‘Beekeeping and the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994’) and can point you to guidelines set out by the Department of Sustainability and Environment regarding the Apiary (that’s bee-keeping and a good thing to have up your protective sleeve) Code of Practice.
Your local bee-keeping club could have training courses to impart all the basics of bee-handling – a skill all its own. Once that’s sorted, buying a hive requires more research, plus, it pays to keep the neighbours on the good side to avoid things getting a bit sticky, should those new pets make a beeline for next-door.
Happy hive making.
The Beekeepers Club Inc.