Not everyone who loves bees and is considering beekeeping knows the ins and outs of working around bees.
Some people are more naturally inclined than others, while some simply have a love for honey, making honey, or learning to work around the animal.
With this in mind, there are certain questions one should ask a beekeeper, in order to help them when just getting started.
Whether you have read a few books about honey and bees, are fascinated by the animal, or just want to make a profit as a beekeeper down the road, these are some questions you should have the answers to, prior to getting started.
1. Who packs the honey and is it from your hive?
If outsourcing is part of the beekeeping trade, this might be something you are weary of.
You should buy directly from the beekeeper who is doing the packaging, or an individual who is familiar with the practices.
If it isn’t the direct vendor, don’t support the trade.
Look for a beekeeper doing their own packing, harvesting/cultivating the honey themselves, and is familiar with the practice/craft.
2. Do your bees starve, What methods are taken to prevent this in winter months?
At least 100 pounds of capped honey should be on site for the bees to consume during the winter, up to early spring months.
It is not only a way to determine how well informed the beekeeper is, but also how in tune they are with the health of their bees.
Further, it is the best way to ensure the honey being produced in the hives, is going to flourish when you purchase from them.
3. Beekeeping & keeping bees healthy
The beekeeper should be doing the proper things/tasks to ensure the bees are healthy year round.
So, what are some of the ways in which they go about keeping the bees healthy?
Some of the answers should include: having planted nectar for the bees, use proper antibiotics to treat bees which are ill, using chemical free sprays, and properly keeping the bees hydrated year round.
If the bees aren’t healthy, what can you expect from the honey they are producing?
Avoiding use of chemicals, keeping the hive clean, and taking all necessary steps to ensure the honey is properly kept and cultivated, are a few of the practices which you want the beekeeper you are speaking to to engage in.
Is this everything you need to find out about the beekeeper and honey the bees are producing?
Of course not. But, the answer to these and other questions you have are going to dictate whether or not you are dealing with a reputable beekeeper.
Of course you want to know the bees are healthy and are going to thrive in honey production.
With this in mind, some beekeepers are more inclined to properly care for their bees, and honey production than others.
Prior to deciding where to buy the honey, and which beekeepers are the most reliable locally, these are a few answers you need to questions you have pertaining to the beekeeping practice.