Episode 8: Backyard bee hives, why I think you should have one and the steps to get started

Keeping bees in your backyard is a low maintenance activity that produces a product and has a great effect on the ecology of your area including your garden.

On today’s podcast I dive into my motivations for starting bee keeping, and my experiences thus far on my journey. Please know that I am NOT an expert in the subject, just an eager first year learner. I’ve been reading books and taking classes, but there is no substitute for practical experience.

This is the first post on what will be a long series on my experiences as a first year bee keeper. I hope you’ll follow along. If you are an experienced bee-keeper I would be glad to hear from you and please feel free to correct anything and everything I have said.

Please Consider keeping bees and support local Bee Keeping.

I left out one point on the podcast, and that is please check your state and local regulations! In Pennsylvania where I am at you have to pay a $10 a year fee to the state to register your Apiary. This is very reasonable, and for that fee an inspector will come out to your site and check on your hives and also offer advice and guidance. It is a great bargain!

Here in the City of Pittsburgh you can pay $250 one time fee and that will register your urban apiary. Once your site is designated in the city as an Apiary that status can never be removed and will pass down to future owners of your property. It might seem like a high fee but I consider it quite reasonable considering the protection it does offer, however I don’t live in the city and am thus not as up to speed on this.

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Show Outline

  • Where did I get my interest?
  • Why do I think keeping bees is so important
  • Bee Keeping benefits
  • Keep bees in the city?? … HELL YES!
  • So how much work is it to keep bees? Checking every other week is enough!
  • Nick’s Action Item List for you to get started
    • Get yourself a copy of First Lessons in Beekeeping
    • Find your local bee keeping organization
    • Find a local mentor
    • Figure out what equipment you’re going to need
    • Find a source for bees
  • How to get bees, the various ways
    • Colonies
    • Swarms
    • Nucs
    • Packages

Beekeeping Reading and Resources

Note: By the way, i mentioned several times “fiscal year” i meant “calendar year”, so just a little pre-emptive strike on a would-be commenter wanting to correct that point. 😀