Q:

What are some resources for backyard beekeeping?

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Quick Answer

Sites such as Small Farm, Hobby Farms and Beginning Beekeeping have beginner's guides for backdoor beekeeping, while Rural King and Williams-Sonoma are among companies that sell starter kits, as of 2015. One company that sells bees is Bee Weaver Apiaries, which also runs a help desk for beekeepers. Beginners should also read at least one book on bees, and Small Farm recommends Sue Hubell's "A Book of Bees."

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Full Answer

Backyard beekeeping requires just a small garden, as long as there are flowers nearby. Some municipalities have restrictions on beekeeping or require registration. Local beekeeping associations are often good sources of information, and some even have mentor programs.

A starting kit should include veil, suit and gloves, smoker, hive bodies and wax frames, among other items. The initial cost lies between $250 and $500 for basic equipment and one hive.

An ideal place for an apiary is a sunny, well-ventilated and drained spot, though in hot climates, shade during part of the day can be preferable. There has to be a natural or artificial body of water nearby. It is recommended to buy the equipment and bees in winter, so that the apiary is ready in early spring. A beginner should start with just one hive for the first year.

Aside from producing fresh honey, one benefit of backdoor beekeeping is pollination for garden plants.

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