I want to start beekeeping. What do I need to do?

First, if you haven’t already done so, introduce yourself to your local beekeeping association. Take our beginner’s course. Get a beekeeping book. We recommend The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Diane Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile (available at all the online bookstores).
A quick internet search will yield several beekeeping equipment manufacturers who will sell you just about everything you need.  Finding bees can be a bit trickier but send us an email for some help.
Bee colonies should be started in the spring, the exact time being dependent on where you live. In general, the sooner in the spring a colony is started, the better. You will probably want to get a beginner’s kit from one of the beekeeping equipment suppliers, and order your bees from either a local beekeeper (a “nuc”) or order a package of bees from one of a number of suppliers. Your local association can help you pick which suppliers give good results in your area.
Once your hive is set up, take care of it as you learned in your beginner’s course. You shouldn’t harvest any honey from it in the first year. From then on, if you tend your hive properly you should enjoy a fine crop of honey in future years.

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