Do I want to be a beekeeper?
Does the presence of a bee make you want to get up and leave the area? That is exactly what happened to me at a baseball game last week. I didn’t freak out and run around like a crazy person. I simply got up and walked away until the bee left the area. When I sat back down my husband sweetly said to me. We are getting ready to have bees everywhere on our property and you just ran away from one. Are you sure you want to become a beekeeper? So that is the question that I am pondering this week.
The natural lure of the bee
Since we have moved to our acreage we have been curious about beekeeping. Our neighbor almost immediately asked us if we were going to raise bees. *Sidenote, I don’t know any beekeeping terminology so please forgive my ignorance and feel free to correct me when needed. My father-in-law has been talking about putting a hive on his property for years. He says he has a suit and gloves and some other equipment. Nobody in the family can recall ever having a hive but he swears he had one in their backyard at one time. All of this bee talk started a few months ago when my husband bought a Flow Hive. We haven’t received it yet but this was the kick in the rear that I needed to start preparing to become a beekeeper. Here is what I have done so far.
- I watched Episode 1 of the documentary Rotten on Netflix and was fascinated by the honey industry.
- I currently started listening to the audiobook The Beekeepers Lament by Hannah Nordhaus.
- I have joined several beekeeping Facebook groups.
- I have subscribed to about 10 beekeeper YouTube channels.
There is so much to learn and I’m scared that I’m going to kill them. But I am very excited to have fresh unfiltered honey. I’m intrigued by the prospect of helping to pollinate crops (or at least providing bees that will pollinate crops.)
What is a Flow Hive?
We first saw a video of the Flow Hive when they started an Indiegogo campaign. They do a great job of making harvesting honey look so easy. I’ve researched and read forums to get the pros and cons of the Flow Hive. I understand marketing and know that every jar of honey isn’t going to be filled as easy as their video makes it look. I’ve read that in colder climates the Flow Hive doesn’t work as well and in some cases not at all. Luckily it gets warm early and stays warm longer here in Oklahoma. So the plan is to go ahead with the Flow Hive when it arrives. Through my research, I have learned that it is a good idea to have at least two hives at one time. We will not be purchasing another Flow Hive but may purchase or build a simple brood box. If you would like to check out their website you can use my affiliate link below to get $50 off of your first purchase.
Purchase of a Flow Hive, a Flow Super, or Flow Frames and get a $50 discount
Here is the definition from the Flow Hive FAQ:
A Flow Hive is our term for a standard beehive that has Flow frames in the honey storage part (super). A honeybee hive is usually made up of; the brood box where the queen bee lays eggs, and the ‘supers’ with honeycomb for the storage of honey. A ‘Flow Super’ is a beehive box using Flow Frames that the bees store honey in.
Pros and Cons of becoming a beekeeper
- Pro – Natural honey on tap
- Pro – Resources for DIY projects (candles & lotions)
- Pro – Helping the environment
- Con – Bee stings
- Con – Lots of work
- Con – Expensive to start
So where am I at in my decision?
Well, the Flow Hive is on its way so I think my decision has already been made. Now I have a lot of homework to do to prepare for our first colony. Here are some of the questions that I have right now.
- How far from the house do I need to place the hive?
- Should I plant wildflowers near the hive?
- What other equipment do I need?
- Are any of my neighbors allergic to bees?
- How do I start a colony?
As I find answers to these questions I will link them here. We can all learn together. I can’t wait to share my hive with you. I would also love to hear from you if you have a Flow Hive and can share any tips. We can become beekeepers together!