2022 was a big year for Queen’s Orders Honey. We harvested and sold the most honey of any year so far and took on more clients for Hive Hosting than any year previous. Our apiary grew to just under 40 hives in the summer which is also a record! Did I also mention WE MOVED!!! Our new location just up the road showed to have a remarkable amount of resources in the area based on the amount of honey the hives produced.
All in all it was an exciting year and we have a lot to look forward to this coming year. But I’m not making this post to just talk about our successes. Instead, I wanted to use it to encourage anyone who might be on the fence about beekeeping this coming year to give it a shot! Here’s a list of a few reason that I hope might bring you closer to making that decision, because we all know it’s not an easy one to make:
It’s never been easier to become a beekeeper!
For one the resources available to beekeepers nationwide have never been more accessible. Tools, training and equipment are now easier to find than ever. No matter if you live in a big city or small town, chances are you probably have a local beekeeping club nearby that offers a training program for new beekeepers. I started my beekeeping journey with the Mecklenburg County Beekeepers Association (Meck Bees) winter bee school in 2019 and strongly recommend that for anyone who lives in the Charlotte, NC region.
Tools and equipment are also very easy to find due to the popularity and success of online shopping. Most of what beekeepers need can be found on Amazon or sites like www.dadant.com and www.mannlake.com for the more obscure items. Also don’t be shy to reach out to local beekeepers in the area to see if they make the equipment or bees you need. You may be surprised by what you find.
Answers and advice are at your fingertips!
Much like everything in the information age, it is now possible to learn a skill or a trade just by watching videos or doing some simple research online. While I wouldn’t say this will solve all your problems and answer all your questions when inspecting your hive, it’s a great resource. I’ve found a ton of priceless information from experienced beekeepers that I’ve never met in-person. That’s not to say all these beekeepers know the right answers or how best to help your individual apiary. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite content creators in the coming months but in the meantime look for a creator that lives in a region near or similar to yours. Climate and resources make a huge difference to your bees so it’s best you get advice from someone who knows the challenges involved with a specific region or zone.
Finding bees for your hive is also becoming easier!
Speaking of buying bees, you might not even need to do this step if you’re fortunate enough to live near a beekeeper. For one, you could buy bees from them in the spring once they have some nucleus colonies ready for sale. Just like our groceries, I always advise buying local when it comes to bees. Not only are you supporting and getting to know beekeepers in your area, but you are also buying bees that are most suited to live in the climate you live in! Plus who knows what happens to bees when they get shipped from out of state.
Don’t forget you don’t always have to pay for bees. If you know how to make a decent swarm trap and know what attracts bees (lemongrass oil), you can nab your very own hive from the wild! Just wait for spring (aka swarm season) to come around and check your swarm traps frequently as they might not stay there for very long after they arrive. I don’t often recommend this to new beekeepers but it doesn’t hurt to try. Worst case scenario, you end up giving the swarm to a local beekeeper that can better manage them. Who knows, maybe they trade you for one of their colonies that’s a little more settled down than a swarm.
You’re not in this alone!
Let’s be honest this can be an overwhelming feat. While I stand by my statement that beekeeping is much easier now than it was a few years ago, it’s still not that easy. It’s hard work all throughout the year. There are very few moments in the year where you can rest assured that they have everything they need, and even when you have all your ducks in a row, disaster in the form of terrible weather or pest infestation can happen in a blink of an eye.
Queen’s Orders Honey offers services such as our Hive Host program and Beekeeper Training that allows our clients to not have to worry about these disaster scenarios and the well-being of their bees constantly. For one, our Hive Host program allows you to have bees and experience all the benefits of having them in your own yard without lifting a finger! Once you purchase the bees, a seasoned beekeeper will come out to the hive as needed and manage the hive. And if you want to manage the hive yourself we offer that too with our Beekeeping Training Program. Learn more on our Services page.
For anyone who is reading this that doesn’t want to become a beekeeper, that’s fine too. I appreciate you reading this and following our content. Our job from the start has been to save the bees and that doesn’t always equate to keeping honeybees. In fact, it’s A LOT more than just that. My only goal is to inspire you to at the very least help bee and insect species that are most in need. In the coming year I will post much more on all the different ways we can do that. In the meantime feel free to ask us any questions you have on the process. We’d be delighted to help! Thanks for supporting Queen’s Orders Honey and Happy New Year!