One part of beekeeping is that it keeps on changing. This is because a lot of data is accessible to you on the web and sometimes it’s very confusing.
Learning Together and Forever
Be that as it may, any online substance is extremely only there to launch and increase what you really gain from your honey bees. Every one of your colonies, regardless of whether your first or you’re hundredth, will have its subtleties and sporadically send you the famous curveball.
Now and again these are minor things that you have never observed and are basically an oddity. A model may be the settlement that chooses to make brush outside and underneath the hive. It’s uncommon, yet it can occur.
At the other extraordinary are calamitous occasions that could clear out a hive or considerably more. There is always a chance to learn no matter whatever the critical circumstances are.
This isn’t just an announcement of geographic area. Indeed, even inside a solitary nursery, beekeepers can encounter very various things with their honey bees.
Perhaps the most intelligent response to this mission for information in an ever-changing condition comes through beekeeping clubs and tutors.
What is a Beekeeping Club?
With any side interest or side interest, it’s normal for similar people to meet up. Beekeeping is the same and there are countless clubs all through the nation, huge numbers of them very entrenched and a few decades old. Clubs, for the most part, have a particular territory in their title, a governing body, and perceive other hierarchical posts, practically like a little organization.
The primary targets of most beekeeping clubs are to energize and bolster enthusiasm for beekeeping in the zone, just as to give a channel through which individuals can help one another. Contingent upon the sort of club, the club may well offer the periodic get-together as well.
How Can You Benefit from a Beekeeping Club?
In short – applied local knowledge. That knowledge is very important. You can also gather some valuable and essential information locally.
- Understanding of local weather conditions
- ebb-and-flow of a hive across a typical year
- Local suppliers of bees
- Access to locally bred bees
- Seasonality for local flowers
- Swarm capture services
- Zoning and other legal restrictions
- Regional pest and pesticide issues
Mentioned are some of the benefits associated with a local club This can be invaluable and regular meetings can be a fun opportunity to engage with such an esteemed beekeeping company.
A final important benefit of beekeeping clubs is the ability to pose for cheesy photos, with the smoker, hive tool, and bee suits being mandatory!
Where Do You Find Beekeeping Clubs?
People often ask us how to find a local club. This is easier than you might imagine since there are so many around the country.
A good way to start is to search online for statewide beekeeping clubs, for example find clubs in your nearby area Browse around the web and you will soon find a list of Local Beekeepers Associations.
Why Have a Mentor?
Having a mentor is complementary to join a beekeeping club. Indeed, joining a club is an excellent way to find a mentor, though not the only way.
You can think of a mentor as a “personalized, one man/woman beekeeping club”! His or her expertise will be very valuable, but being able to physically view your own hives and ask specific questions can’t be beaten. This allows your mentor to consider the situation and make suggestions in an entirely contextual way, specific to your beehives.
What to Look For in a Mentor
Different mentors offer different perspectives. For example, your mentor might be someone with experience managing a small number of hives. That person will emphasize certain aspects of beekeeping over others. For example, with a small number of hives s/he might have an interest in the aesthetic appeal of the hive, which some address by painting their hives.
Another choice of mentor might have a gift for managing a large number of hives. Both of these mentors add value and you will need to decide, to some extent, which way you would like to take your beekeeping, to help with your choice of mentor.
A good mentor might be interested in the occasional shared project. Club members, of course, might have an interest in this too, but working one-on-one with a mentor who has close-up experience of your own hives is great fun!
Where to Find a Mentor?
The obvious channel is through a beekeeping club. Just make friends and identify someone who seems experienced, who’s the company you find enjoyable, and who seems eager to help in any way he or she can.
Depending on your area, another way to find a great mentor is to strike up a conversation with a beekeeping neighbor. If you know the neighbor, get along well and trust his or her judgment you are basically there – just ask if s/he can help you and guide you. If you don’t know the person you should probably start with a simple opening question, just to gauge the level of experience, communication skills, and willingness to help.
12 Ways to Find A Good Beekeeping Mentor
1. Find Your Local Beekeeping Club
Your own town, city or neighborhood should be your first choice for finding a good mentor. Local clubs usually hold meetings monthly, discussing pertinent topics as they relate to both local and global issues.
Beekeeping clubs are a great place to find members that are engaged, care about bees, and want to see the next generation of beekeepers succeed. Speak to one of the board members about your search for a mentor, and they can make announcements at the meetings, on the club’s website or Facebook page, or send your contact information through the club’s email address books. There are so many ways to connect here!
2. Find Your County Extension Office
If your municipality doesn’t have a club but there’s a beekeeping chapter at your county extension office, start there. This free service is invaluable to beekeepers and gardeners alike.
Visit or call their offices and ask them to spread the word; they may be able to share your information in a number of ways, such as those listed above. They may even have the names and contact information on file of available beekeepers who have offered to mentor newbies.
3. Search On Social Media
We are more connected than ever thanks to social media. As you get started with keeping bees, follow beekeepers on social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter, and, most importantly, join a local beekeeping group on Facebook.
You can quickly and easily post that you’re in search of a mentor and be able to talk extensively with potential candidates before even meeting. Facebook’s chat and messenger options are great for real-time conversations in between real-time meetings with your mentor.
4. Power of “Word Of Mouth”
Never underestimate the power of the word of mouth! If none of the above options has worked for you, you may have some good old-fashioned legwork to do. Ask around anyone you may know who is connected in the farming community or who may know beekeepers.
Visit your local homesteading supply stores, and ask there; they may even allow you to post to a bulletin board (so retro, I know).
Whatever you do, don’t give up. To be the best beekeeper you can mean getting started on the right foot. Having a mentor as you kick off that journey offers you an unparalleled opportunity to learn the art of beekeeping in a very special way—together, with someone who knows and communes with bees.
5. Read And Educate Yourself From a Book First
Before you begin the search for a mentor, you need to do a little research by yourself. Your first step should be to read a book or take a class or both.It will help you to develop a basic understanding for the future beekeeping learnings.
The first is that it will help you to communicate more clearly with your mentor and give you a better understanding of whatever arrangement the two of you come to. The second reason is that you do not want to start out your beekeeping experience by relying 100% on your mentor.
There are many ways to do things in beekeeping. You should find out what interests you and discuss this with anyone who might mentor you so you can find the best match. You can also use apps.
6. Focus On Compatibility
When meeting with a possible mentor, don’t evaluate them by experience alone. You should also consider what kind of beekeepers they are.
What is their beekeeping philosophy? What are their goals? Are they focused on commercial aspects like honey production, pollination work, or queen breeding? Or are they in it for the love of the bees alone? Are they making an income from their beekeeping work or are they, hobbyists?
What hive styles do work with? Are they open to beekeeping styles other than their own? Finding out the answers to questions like these may help you determine how compatible you are with your mentor and help you have a smoother, more enjoyable experience together.
7. Establish A Clear Agreement
Don’t assume that an experienced beekeeper is willing to mentor you for nothing in exchange. There is an array of agreements that happen between new beekeepers and their mentors. Some charge hourly or monthly while others work in the trade or offer their knowledge for free.
Find out the specifics of what your mentor is willing to offer. How often will you meet? Can you text them when you have questions? Will they sell you a colony in the spring? Whatever agreement you come to, make sure you both understand it before it starts. You may even want to put it in writing.
8. Set Your Expectations
It’s also important to set expectations. If you are not paying your mentor, be sure to find out what they expect of you.
It may be that a beekeeper is willing to teach you in exchange for help in their bee yard with no money changing hands, but what kind of help do they want? New beekeepers sometimes try to cherry-pick the best learning experiences, while skipping out on the more labor-intensive activities. For example, they may be eager to shadow during inspections but won’t make themselves available for an afternoon of building honey supers.
This kind of behavior can create resentment between you and your mentor. It’s best to know upfront what kind of work is expected of you in exchange for this learning experience.
9. Potential of Vet Mentors
It can be difficult to find any mentor at all so, if the opportunity arises, many new beekeepers enthusiastically accept the guidance without asking the proper questions.
Not all beekeeping mentors have the same level or type of experience and it can be useful to know this background information from the start. Find out how long your potential mentor has been keeping bees and ask how many hives they manage. It’s also useful to know if they’ve ever mentored anyone before. If they have worked with other new beekeepers in the past, you may want to talk to them about their experience.
10. Do Some Research On Web
Research some relevant Videos, online forums, books, and articles related to beekeeping. You can make yourself more appealing to a potential mentor by acquiring the basics of beekeeping knowledge and vocabulary. This will give you a better understanding of the core of beekeeping techniques.
11. Be a Part Of Beekeeping Organization
Most beekeeping groups offer some kind of organized mentoring for people starting beekeeping whether it is a workshop, conference, social media site, or online forum where you can ask questions and get answers. These organized, group opportunities are not only terrific sources of information but also for expanding your network.
And while you are there, pay attention to the more experienced beekeepers who respond to your questions. People who respond helpfully to your inquiries in a group setting are already mentoring you.
12. Find Your Peer Group to Help
In the absence of experienced mentors, a peer group can provide an excellent source of support for people just starting beekeeping. Consider starting a beekeeping book club with an eye toward building a mutual support community where nearby beekeepers can get to know each other over time.
Also, working side by side with other beekeepers to solve mutually interesting problems is a rewarding way to build relationships that can serve you over time.