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Beginning in Beekeeping

For information on

* Requirements and Obligations
for keeping honey bees in Queensland 

* Qld Biosecurity Obligations    

* Hive Maintenance

* Diseases & Pests of honey bees

visit
Qld Depart Agriculture & Fisheries

Before beginning on a beekeeping journey and outlaying the expense for a bee hive and necessary equipment
visit a Local Beekeeping Club

Many Clubs have a mentoring program to assist those who are
thinking of buying a bee hive and
those new to beekeeping.

Visit an apiary with one of the Club’s more experienced beekeepers, look inside their hives, use a smoker, handle the bees, experience being stung and most importantly, be sure you don’t have a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Contacts and Resources

Contacts for local Bee Clubs,
State Associations and
National Beekeeping Organizations here

Informative and practical publications, books, videos and web sites here

Skills, Costs and Lifestyle

Beekeeping can be
a hobby (one or more hives) or
a profession as a commercial operation (with hundreds or thousands of hives) or as
an employee in a commercial operation.

All owners of bee hives are now required to complete a simple, yet important course on knowing and understanding the pests and diseases of honey bees.
This BOLT course (Biosecurity Online Training) is a Biosecurity obligation and a requirement of all owners of bee hives with a refresher course required
every three (3) years. 
This is FREE for ALL AUSTRALIAN BEEKEEPERS

Knowing and understanding this important area of beekeeping assists all owners to keep their hives healthy and lessens the likelihood of pests and diseases being spread, within your own hives and between the hives owned by other beekeepers and your own.

HONEY PRODUCTION
and / or
PAID POLLINATION

Approximately 400 is the minimum number of hives required to sustain a living from honey production
and / or paid pollination.

QUEEN BEE BREEDING

Raising queen bees for resale to other beekeepers is a rewarding, demanding & specialty area.

COSTS

The cost of a commercial operation is high as it includes hives, personal protective clothing, extracting equipment, trucks and associated costs and often, employees.

LIFESTYLE

Many beekeepers travel extensively checking nectar & pollen flora & shifting hives to new areas of flowering resources.
Much time is spent outdoors and often away from home.

Caleys ironbark apiray site in Queensland State Forest
Capped queen bee cells
Loading hives onto truck to transport to another apiary site
Checking flower buds for future honey production

Beekeeper Skills and Attributes

Include:

  • able to work with bees, not be allergic to their sting or pollen and have good eyesight
  • enjoy working outdoors
  • have some knowledge of and an interest in learning about botony and entomology
  • have some skills in woodwork and metal work
  • have the ability to work alone or as a team member including in isolated areas
  • have a curious and observant nature and have an ability to work through problems
  • able to keep accurate records and deal with all areas of biosecurity and WHS issues
  • willing to work long and irregular hours - particularly in a semi-commercial or commercial operation