One of the most common questions we get asked from beginners is: “when is the best time to start beekeeping?” We always say the same answer, spring! But why? The arrival of spring consists of the abundance of resources for bees. As the season gets warmer, the bees are able to forage for longer periods of the day.
Spring, the season of conception
Here in Western Australia, our seasons follow the Nyoongar calendar that includes six seasons.
There are different calendars per state! Check here for your area. Image credit to: (http://www.bom.gov.au/iwk/calendars/nyoongar.shtml)
Spring comes in Djilba, the season of conception. This season is also the transitional time of the year. You will generally experience a mix of warmer days and rainy and windy days. The best part of it is that there will be a massive flowering season! You will also see the botanical parks are at their busiest. This means that there are a lot of flowers for bees to collect resources from. The abundance of pollen and nectar will also mean that the bees will be able to raise more brood to increase their population.
Australia has suffered through mega bushfires, floods and widespread drought last year. Many hives were victims and beekeepers lost hundreds of their hives. The drought has caused death due to starvation for hives and many lived off of sugar syrup. However, setting the negativity on the side, this upcoming season brings us hope. Most affected areas have beautifully recovered, thanks to an abundant downpour of rain this winter.
Spring Activities for Bees and Beekeepers
As the abundance of pollen and nectar arrives, the bees prepare to work and increase their population. The queen will start laying more eggs to allow the colony to maximise the honey flow to increase their honey stores. As the weather gets warmer, the bees will get busier and you’ll see a lot of swarms going around!
This is also the time when beekeepers split their hive or catch a swarm of bees. Most beekeepers will put their captured swarm or split hive for sale.
It’s also the best time to raise and mate new queens. Spring also means mating season! You’ll see an abundance of drones, or male bees, being raised in your hives.
Indeed, there is a lot of activity during this season. This is the perfect time to learn about beekeeping. It’s also easier for beekeepers to mentor a beginner as they can show different practices and behaviours that you need to know.
The best time is not the only time
Although spring is the best time to start beekeeping, it’s not the only time you can start beekeeping. Each season has its own predicament, so it’s best to research different conditions for each season depending on where you wish to raise a hive.
Remember, starting a beehive is hard work! It’s always best to have the proper training before proceeding. In Australia, we are fortunate to have associations that provide training with hands on experience!
Interested in buying beekeeping tools and equipment in bulk and discounted price? For personalised advice on products and tips for beehive management, give us a call on 0488 010 840 or get in touch via email at [email protected]. Shop online here (free shipping for orders over $300)!