“Where Do I Get Information?”
Today, I would like to introduce you to Molly Cole, an Apprentice Beekeeper with the Backyard Beekeepers Association, and the proud purveyor of “Our Little Acre Farm“. Molly is one of those beekeepers who is always learning and looking for new ideas! Let’s see what she’s up to today.
“Now a days there are thousands of different websites, books, blogs and magazines where beekeepers can find information and answers to their questions. Today, I am going to share with you some great resources and beginning points I have found to help inspire you to get out there, try something new, and learn more about honey bees!
First, the hands down, best place to get the most information and support regarding beekeeping is of course, a local beekeeping group or association. Here you can find mentors, classes, and all around help and ideas. Beekeeping associations typically have all types of beekeepers; newbies, people who have been beekeeping for decades, people with one hive, and people with hundreds. Most beekeeping associations have newsletters, blogs or websites that provide wonderful, local information, and seasonal help to all members. If you have not joined a club or association, I highly recommend it!
If joining a club is not right for you, there are literally MILLIONS of other places to get beekeeping information! I am going to give you just a few of my favorite options.
These are obviously super easy to get, as they are delivered to your house every month and do not require much effort. “Bee Culture” and “The American Bee Journal” are the most popular and offer yearly subscriptions on their websites. Being a millennial who enjoys instant information, the classic magazine style layout can be a little distracting, but they both offer some valuable information and interesting articles, such as the current price of honey according to your region, and some national and global news regarding beekeeping.
I love websites because they have search bars! You do not have to thumb through chapters or tables of content to find what you are looking for! Some of my favorites are:
Beesource.com – Bee Source is more of a forum where you can register as a user (currently there are about 16,000 users) and you can start conversations, ask questions or answer them within this format. It is a good place to see what other people think, but can become a bit overwhelming.
Bushfarms.com – Bush Farms is run by Michael Bush who is quite the Holy Grail of information regarding “treatment free” and natural beekeeping.
Honeybeesuite.com – Honey Bee Suite is one of my local favorites and is run by Rusty Burlew who lives in Western Washington. She is great about posting new blogs and timely, insightful information on a regular basis.
Check out your local bee association, chances are they have a website too with lots of great advice and local information!
One of my favorite and more technical ways to get beekeeping information is from podcasts. There are a few really fantastic beekeeping podcasts out there, and my favorite is “The Beekeepers Corner” podcast. The caster releases an hour long podcast every month. He is based in New Jersey, and while that is not local to me, he still offers a ton of great information! He tests new theories, performs a hive check every month, explains new processes, and keeps it simple for beginners.
Another of my favorites is “The KiwiMana Buzz” from New Zealand. Now this one is no where near local, but they still offer super information and are so interesting to listen to! And while New Zealand is the opposite seasonally to the US, they archive their podcasts, so you can go back and get interesting ideas within your current season.
Last but not least, is Facebook. “BeeManiacs” frequently posts about beekeeping news, current local events and educational interests in my area. Most beekeeping associations have great beekeeping Facebook pages and you don’t have to be a member to follow them! You can also find regional pages, like “Washington Beekeepers”, “Inland Northwest Beekeepers” and “West Plains Beekeepers”; but even better you can follow associations all around the world!
Taking a beekeeping class and starting a hive are the first steps in beekeeping education. There are so many new and exciting things to learn beyond those first steps, so get out there and get connected!”
– Molly Cole, Apprentice Beekeeper/Backyard Beekeepers Association