It’s hard to think of a more rewarding hobby than beekeeping. Bees are fascinating little creatures. They play such a key role in our food supply and they provide an abundance of delicious honey.
It's fantastic to have a supply of delicious, fresh honey from your very own beehive for the whole family.
Keeping your own hive will also assist your other gardening efforts, as the pollination service bees provide will increase the abundance of your fruit and nut trees, and most plants you have in the garden.
Plus, you can spend whole afternoons watching them work away through the Flow Hive's unique viewing windows and re-connect with nature as you learn all about your hive and how to take good care of your bees.
If you're new to the hobby, you'll find, as many others do, that it quickly becomes addictive.
In time, you'll learn to spot and interpret the signs your hive uses to signal its health and wellbeing. There's a primal, life-affirming satisfaction in communing with your hive. These are wild animals, but humans have a symbiotic relationship with bees stretching back thousands of years.
One of the great things about the Flow Hive is that as you get to know your bees, you'll also be more in touch with the plants that sustain them, and the little bit of planet Earth you live on.
The taste of honey varies greatly depending on the forage available at any given time. Because each Flow Frame is harvested separately, you might find that each has a distinctive flavour.
One might have a tart finish reminiscent of your finger lime orchard or lemon tree blossom. The next might be imbued with the softly aromatic tones of your neighbour's prize-winning roses or smack of the lavender hedge down the road.
The variables are almost endless but, over time, you will gradually find yourself becoming more in tune with the ever-changing nature of your part of the world.
When it comes to beekeeping, the learning never stops, even for the most experienced beekeepers. It's a labour of love, and one that can offer a lifetime of enjoyment.
It’s important to remember this is animal husbandry. In looking after any creature, you will need to get your hands dirty and there are inherent risks.
Beekeeper suits and other personal protective equipment can offer excellent protection against bee stings, but are not 100 per cent effective. It’s important new beekeepers exercise caution when tending to their hives and are comfortable with the fact that sooner or later, all beekeepers get stung.
Before you start
There's a few things you should do before you take delivery of your Flow Hive.
Keeping bees, like any other animal husbandry, requires certain skills and knowledge to ensure their health and wellbeing, and that of yourself and people around you.
1. Register as a beekeeper and check your local regulations
It's really important you register with your local agricultural authorities and find out what the rules are in your area regarding beekeeping. These rules exist for a reason, and it's really important you know what they are and that you follow them.
2. Learn as much as you can
There's a wealth of knowledge out there about beekeeping, but nothing is better than talking to other beekeepers.
Join your local beekeeping group, and check out our forum at http://forum.honeyflow.com/ and learn as much you can about how to care for your bees in your region.
3. Get the right gear
All beekeepers get stung at some point. You will too. But you can minimise the stings by having the right equipment.
A beekeeper suit is essential, especially for beginners.