Bee KEEPING, Not Bee having / by Anastasia Powell

Bee KEEPING, not bee Having.


            Welcome to an instalment of Bee Haven’s bee blog. This one is a motivated little message regarding the descision to “get bees”.


            Let me start by saying I LOVE MY BEES!!They are a constant source of satisfaction and wonder for me on a regular basis. But they are work also. This post isn’t meant to scare you or intimidate you, only to pass on a very important message!


 Recently accompanying my posts about my bees and the videos, along with the outcry to help save the bees that is a publicly heard message around the world, I have been getting a lot of messages about people “getting” bees or wanting to.   


            Now, where I whole heartedly support people taking an interest in bees and helping them, nature and society out, I also feel I need to stress that it isn’t just GETTING bees but Being a Bee KEEPER. This means that you care for and help protect the colony from the many elements in this world that can harm them, along with helping them thrive!


The BEST way to become a Bee Keeper- “protector and helper to the bees” is GET EDUCATED!!There are many different ways to do that but one of the smartest to start is to take a registered course from an experienced keeper and instructor. Here in Edmonton, you CAN NOT have bees without taking several steps, and this is the first. The second and very important thing is to GET A QUALIFIED MENTOR (the city will also not allow you to have them your first year without one). I have been keeping bees for a year now, this does not make me a good choice for a mentor. My mentor, which I will continue to work with, so I can continue to learn from experience has been keeping bees for 15years both personally and commercially so has a wide range of knowledge and techniques. 


            Getting a hive but not being aware or able to care for issues such as Varroa mites or Nosema (to name a few more common issues), makes you not only irresponsible to your own hive as a keeper, but a danger to other hives within the area (bees can travel veeryyyy far and come into contact with others regularily).  How are you going to be helping “save the bees” if you didn’t treat for a disease within your own hive and then spread it to others?? Or shared it with the native pollinator bees??


            There are also a lot of other things to be aware of. Season change hive maintenance, feed for dearth times, queen issues… the list can go on and on. You need to be aware of the time and effort you SHOULD be willing to put in to care for the little animals. You feed and walk your dog/cat. Well, these little animals need you too. 


 Pesticides aren’t the only thing causing bee death out there, and it’s best not to be a part of the problem when a solution of Proper education is so simple. I have listed a few places to look for courses around Edmonton area (there are more also, you can check with the city for other registered courses). 


Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope you are inspired to get educated and become a BEE KEEPER!!




Three Local Course sources:


ABC Bees


EDBA – Edmonton beekeeping association