Where should I start? I live in Washington state. All 4 seasons here. 1) I don’t know where to research to buy bees. 2) what to do when seasons change. I am just starting my research. Thanks in advance.
Read, watch videos, join a local beekeepers group and stay tuned in here - ask questions all good!
My best suggestion would be to study honey bee behavior/life. Get an idea what it is they will be doing, what will they want to have nearby, how will they choose an appropriate home. When you can answer those questions you will have a stonger grasp on what question to ask, and may already know the answers to many of them on your own.
You are trying to provide them an ideal, bountiful place to live, so that they in turn will over produce honey, so that you can then share the rewards.
There are as many approaches and ideas on how to keep bees as there are beekeepers. Some are all natural, treatment free, others are commercial beekeepers, others prefer to use various treatments and medications and supplements. Do some research online and at local clubs and get an idea on what method or approach is right for you. That way you can ask more pointed questions that apply to exactly what you want to try to achieve.
I’ll second that.
Get yourself a couple of good books on beekeeping.
Learn the life cycle of the bee from which most manipulations can be extrapolated.
Join a beekeeping group and get some hands on experience with somebody else’s bees.
Beware youtube as there is a lot of rubbish and misinformation there.
Similarly you need to get a little knowledge under your belt before you can sift through some of the posts here which are giving dubious advice.
Do not take advice from beginners without thinking about it and discussing it with somebody more experienced.
Remember the flow is an extraction device. You still need to look after the bees.
Follow Lauri Miller. She’s in Roy, Washington. If you can buy your starter hives from her that would be good because you get local stock. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBCTM8552YY
Local Washington State nectar progress.
We are current waiting for Indian plum to pop out n flower. Buds are swelling presently so if current temps stay mild we could begin seeing blossom in next 7 to 10 days 3.2 ms east of Renton.
Where I used to live there was a huge ornamental plum in the garden. It was really old and while it had inedible fruit the spring blossom was incredible. The year before I got bees I noticed lots of honey bees on it. The spring following the summer I got my first bees Bullfinches ate all the flower buds!
There are several wonderful Spring blooming plums. Most are pink flowering, some singles or double petal species. My two were purple leafed as well. The honeybees n bumble bees covered these each Spring. Mine were over 45 years old n two successive winter ice storms couple years apart split n finially damage them beyond care. I cut both down and have planted an apple next to one of the old stumps n plan to add yet another fruit tree next to the other rotted stump. We have a lot of the Prunus thundercloud planted in our region in landscaping n street/curb area. Very beautiful each Spring n purple leafed until fall each summer. Here is a pix of a small pink flowering plum like I had. It was very bee friendly.
Dee. You mention in a note to me about winter Econite or Eranthus plants. I’d never heard or seen these. It must be a European plant n species. I looked it up on the Internet. It is amazingly beautiful. Is it bee worthy? Do bee really like it ? I found one pick of a bee on a flower I will share with you. It would be interesting to buy a few bulbs n see how well they grow here too.
They are not so easy to grow from the corm…I have planted the garden with plants “in the green” and they have naturalised nicely. They are good for bees and provide early forage if the weather is good so they are an excellent plant for putting near the hives if you have a dappled spot where you won’t have to cut the grass.
Do you have Pulmonaria ?
This is wonderful for both bees and Bumbles. It grows anywhere, even in shade (though bees don’t forge much in the shade) and spreads. It blooms from February through April. I have had a few flowers all winter as it has been so mild.
While I’m at it…Winter Heliotrope is good too and it grows wild here. Some people call it Butterbur…Petasites fragrans
Dee, I will have to due some online checking. For us … But early for much in the way of plant n flowers but a rush will begin soon here also. Thankz.
To think I used to pull the Pulmonaria out - I thought it was a weed (I am talking 20 odd years ago)