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Too Much for a Beekeeping Beginner


Is this too much for a beginner to handle? Also, I work about 45 hours a week and am concerned if that would leave enough time to take care of (bee) business properly.



I work about 70+ hours per week on my own business, and I still have time for 2-3 hives. During the nectar flow (spring to late summer) it takes about 1 hour per week per hive. Over winter, about 1 hour per month, depending on your climate. As you don’t tell us your location, I can’t give you a better idea than that. The first few hive inspections you do will probably take longer than one hour, but you get faster pretty quickly.


Im like Dawn 70+ hours a week, my first season and currently have 6, takes about 1 hr to inspect them.
I’m finding having time available when conditions are right to inspect or when something has to be done immediately is more critical than the total hours available.
Having 3 days set aside for your bees isn’t much good if its raining for those 3 days, 2hrs when conditions are ideal is much better.


Hi Sam, if you don’t have a passion for beekeeping, don’t take it on. Have you seen any of Walls Bee Man’s videos? He reckons that you need to have a passion for beekeeping, otherwise you’re wasting your time. I’m inclined to agree with him.

I did a little bit of arithmetic: 168-45=123


My passion is developing. Perhaps I’m not at the same level (yet) as others.



I live in North West Mississippi, just across the state line from Memphis, Tennessee.


Oh Dawn that’s dreadful :wink:
I don’t work at all and still find no time for everything!


OK, so your climate probably gets cold enough for your bees to cluster for a month or three. During that time, they should not need any intervention at all, so you won’t need any time for hive maintenance when the temperatures are below mid-50s for prolonged periods. That will reduce your workload.

In southern California, our bees never truly stop, so I have to go into the hive at least once per month even in winter. In tropical climates, there may be nectar flowing all year, which means every week or two for the whole year, you will have to inspect the hive. That is why climate matters for the time needed for beekeeping.

Well, it is my own business. I have no employees, no boss and no clients/customers. So it is just about ideal as a job. I probably work that much because I love it. I might be able to do it in less time, but I wouldn’t feel competent or conscientious. So it is really self-imposed, and I don’t mind. :blush:


Hi Sam, is that near Tupelo? We drove to Tupelo in search of Tupelo honey once.


About 60-70 miles north west of Tupelo, just outside a small town called Byhalia.



The weather around here is strange. We can experience all four seasons in one week. Winters around here do remain below mid-50s quite often and summers are hot, dry, and humid. I’m really not looking for little work, I just want to know what is to be expected so I can budget my time. You’ve been a big help. Thanks.


Girl, you’ll do yourself a mischief.


Yeh I’m with you @Dee. We probably have less time to get things done than @Dawn_SD but just soldier on in the best traditions of Beekeepers everywhere.


What is this number referring to? Am I missing something?/


168 = number of hours in a week. If you work a lot of these hours, you are very familiar with this number :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Hi Faroe, I was referring to the 168 being the total number of hours in a week. Take away 45, that leaves 123 hours to do other things. To expand on that: say we allow 70 hours to eat, sleep & travel to & from work, that still leaves 53 hours for recreation activities, family & hobbies etc.


OMG! There are so many hours in a week, where do they all go? Oh yeah, sleep, and all the other good stuff :wink:
I like 8 or 9 hours sleep a night, so I need to take 63 off that calculation.
Eating takes up about 2 or more hours a day = 14
168 - 14 - 63 = 91
Interesting interesting


My first year as a beekeeper I had studied bees for about a year before I started. But my experience that first year was significant. I had taken advice and joined a beekeeper Club and sought out someone to Mentor me immediately and I’m very glad I did… I would say that at the end of that first year the most important lesson I learned was how important it is to be engaged in the process. One absolutely cannot set up a beehive and just hope for the best… my first month I had to do a split in order to try to prevent a swarm which took place anyway… I had to requeen… by the end of the summer I had a lot of mites… as a beginner my suggestion to a beginner would be to get a one year calendar and have a local mentor mark essential tasks for that year… when to inspect when to feed when to treat… and then answer the questions how to inspect how to feed and how to treat… I would not advise starting a colony without having spent a lot of time reading… if possible the best thing to answer your question as to whether it’s best for you might be to join a club and ask if anyone in the club would let you come and work with them and their bees… you will probably know after just a few work sessions…