Fascinated about beekeeping?
Mention bees and most people cringe at the thought of being stung, but every single day everyone in the human race reaps the benefits of these tiny, yet productive and necessary little winged insects. In fact, scientists tell us that if bees all disappeared tomorrow, the human race would soon follow. We need them for pollination or most of what we eat could not be produced. Thankfully, there are those hard at work keeping bee populations protected. More and more people are getting involved in home beekeeping for a variety of reasons. If you’ve thought about this, or are already started and need some guidance, the following ten websites should be quite helpful. They are listed in order of their Alexa traffic count rating.
1. Bee Source: http://www.beesource.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 141,475
This is a large online community for beekeepers and beekeeping with over 16,000 registered members. A good place to start on this site if you are new to beekeeping is their article, “How to Start Beekeeping.” There are also links for resources such as bees and supplies in addition to lots of forum threads. Of special note is the Build It Yourself section with downloadable plans for things such as hives.
2. Dadant: http://www.dadant.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 373,930
Dadant & Sons has produced quality beekeeping supplies since 1863 making them the oldest and largest in the United States. They offer beginner kits, assembled hives, 8 frame equipment, hive components, clothing, smokers, bee feed, extractors and much more. The site also includes a brief company history, a learning center for beginners, a news section about industry developments and helpful links. They also offer the American Bee Journal, their monthly magazine. They also sell beautiful, handcrafted 100% beeswax candles.
3. British Beekeepers Association: http://www.bbka.org.uk/
Global Alexa Rating: 380,996
The BBKA was set up in 1874 to promote and further the craft of beekeeping and to advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment. The site includes useful information including local training courses, information on getting started, getting kids interested in beekeeping, a gallery of amazing photos of bees and a forum. You can also join as a member to help support their efforts.
4. Bush Farms – Beekeeping Naturally: http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm
Global Alexa Rating: 400,444
This site endeavors to not only have people get interested in beekeeping but to work towards a sustainable beekeeping system. He also sells a book for those that want to have all the information from the website in an easy to access, book format to add to your library of important books. There is so much information available on this site that you just won’t find most places. All the topics read down the left hand side. Take a look and you’ll be amazed.
5. Mann Lake Ltd.: http://www.mannlakeltd.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 452,751
Mann Lake Ltd is an employee owned company located in Hackensack, MN. Besides an extensive catalog, they also offer a learning center with videos and links, tips and glossary for the beginning beekeeper, information on maintaining healthy bees and tips for candle making with beeswax. There is also a link for tips for producing honey at home. Their full 171 page catalog can be viewed online or you can have one mailed to you. They occasionally offer beekeeping classes, so keep an eye out for these.
6. The Barefoot Beekeeper: http://www.biobees.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 479,945
You will find plenty of resources on this site. The categories include how to start, top bar hive plans, UK courses, UK events, books, podcast, articles, bee news, videos, natural beekeeping forum and blog. You can learn practical, natural beekeeping in a way that has low cost, low impact and is sustainable. This is a method that is healthy for bees and for you as well. This is the perfect way to do small-scale beekeeping and thus perfect for the hobbyist.
7. Beemaster.Com: http://forum.beemaster.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 602,497
If you are looking for international beekeeping forums, this is the place for you. This is particularly true if you would prefer a forum with a smaller membership as this has just under 7,500 members. This can be an advantage in some cases. There are some great topics on this forum including disease and pest control, requeening and raising new queens and colony collapse disorder.
8. Scientific Beekeeping: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 988,130
Here you will find a different perspective than you might find on other sites as this is the site of Randy Oliver, a biologist with a specialization in entomology. His love of bees began first as a hobbyist in 1967 which is what drove him to get his degree. He writes monthly for the American Bee Journal and he continually scours scientific papers for practical beekeeping applications. This site is shares what he has found over the years, through research and trials.
9. Long Lane Honey Bee Farms: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 1,148,561
The information contained on this site is provided by certified master beekeeper, David Burns. They offer beekeeping equipment, beekeeping lessons, queens, nucs & packages and plenty of help on how to start keeping bees. The site includes over 150 free online beekeeping lessons, beekeeping videos and tons of advice about resolving various situations such as when you realize your hive is queenless. If you can get to the Fairmount, IL area during one of his classes, you will be off to a great start as a beekeeper.
10. BackYardHive: http://www.backyardhive.com/
Global Alexa Rating: 1,635,312
BackYardHive is involved in helping backyard beekeepers be successful with a primary focus on improving bee ecology and beekeeping methods. Their hope is that their efforts will get more people involved in beekeeping thus increasing the bee population. The site is full of informative articles, bee news, blogs, videos and links. They also run a bee swarm hotline.
Being a hobby beekeeper is a very rewarding experience. Knowing you are part of improving the bee situation in the world is a wonderful feeling. Being able to enjoy the honey is icing on the cake! If you are a gardener, you’ll also benefit from the work of your bees as they pollinate your plants. This is a total win-win situation! Unless you are seriously allergic to bee stings, you should give beekeeping a try.