I know it was officially yesterday, but it was raining and my ladies do not like to come out unless it's sunny and dry. That's OK, neither do I
I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever be a beekeeper. We knew the amazing benefits of having these wonderful pollinators on our farm (about a 40% production increase in our fruits & vegetables), and tried to find other beekeepers that could have hives here. Unfortunately, it was just out of the way enough for most of the bee keepers we knew to be convenient for them to manage hives. Off to beekeeping class I went. There are great companies around that provide classes for beginning beekeepers. I chose one through Capital Bee Supply out of Columbus, WI. They did a series of classes and covered everything from installing your bees to winterizing your hives. It was beyond informative. You may also purchase your supplies from them - anything from hives to bees. Another company, a bit further away from us, is Heritage Honeybee out of Sullivan, WI. They also provide classes, bees, and supplies.
This is now my fourth year of beekeeping, and I am still learning. I've made many mistakes, but have come a long way in learning what works in our specific location, from hive styles to which honeybees overwinter better for us (Italians from Georgia or California)? I'm constantly looking through the beekeeping groups on Facebook and watching YouTube videos. One thing is for sure, if you ask 10 different beekeepers the same question - you get 10 different answers. You just have to learn what works for you and that takes time, education & patience. Bees are the most fascinating creatures you will ever learn about. I'm so happy that we couldn't find anyone to bring their bees to our farm. I never would have known that I would LOVE being a beekeeper.