"Do you have to buy property or pay rent to have your bees there?"
This was one of the question that was asked by one of the followers on Instagram. We are first generation beekeeping and we had to start from zero. There are beekeepers that are third or fourth generation beekeepers, that have everything in place and their operation running smoothly.When we started our business, we had family already in the bee business for several years that were willing to help us. I have learned that its important to have a mentor who can help with any questions.
So far we have not needed to buy,or pay rent for the bee yards that we have. However, there are commercial beekeepers who buy properties or pay rent for their bee yards. I had to post on Facebook and Craigslist asking people if they would like to have bees on their land in exchange of raw wildflower honey. Once people responded, it would take a lot of phone calls, emails, or text messages to find information regarding their property and explaining the process of having bees on their land. Next step was to meet with the owners and look at the property and surrounding areas to see what flowers and plants grew there. Every location was a trial and error, meaning we never knew how the bees would do their first year. There were some places that bees did well, and other locations we had to move them because there was nothing for them to forge on.
Also, there were people that had beehive limit or only wanted one or two hive for their garden. A lot of time was spend meeting up with people and explaining that we needed places to place 20- 40 hives, not one or two. We have met awesome people that truly love what the beekeepers do and were willing to help any way they could. We had owners who would cut the grass around the hives without asking, calls us when they saw swarms, and even ask their friends or family members about having our bees on their property. A huge thank you to all of our bee yard owners.
The only property we pay rent is in Sacramento, CA. Every year we take our bees for almond pollination and we need a holding yard. A holding yard is a place where we bring all our bees to one location, so that we can inspect all the hives. We pay $150 a month and some honey for the months that we use that property. This location has been a huge blessing. My husband ,Vlad's parents live only two miles away, making it convenient for dad to checks on bees when we bring them from Washington.
In our area we have a lot of beekeepers, and finding good bee yards is hard and at times very competitive. This year I received a call from one of our bee yard owners. He said his neighbor without asking him allowed another beekeeper to place a lot of hives not far from our bee yard.Sadly, we lost a good bee yard because to much bees in one location will not work and confronting the beekeeper will not change anything. Most likely the other beekeeper was not aware of the situation.
So in summary, it takes a lot of time, efforts, and money when you are a 1st generation beekeeper. If our children decide to become beekeepers, majority of the hard work has been done for them. Thank you for reading, and hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions you would like me to write a post about, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org