Maybe it goes without saying, but becoming an amateur apiarist isn’t to be taken lightly. But thousands of stinging insects isn’t the only danger for beekeepers—the biggest risk is getting hooked on your new hobby.
“The whole culture of beekeeping and how honeybees work can be really obsessive for people,” says Les Eccles, the Tech-Transfer Program Lead for the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association. That was certainly the case for Eccles; while completing an agriculture degree at the University of Guelph, he began working at the honeybee research centre on campus. Today, in addition to his role at the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association where he acts as one of the main educators, he maintains 150 colonies of his own. “It’s just so interesting, it just kind of sucks you right in,” he explains.
For the fearless, becoming a backyard beekeeper is a rewarding pastime. Here’s how to get started:
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