BEE­KEEP­ING MADE EASY:

Six ways to a sweeter li fe.

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Contents - BY ME­GAN BAN­NER

B

ee­keeper and hive- re­moval

spe­cial­ist Kelly Owen says any­one with an in­ter­est in bees can be­come a hob­by­ist bee­keeper. You may know that bee ac­tiv­ity is es­sen­tial to the global agri­cul­tural in­dus­try, and with­out these crit­i­cal pol­li­na­tors, much of the food hu­mans eat just wouldn’t ex­ist. Bee pop­u­la­tions are also un­der threat in many places, in­clud­ing here in South Africa, mostly due to bac­te­rial dis­eases such as Amer­i­can foul­brood, as well as mites, fungi and the gen­eral de­struc­tion of their for­ag­ing habi­tat. Sus­tain­ing your own colony is a re­ward­ing way to stay aware of the nat­u­ral rhythms of your area and con­tribute to the health of this im­por­tant species. And, of course, there’s the flow of fresh, pure honey to sweeten the deal.

There are a num­ber of im­por­tant things to con­sider when be­com­ing a bee­keeper. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get started.

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