Beepods Beekeeping FAQ
Download the First Time Beepod Beekeeper PDF. This document answers two questions that we are asked most often (“What Do I Get?” and “How much time is involved?”)
How much does it cost to get started in Beekeeping?
Typically to get started in beekeeping, an individual should expect to spend somewhere between $1300 and $2000. At Beepods, we set up complete systems for individuals for $1375. This does not include bees. When considering beekeeping costs in the first year, the following costs should be taken into account:
Equipment: This includes not only what it takes to get started, but everything you may need to purchase throughout the year. A prime example of this is many people who purchase traditional stacked box hives may forget the costs included with extracting honey or equipment needed later in the season to deal with seasonal maintenance they may not have been included in the starter kit.
At Beepods, we include all necessary equipment in the starter kit that a new beekeeper would need throughout the year. This includes a one year warranty for damaged or broken pieces of the system. We can provide this because of the mechanical fasteners in the woodenware and because it has been designed to be easily replace parts.
Education: Most starter kits do not include any sort of education around beekeeping or have a systematic resource that teaches individuals basic beekeeping skills. This cost could break down into research time, classes, books and more.
At Beepods we include a year subscription to our Resource Center which is always being updated with new Educational, How To and many more types of resources. We have videos, documentation and much more in the forum. Also, as a user, we send out a monthly beekeeping update to let our users know what they should be doing to prep for the month, looking for in the hive and information on environmental conditions.
Support and Maintenance: Majority of beekeeping starter kits do not come with support. Support and service can be a large amount of money throughout a first season, especially if it gets to be confusing as to how to identify problems and troubleshoot.
At Beepods, we provide multiple avenues of support to all of our beekeepers, whether novice or extremely experienced. They are as follows:
- Access to the Resource Center which includes a variety of resources, a forum, a request form for new resources and even the ability to apply to have a mentor who has been where you are in the past.
- Access to our phone support. This 1 year subscription is especially useful for those anomalies that may occur in the hive. Simply schedule a short phone call with one of our expert beekeepers and they can ask you for some information and help you identify the cause and a solution. Also, by using your inspection kit, we can help you make sure that you watch for the patterns as your skills grow.
- Beepods also has a maintenance program that if you would like us to come out and take care of it for you, we can. You can find out more about that here.
Bees: Most people forget that the bees of the hive are like batteries for your child’s remote controlled toy. Bee pricing ranges year to year based on supply and demand. Also, depending on where you purchase your bees, your bees could have challenges overwintering or health throughout the year. This can happen due to many different stresses (see link to bee stresses).
At Beepods we source our bees from an extremely reliable supplier and we have built a robust knowledge base of all of our bees and how they have performed each season.
Beepods also provides maintenance services which includes something called load balancing. Our Community Pollinator Initiative is part of this as we work hard with all of the Beepods Users to observe the health of their individual colony and be willing to help the health of another if a nearby hive is struggling. These services are easily facilitated between nearby Beepods beekeepers or one of our Beepods Technicians can come to you with some of our Beepods Bees to improve the health of your hive.
What is all included in the Beepods Beekeeping System Starter Package?
We include all of the necessary equipment and resources. It includes the following items and resources:
- Beepods Vented Top-Bar Hive
- Beepods Harvest Box
- Beepods Tool Kit (Feather Guider and Hive Tool)
- Beepods Inspection Kit
- Beepods Table-top bar stand
- One Protective Jacket Veil
- One-year subscription to the Beepods Resource Center
- One-year subscription to phone support
What is the difference between traditional beekeeping and Top-Bar Beekeeping?
The biggest difference between stacked box hive beekeeping and Beepods Top-Bar Beekeeping is the ease of use. In traditional beekeeping, much of the time is spent prepping to enter the hive for inspection. This means suiting up every time to go into the hive to check the health of the hive.
The Beepods beekeeping system is considerably less invasive and does little to no damage on the bees’ house when entering the hive. In Beepods Top-Bar beekeeping, the beekeeper is only lifting up walls, not tearing the roof from the wall from the floor, as what typically happens in traditional beekeeping. This, also, means that, unless a Beepods Beekeeper feels safer in protective clothing or may have strong reaction to the occasional sting, that it is not necessary to wear protective clothing for every inspection.
Beyond this, there are some other differences (eventual informational page), but for those interested in beekeeping for the bees, Beepods Top-Bar beekeeping is definitely more ergonomic for the beekeeper and less stressful on the honeybee colony as a whole.
What is the time commitment required to keep bees in a Beepods Beekeeping System?
Overall, over the course of the year, a Beepods beekeeper should estimate spending somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes every two weeks if following recommended inspection guidelines. Most of the Beepods users will recognize that this time frame goes down considerably every inspection and year due to experience.
What if the bees sting me?
It is possible that a beekeeper will be stung at some point in during their time in raising a honeybee colony, but the main thing to understand is honeybees are just like any other domestic animal. If you irritate them, they will respond. The Beepod Vented Top-Bar Hive was designed to lower the risk of stings significantly in comparison to other types of hives. In fact, Beepods has tested it enough that most of the beekeepers at Beepods do not wear the protective veils unless the bees are really upset already, which rarely happens if regular inspections are accomplished.
Most of the time people consider bees that sting to be honeybees, but in fact, it is actually hornets, wasps and yellow jackets that are stinging them. These species are very different in their anatomy and ecology and are more aggressive by nature. The easy way to recognize these is their exterior armor or their aggressive behavior to get some of the food off your plate during your BBQ. Honeybees are docile if trained, just like any domesticated animal. They become used to your scent and your interaction with the hive as you spend time with them. We have some different tactics in our resource center that help even the most nervous beekeepers become close with their hive.
What type of support or mentorship is available to me as a Beepods System User?
Beepods provides access to our proprietary resource center which is constantly being upgraded with new content, videos and information to help all Beepods beekeepers. Beepods, also, provides phone support with Beepods Experts to help troubleshoot any specific problems that cannot be remedied by using the resources available in the resource center.
Another support avenue is to apply to work with one of the Beepods Users who has been beekeeping for a significant amount of time and has volunteered to work with novice beekeepers in getting up to speed and answering basic questions. Beepods is focused on building a strong community that interacts with each other in order to improve the global health of the honeybee. So just apply in the resource center and the Beepods team will find you a mentor.