UACES Facebook Four Buzzes about Honeybees | Getting kids started with beekeeping
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child wearing beekeeping gear holding a frame of honeybees

Four "Buzzes" About Beekeeping

Cindy Ham

Do you like honey?  Do you have a garden?  If you said yes, then you might want to consider beekeeping.  Beekeeping does takes time, energy, and money to provide adequate care, but that is not much different than owning a pet or other livestock.  Keeping bees can be an activity that you and your family can enjoy together.

What do I need to get started with beekeeping for my family?

You don’t need a lot of things to get started with beekeeping.  You will need a little space, a few special tools, honeybees, and a hive for them to live in.  Some of the tools needed include a smoker, protective clothing, hive tool, and a bee brush. To find local suppliers of honeybees and equipment in Arkansas, visit Arkansas Beekeepers Association.

Is it expensive to get into beekeeping?

Most of your expenses will be startup costs. You should expect to spend a minimum of $400 - $800 to get started with beekeeping.  Your beekeeping equipment should last for several years if it receives proper care.  Bees should last for several years if they stay healthy. 

Does beekeeping require a lot of time?

The time required for beekeeping will vary by season.  Check out our Arkansas Beekeeping Calendar to learn more about the activities of honeybees each month.  The first year, a new beekeeper should expect to spend more time working with the hives than someone with more experience.  The 4-H Motto “Learn by Doing” comes to mind.  Spring will be the busiest time for you and the bees.  Since winter months require less time in the hives, this time can be spent preparing for the spring season.

Is beekeeping a good hobby for kids?

Beekeeping is a hobby families can enjoy together.  Kids can be involved in the entire process of raising their own honey.  Just make sure they have adult supervision, and the proper safety equipment is used.  

If you have children between the ages of 5 – 19 years, consider enrolling them in 4-H.  Project work makes up a large part of a youth’s 4-H experience.  Entomology is one of the many 4-H project areas and beekeeping would be an excellent activity to incorporate into this project.  

For more information about 4-H, contact us at the Clark County Extension Office at 870-246-2281.