PerfectBee Logo

A New Beekeeper's Journal

What is it about beekeeping that draws us in? Why do so many of us wonder from afar for years, but eventually find ourselves installing our first hive?

What concerns do we have before we start down the path towards becoming a beekeeper and what holds us back? And when we do answer the call, what challenges face us as we install our first bees...and beyond?

This column is the story of one man - Keith Stiles - as he considers beekeeping and eventually makes the decision to jump into this wonderful hobby.

Keith documents his concerns and excitement as he investigates beekeeping initially and then his decision-making as he purchases his equipment, tools, protecting clothing - and his bees.

Then we share in Keith's progress as he starts out learning about bees.

Keith Stiles

Why this column?

This column is largely for the benefit of fellow new beekeepers.

There is, of course, a huge amount of information about beekeeping available on the Internet, books and other outlets.

And while PerfectBee strongly recommends that new beekeepers find a mentor and perhaps join a beekeeping club, there's also an educational and fascinating element to looking over the metaphorical shoulder of someone else, going through the same challenges and with the same concerns.

So this column is largely about empathy - following another beekeeper, like you, just starting out, with bright hopes and high ambitions for his beekeeping exploits.

About Keith

Keith Stiles is a native of North Carolina who travels the country working with colleges and universities implementing event scheduling software.

When he's not on the computer and working with his clients, you will find him either in his flower gardens, singing with the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir and the Haywood County Community chorus, beekeeping or practicing and playing the organ.

Growing up in the country, he was exposed to all kinds of livestock including his grandfather's pet bull, Patrick. Keith has two fur babies, two cats named Aragorn and Arwen.  Yes, he is a Tolkien fan.

Keith holds both an MBA and an MA in English Literature.  His Master's thesis was written on tales in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales that had elements of what would have been known as "medieval magic". Not only a music lover, he also is a voracious reader and is never anywhere without a book nearby.

Why Beekeeping?

This article is part of the A New Beekeeper's Journal column, which documents the story of Keith Stiles as he builds a keen interest in beekeeping - and sets out to become a beekeeper. Let me introduce myself.... My name is Keith Stiles. I live in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, near the […]

Read More
Planning For Two Hives

One Hive, Two Hives . . . When I decided that I definitely wanted to become a beekeeper, I instantly started considering whether or not I would do one hive or two hives.  My initial snap decision was that I would use this year as a learning year. I would get my bees and hive […]

Read More
Key Startup Decisions For the Beekeeper

Happenings in the Bee Yard Before I launch into this week's topic about making choices, I want to share some surprises that happened in my bee yard this week. On Monday, my bee mentor came by to assist me in my first inspection. Just as an aside, new beekeeper's need a mentor. If you don't […]

Read More
Critical Decisions for Bee Yard Setup

Happenings in the Bee Yard Before we start talking about setting up a bee yard and the hives that will house your colonies, I have news to share from my Bee Yard.  This week I was vacationing on the Isle of Palms just north of Charleston, SC.  But, all week, in the back of my […]

Read More
Setting Up a Langstroth Hive

Happenings in the Bee Yard Before we start talking about my Langstroth hive setup I wanted to update you about some happenings in the bee yard.  This week was a dreary, rainy one in western NC. I had grand plans to plant flowers and listen to the buzzing of the hives while doing so.  But, nature had […]

Read More
The First Few Weeks of a Beehive

Happenings in the Bee Yard This week I had planned to talk about installing a nuc.  But, I didn't get pictures when I installed my nucs.  Since I had to move my original marked queen into a nuc, I am going to use that nuc as the focus of my installing a nuc. This week […]

Read More
The Joy of Installing Nucs

Happenings in the Bee Yard Before we talk about installing nucleus hives, you need updates about what happened in the bee yard this week. With three queenright colonies, I am watching their progress with an eye for how they compare.  Although I'll be installing the Nuc into a hive (as part of this article), I'll […]

Read More
When Beekeeping Goes Wrong

Sometimes it isn't smooth sailing in the bee yard.  There will be times when things go wrong. The key is not to panic and make it worse by showing fear in the face of a hive full of angry bees.  Yes, easier said than done but you can do it if you focus and stay […]

Read More
Aggressive Colonies and Missing Queens

I have always loved a great mystery.  But, I don't especially like that in my bee yard!  Last week, I had a colony of angry bees remind me that they will take umbrage at my inexperienced fumbling. This week I returned home from the last of my four weeks of travel and found some mysteries […]

Read More
Considering the Joys of Beekeeping

Last week, we talked about hive inspections and recordkeeping.  I detailed what I look for during an inspection and how I maintain my records.  This week I departed home on Tuesday for an eleven day trip to Portland, Oregon, for work.  Our company is hosting a few hundred of our favorite people, namely our clients, […]

Read More
1 2 3 4
Serving hobbyist beekeepers, to help you build your beekeeping knowledge, engage with other beekeepers and save on beekeeping supplies.
Copyright © 2021 PerfectBee LLC.
crossmenuchevron-downarrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram