Urban beekeepers protect themselves by wearing a veil, gloves, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, or a one-piece coverall and a smoker. Regularly checking a bee hive’s progress ensures the hive’s strength and health. During these checks, beekeepers observe for new brood; storage of water, pollen and honey; and individual bee health indicators, from mites to misshapen wing development. They also monitor the space available for the laying queen.
Urban beekeepers of all experience levels can continue to build their beekeeping safety skills by joining a local beekeeping association. Local and state-level beekeeping organizations distribute online information as well as newsletters, which provide an extensive source of information specific to regional beekeeping concerns. Beekeeping-association meetings and beekeeping conferences provide opportunities for urban beekeepers to learn about safe beekeeping practices and other concerns from guest speakers as well as a ready network of other beekeepers with which to share experiences. Beekeepers compare notes about the most docile strains of bees and recommendations for reputable beekeepers selling queens, nuc hives or packages.
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