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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Why is residential beekeeping important?

Beekeeping can be a wonderfully rewarding hobby for people of all ages. It can also be a profitable agricultural business for others. We encourage our urban neighbors to become responsible, aware, and respectful beekeepers. We are happy to help anyone get started with a great experience.  Join us, or visit us at one of our upcoming events listed on the homepage or Events page.

Honey bees are fascinating creatures. Over 1/3 of the food we eat depends on insect pollination and honey bees are responsible for 80% of the workload. While there are many insects and creatures that pollinate our crops and flowers, honey bees are the only ones suited to keep domestically on a large scale. 

Where do you get bees for your hive?

There are several ways to acquire bees.  One is to buy an established colony from a local beekeeper.

Another is to buy packaged bees and transfer these bees into your hive.  Bees are routinely shipped in two to five-pound packages of about 9,000 to 22,000 bees.  If you join our beekeepers association, we purchase bees as a group to get the best price on bee packages.

A third way to acquire bees is by finding a swarm.  The Tillamook Beekeepers Association keeps a list of members who are interested in collecting swarms when people call looking for someone to collect or remove a swarm.  See information about swarming and our Swarm List on the homepage.

How often will I get stung?

Anyone who keeps bees will inevitably get stung on occasion.  Honey bees are very gentle - they don't want to die any more than you want to be stung. Be nice to them, and they'll be nice to you.  Honey bees are only likely to sting after they become highly defensive.  You can greatly reduce stinging by wearing a veil, using a smoker and handling bees gently.

Studies have indicated that most people cannot identify stinging insects with certainly.  When they can distinguish between them, the bulk of the stings they report are from yellow jackets or hornets.  Learn more about bees on our About Bees page.

Can I make money selling honey?

Yes, but making a profit can be more difficult as beekeeping can be a consuming and expensive hobby.  Also many hobby beekeepers have extended family and friends who are honey lovers, often there is not much honey left to sell but many members of the Tillamook Beekeepers Association do sell honey.  

Where can I get more information about bees and beekeeping?

Tillamook Beekeepers Association meets every month.  We welcome newcomers, sharing multiple information resources, personal experiences and enjoy socializing with other apiarist and Beeks.    Visit us at one of our upcoming events listed on the homepage or Events page of the site.

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