Is it okay for you to keep bees if you are pregnant? Is it safe for your unborn baby? If so, why? If not, why not? In this article, we discuss beekeeping and pregnancy. Can you continue beekeeping when you are pregnant? Lets find out together!
Yes, you can totally continue beekeeping when you are pregnant. You just need to make some slight adjustments to some of your beekeeping methods to make sure you are not putting strain on your unborn baby. The only exception to this is if you have an allergic reaction to bees or bee stings. If this is the case, you shouldn’t beekeep whilst pregnant.
Disclaimer: Always contact your doctor to confirm whether you can beekeep whilst pregnant. Every situation is different, and the advice in this article is just some general advice to get you started.
Some Things to Consider as a Pregnant Beekeeper!
Your wellbeing as a future mother very much has the potential to impact that of your unborn child. Stress is something that you should avoid at all costs, so try not to worry about all the finer details of your beehives and apiary. Some things might get done slower than usual and some jobs might go untouched during this bee season, but that’s just fine! Better that than stress out and effect your pregnancy.
If you think this is not possible for you to manage, then do not beekeep whilst pregnant and get someone else to help you out!
Don’t Strain Yourself
When beekeeping pregnant, you need to take great care to make sure you do not put undue stress on your body. I would recommend that you invest in a portable stool so that you can take frequent rest breaks and even work on your beehives whilst seated. Take a look at this folding stool I found on Amazon below (click to image to view it over there yourself). It can be easily folded up and placed in a compact bag. And it provides something stable and comfortable to sit on in your apiary.
Another part of this is to not strain yourself lifting off heavy honey supers from your beehives. I would highly recommend you place an extra empty super on the floor beside the beehive you are working on. You can then take the frames out one by one and place in the empty super before trying to lift anything. Yes, this may seem like an annoying and much slower empty step. But it is a vital one to make sure you don’t overstrain your pregnant body! If you don’t have an extra super lying around, you can use any big box instead.
Alongside this, it would be even better if you have a folding table to place this box on so you don’t have to keep bending over. I like the one below (click the image to view it over at Amazon), as it is lightweight, easy to carry but yet strong enough to hold a potentially heavy set of honey filled frames!
Take Regular Breaks
It is pretty obvious I know, but when you are pregnant you are carrying another small person around with you 🙂 This means it is much easier for you to get tired. Your heart rate will increase more easily and you will find yourself out of breath and tired way more than when not pregnant.
The problem here is that bees don’t like the smell of humans, and when you are tired, you are putting more of this lovely scent into the air. Couple this with the fact that you will probably become more clumsy and heavy-handed when tired, and you have a recipe for extra beestings. So always take regular breaks and sit down any time you start feeling out of breath.
6 Months In
Be aware that when you get to the latter stages of pregnancy around six months in, you should be extra careful not to carry heavy weight or strain yourself too much. Of course, I would recommend taking the precautions above throughout your pregnancy just to be on the safe side. We are talking about an unborn child, after all! However, most experts will tell you that the latter part of the pregnancy is when you have to be more careful.
For more exact numbers, do not lift anything over 30 pounds in weight when you are pregnant. Although, as I stated above, every situation is slightly different and you should always double check this with your local doctor.