I have been doing bee keeping for a few years now, and I can tell you there is a learning curve to this project. You may be wondering, what does bee keeping have to do with survival? Many things! Lets start with pollinating your garden, also honey is a antiseptic and never goes bad, so making medicines out of it will be beneficial. Plus the wax can be used for so many products; candles, salves, lip balm, soaps.. Plus the barter value currently for fresh honey is fairly high.
So I run Top Bar hives versus the Langstroth 8 frame hives, the reason for this is the bees can build combs the way they prefer, and it is more natural for them. Also these hives are easy to build, and at a modest cost in lumber. The added bonus to the Top Bar Hives is most of them have a viewing window so you do not need to open your hive up. The best way to be successful at keeping honey bees is do not mess with them… Of course do your maintenance, for example treating for mites if you desire, other than that leave them alone!
Start looking for swarms in the spring time, if you are a outdoors person like myself, you may run across a swarm in a tree. Use a nuc box to catch the swarm. I simply put the box underneath the swarm of bees and give the branch a quick jolt, (or you can use a horse hair brush ) the bees will fall into the nuc box. Make sure you get the queen in there or the swarm will fly away.
So we have experimented with making chap stick with tea tree oil, salves for pain and burns, and of course candles. All of these things I said above have great trading value. The effort put into extracting the honey and then rendering the wax takes time, but is not complicated and can be done in field if you want.
I encourage you to do more research into keeping honey bees, the applications for pollinating your garden should be the first objective, give them some time until you take some honey, just my advice… Just think of the trading value they will give you when you need it!