So you decided that bees are awesome, and that learning to manage a colony of 40,000 stinging insects sounds like you! Congratulations, and welcome to the beekeeping club! The post below has a few sweet ideas and a beekeeping parts list to help you get started.
Bees are a key supporter and indicator species for our environment. Whether you have an organic garden and know bees pollinate 1/3 of the food we eat, or you just like honey, you’re in for a rewarding time.
What are the steps for beekeeping?
Per this handy twitter post, there’s really 6 key areas to consider:
- Local Bees
- Local Club
- Local Laws
- Bee Tech (optional)
How about a Beekeeping Parts List?
Every beekeeper has their own preferences and local circumstances. Foundation-less frames and ‘as natural as practical’ is my preference.
The list I’d recommend to get started is:
1. 2x Deep Boxes (you’ll set up one box first, and add the other as the hive grows)
2. 20x Deep Frames
3. Bottom Board
4. Queen Excluder
5. Inner cover
6. Telescoping Cover
7. Hive stand (cinder blocks or wire frame)
8. Bee Suit
9. Bee Gloves
11. Hive Tool
The easiest way to get most of that in an attractive kit is something like Bee Built’s starter:
Otherwise you can piece together the parts from an alternative lower cost supplier such as Kelley Beekeeping, or your local bee store.
Standards and Practicality
My suggestion is to keep everything standard on deep frames. If you prefer lighter lifts, consider 8-frame deep hive boxes. 10-frame deep hive boxes are the most common gear, and commercial pollination standard.
Why standards? You may find yourself wanting to transfer bees from one hive to another. You may help your local bee club and raise bees for these new friends. Both of these are easier if everyone already is using the same gear.
The Hive Stand can be a metal frame or cinder blocks etc. Making your own can be a fun DIY project. The key is to make sure you can protect the bees from ants, bears, skunks or whichever local monsters will give your bees a hard time!
I’m ready for Bees, what else can I do with Beekeeping?
Once you connect with your local beekeeping club, and rescue a swarm or acquire a local nucleus colony, you might be interested in becoming a citizen scientist and pay more attention to your bees!
With Eyesonhives, you can automatically monitor your growing colony all day every day, and be part of a movement accelerating sustainable agriculture through data collection and helping scientists. If you’d like to place an order for Eyesonhives you can here: http://www.keltronixinc.com/