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Beekeeping Basics

Beekeeping Basics

Getting Started With Beekeeping – What Do You Need?

 

 

So you read my last post about what you should consider before you get bees, and you’re more excited than ever to start. That’s great! There are just a few things you’ll need to do before your bees arrive. First, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to get your bees, then you’ll need to get the essential equipment you’ll need, and then you’ll need to get your hive. Continue Reading…

Beekeeping Basics

The Best Beekeeping Books

If you’ve been paying attention so far, you might have noticed that I’m a total nerd (if not, don’t worry, you’ll catch on soon.) One of the places my nerd flag shines the brightest is when I get talking about bee books. See, I love books, and when it comes to bees and beekeeping there are just so many fantastic books out there. All of them chock full of information just waiting to be absorbed! Continue Reading…

Beekeeping Basics

5 Tips for New Beekeepers (that you may not have heard before)

Your first year keeping bees is one of great joys and great frustration, It is a time when everything is new and exciting and also a little confusing. There is a lot of new information to take in and it is tricky to know how to get off to the right start.

“What advice would you give someone starting out with bees?”  is a common question for most beekeepers, and I’ve heard a lot of great answers. Below are a few great answers that I don’t hear as often as I’d like, which I think are essential. Continue Reading…

Beekeeping Basics

The Birds and the Bee for Bees, a Guide to Honey Bee Sex – Part 3: Pupae and Puberty

This is the third installment of “The Birds and the Bees for Bees”  If you read my last two posts and for some reason you’ve still come back, congratulations (or, perhaps condolences).

In Part one, we learned about the three different castes, or genders, of honey bees. Part 1: Boys, Girls, and Confirmed Bachelorettes. In Part two, we learned a bit more than we were comfortable with about how honey bees actually get it on. Part 2: The Kinky Stuff.

Now we’re up to part three, and we’ll learn about what happens after the mating – how an egg becomes a bee. Stay tuned for the next and last installment, in which we will discuss super-organisms, and how colonies reproduce via a process called swarming! Continue Reading…

Beekeeping Basics

My 5 Worst Beekeeping Mistakes, and How To Avoid Them

Your first year of beekeeping is a special time. There’s so much to learn, so many awesome things to see, and a hell of a lot to do. My first year was a lot of trial and error. A lot of things went well, and some things went terribly, terribly wrong. (Like that time I dropped a queen cage into a package, and had to put my hand into a little box filled with thousands of bees). It’s time to come clean about some of the moronic things I’ve done,  and hopefully you can avoid these pitfalls! Continue Reading…

Beekeeping Basics/ Honey Bee Biology

Beespace and Burr-comb,

If there’s one essential rule to modern beehive design, it’s that a beekeeper must respect the bee space. I’m not talking about ambiance here. Bee space refers to the area between frames and other parts of the hive in which the bees crawl.

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Cross-section of a Langstroth Hive. Illustration by Sarah Plonski

It’s super important because any space that’s too small for a bee will be filled in with propolis and any space that’s unnecessarily large will be filled in with comb. The specific measurement of bee space is approximately 7-9mm.

Continue Reading…