Bees are a lot more interesting than they appear to be. The art of beekeeping will keep you engaged for a long time and at some point, it can even become a profession. Bee farming is not as difficult as it may seem to be once you have a comprehensive understanding of it.
A beehive refers to a structure in which honeybees live and raise their young ones for subsistence. The bees build the shelter with wax secretions produced by the worker bees; the same material is used up for storing food, masticated flower parts (called nectar), and flower petals that are taken from different plants.
Beehives can be managed manually by beekeepers or they can simply serve as a home for honeybees; beehives may consist of one, two, three or more horizontal shelves (called “supers”) and each super may contain some you need to understand vertical combs.
How to Start Beekeeping
If you are interested in bee farming or beekeeping then you need to start with how to learn about bees, honeybees especially. A beginner needs to satisfy himself/herself about the kind of bees he wants; there are different types of bees like European, Italian, Carniolan and Caucasian honeybees. The difference between them lies in their behaviour and hive productivity.
The first step is to decide the type of bee you want to have as a pet. The next step is to purchase a beehive from a reliable source, for example online or from a retailer near your area. Also, you may find ready to use beehives at a discounted price by taking advantage of beekeeping equipment sales.
You need to assemble the hive parts, put them together and secure them in place with nails or screws. Place this complete box inside an empty super so that you can further expand the beehive.
The third step involves inserting a queen bee into the beehive which should have a section for her. You may use a screened box without any floor called an excluder. In this case, bees will enter and exit through a hole in the top of the excluder while the queen bee remains behind in a special box. But if you want to keep a queen bee inside an enclosed space then use an ordinary brood box with screened bottom and top.
A nucleus or nucleus colony is a unit of honeybees that consist of a queen bee and five to eight thousand worker bees. The initial cost for setting up a nucleus colony is high; it can be done by purchasing the box with built-in frames (assembled and ready-to-go) or buying an excluder, deep super and bottom board separately.
The next step is to place the super with frames on the hive. The distance between two frames should be 3/8 inches and make sure there’s a bee space of at least 1/4 inch left open around the combs for easy movement of bees. Place these supers one above the other and fill each with six to ten pounds of honey or sugar syrup. You may also use a combination of both honey and sugar syrup for feeding the bees.
The next step is crucial as you need to place an excluder right above the brood box; this will allow bees to move up and down freely. Place the brood box on top of this excluder along with two or three supers filled with frames for storage of honey, pollen etc. The combination of the brood box and two supers is called a four-layered hive; it can be further expanded by adding another super atop them all.
The next step is to place the bee escape (a tool used for separating queen bees from worker bees) on top of one of the supers. This will help you in identifying the hive’s queen bee. The last step involves wrapping your beehive with insulation boards to protect it from weather conditions.
The last step is to offer sugar syrup to bees for their consumption and protection against the cold. Place the beehive in an area having direct sunlight without wind or shade so that they can keep themselves warm enough.
How to make a beehive?
As a beekeeper, you will need a beehive to house your bees. Learning how to make a beehive can save you money. You can also customize it according to your needs and the resources available. It is easy, simple and fun for everyone to know how to start a beehive from scratch or build yourself a new one without hiring a professional beekeeper to build a beehive.
Before you learn how to make a beehive, it is important for you to understand the anatomy of a beehive. Bees make honeycombs from combs in parallel rows of hexagonal cells made from beeswax. The size of each cell is different depending on what the bees need them for.
The beehive can come in different designs, but this article will show you how to make a simple beehive step by step using recycled materials.
1. Gather your materials and tools
You need a piece of wood that must measure at least 3 feet long and 2 feet wide or more depending on the size and number of beehives you want to make. You can use old pallets or other recycled wood pieces.
Remember, the wider the piece of wood is, the sturdier your beehive will be. For this how to start a beehive guide, you will need several items such as hammer, nails, saw, drill machine, screws and wire mesh.
2. Cut the wood in half
Using a handsaw or jigsaw cut your wood into two equal parts. The piece of wood must be divided into three sections which are the bottom board, top hive body and hive stand. All three sections should measure 24 inches by 16 ½ inches.
3. Drill holes on the hive stand
Using a drill machine, create several holes measuring an inch apart from one another. The size of the hole depends on what type of bee wire or mesh that you are using for your beehive. This will allow honeybees to pass through easily but keep wasps and other insects away. Drill more holes on the backside of your hive stand.
Step 4: Drill holes inside the top hive body
Drill several holes on both sides of your top hive body. This will allow bees to come and go as they please, keeping them safe from predators which would otherwise eat them alive. Drill at least five holes for this how to start a beehive project.
Step 5: Make bee entrances on the bottom board
Drill several holes inside your bottom board starting from one side of the board ending at the other. The number of holes may vary depending on how many hives you are making. Drill an inch away from each other to make sure that honeybees have enough room to move around.
Step 6: Assemble the hive stand, top beehive body and bottom board
Using nails or screws, secure your top beehive body, bottom board and hive stand together. This will form a simple three-piece beehive that is easy to open without poking your fingers on the nails. You can now place your beehive in your garden or backyard and wait for the bees to move into their new home.
How do you start a beehive for beginners?
Making your beehive can seem like an arduous process, but it is actually quite easy. There are many plans available online to get you started with making your first beehive. This article will give you insight into how to start a beehive and how to make a simple beehive.
It is important to extract all the honey from your hive and not leave old comb and brood in the hive, as this can attract pests into your hive that you don’t want there. You must also remember that bees will fill space with propolis, so occasionally place empty frames in the hive to encourage them to build new comb.
How much does it cost to start a beehive?
The cost of starting a beehive can vary depending on the size of your equipment, type of setup, location, and which bees you choose to raise. You can lay out all the equipment you need for raising honeybees in your backyard or with easy beehive plans for about $140 (US).
Finding a place to buy your first beehives can be costly. Some bee suppliers sell nucleus hives (a nucleus hive is a small starter beehive with some bees and brood) for $100 (US). If you want to buy packaged bees, then you will pay around $30 (US) per bee.
You can build your beehives out of plywood and common hardware without having to spend more than $140 (US). Once you have your hives, you can raise bees with just a little time and effort.
Can you start a beehive without buying bees?
Yes, you can. Bees are not necessary to start a beehive. You can opt for the bee package option, which is 10 frames with bees (set of honeybees), or use an artificial swarm or buy your queen online.