Explore the blog, Then Check out our website

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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Friday, April 11, 2014

Adventures In Bee Keeping

Last year Larry and I decided we would embark on the adventure of Apiculture.  No we're not going to be keeping apes, just Honey Bees.  We've read books, watched videos, talked with other bee keepers, ordered bees and all the supplies that should help get the bees off to a good start. Now we just need to get Larry a fresh Epipen since he's allergic to bees, sounds crazy I know but we always live on the edge around here.
Most everything we read about starting out, it's best to begin with two hives, if one hive should not survive then you still have one.  Which made it sound to us that it can be very difficult to establish a hive, so we took the advise we read and will be starting with two.  However if both hives survive we will have more honey than we will know what to do with.   You can expect 100 pounds of honey from a healthy hive, wow that's a lot of honey.  From what I read people start keeping bees because of the bees but quit because of the honey.  My hope is that while taking on this new project I totally enjoy the whole process.  Honey Bees are dying off at an alarming rate and it's important for people to take an interest, without the bees nothing survives.

While researching it seems like the most important thing right from the beginning is to give your bees the best possible start.  So to begin we purchased bees wax, melted it and applied it to the foundations.  Foundations are what the bees are going to attache their wax to and fill with brood. This will give the bees the wax to work with right from the beginning, that way they won't need to work so hard producing wax and can work on producing and growing the hive.  Foundations do come with a small amount of wax already applied but it seems like a good idea to give them more.
  It smelled so good in the kitchen as we melted the wax and painted it on the foundations.
This is a stack of frames with foundations waxed and ready to go back in the bee boxes.
Frames are back in the box and ready to go.  The Yellow cups in the box are feeders, this is another way to help get your bees off to a good start.  Once the bees are in the box we will need to feed them sugar water every day until we think they are well established.
Larry moving the hives up to the apiary, or the bee yard.  We don't have the bees yet, we should get them on April 17.  
Your hives should be set up off of the ground to keep them dry and away from skunks.  Apparently skunks like to eat bees.  We might need to raise them a little higher, not sure about that yet.  We have so much to learn.
 Now we just need bees.  We have more boxes ready to go to add on top as the bees begin to produce.  Now let's just hope we can be a success with honey bees.  
If you have some good advise for first time bee keepers we would love to hear from you.
Have a great day!

Proverbs 25:16  If you find honey, eat just enough-- too much of it, and you will vomit.
(Sounds like good advice if your going to have 100 pounds of honey...)


  1. This is so cool! I have wanted to do this and will probably try it some day too. The bees are so important and we need all of them we can get! I can learn from your experience. :) There are a few people up here that sell their honey locally. They say they sell it to people with allergies because local honey is supposed to help them be less sensitive. I don't know about that, but the honey is awfully good. Can't wait to see how it goes for you guys!

  2. Good luck!! I am getting my first hive around the 24th, and have been debating if I should have purchased two. It is nice to read what you have decided on.