So many people have told me that they wish they could keep bees, but they don't have the space for them. "Rubbish!" is what I tell them. When I first started keeping bees, I lived in a studio apartment. It was on the 13th floor of a building in downtown Philly. I put the hive on the roof of the parking garage next door and it was great! No neighbors complaining my bees in their pool or stinging their dog.
I strongly recommend people to keep bees somewhere other than their backyard. Unless you have a large yard and your neighbors are far away, it's a liability. If you have kids, there's always a chance a friend will come over who doesn't know they're severely allergic to bees or your curious dog will put his nose in the entrance. Not to mention that when you harvest honey or make candles, hundreds of bees from your hive will be at your door.
Everyone in my family except for the 18 month old baby (knock on wood) has been stung many times at the house because of my...
When I first wanted to become a beekeeper it was because I read a little bit about bees and found them fascinating. What I didn't think much about was the products you harvest from the hive. I knew beekeepers harvested honey, but that was the extent of what I knew. However there are endless possibilities of what you can do with honey, beeswax and propolis, so let's get started!
Honey is the only food that never goes bad. 2,000 year old honey was found in King Tut's tomb and it was still edible! Honey isn't just for sweetening your tea. I use a light honey like Mesquite to sweeten my coffee because it has a very mild flavor. I prefer darker honeys like Macadamia Blossom to drizzle over pancakes and waffles and honeys that are not as sweet such as clover are great when cooking a teriyaki sauce or on cheese and crackers.
Honey can be used anytime a recipe calls for sugar or corn syrup. Here's my cooking...
Brood boxes, supers, deeps, mediums, shallows – these are all names for the three different types of boxes you can have on your Langstroth beehive. It makes buying beekeeping equipment flat out confusing. The good news is that it's actually very simple. In short, there are three different heights for the boxes you can put on your beehive. They are deep, medium and shallow. There are additional names for these boxes, but what's most important is that you know the dimensions when purchasing the equipment. although dimensions vary by country the deep is usually 9-5/8", the medium is 6-5/8", and the shallow is 5-3/4".
Let's break them down one-by-one.
The deep box is sometimes called the brood box or the hive body. It is the deepest box you can put on a Langstroth hive. It measures approximately 9 5/8" deep.
This box is often used when first starting your beehive. You would purchase bees and put them into a single brood/deep box. Once this box gets...
There's a lot to learn when you're first getting started keeping bees. One thing you don't have to worry about is what kind of beehive you should get. Really! I recommend ALL beginners start out with a Langstroth style beehive. If you'd like to experiment with other hive styles, thats great, but, do that once you're comfortable keeping bees, not when you're first starting out.
Here's a list of state bee clubs as well as local beekeeping associations according to state.
Many people love bees and understand their value, but as soon as one comes buzzing by, their heart races, their arms start flailing and they run away.
When I gave beekeeping tours, I would explain what to do if a bee got close to you. The tour was outside and there was only a screen between a live, open beehive and the viewers. Whenever a poor, unsuspecting honey bee would make her way over to the viewers, people would swat. I would try my best to calmly remind people that swatting wasn't going to help and the bee wasn't interested in them, she just didn't understand what a screen was and why she couldn't go in a straight line back to her hive. Despite this, eventually someone would still swat at the bee.
Don't bee too hard on yourself if I'm describing you! It is only natural to want to go as far away as possible when you hear buzzing. Elephants are known to freak out when they hear buzzing and...
Although people get into beekeeping for the right reasons, often hobby beekeepers, especially their first and second year, hurt the bee population more than help it. This is because people don't realize how much work it is to keep bees. Because of pests and long winters (not necessarily cold), it is common for a hive to collapse.
A lot of our beekeeping class students don't end up keeping bees. This is because its a lot more work than they expected. Beekeeping is a great hobby and its tempting to get started assuming you'l make the time for your bees, but its also really easy to forget about them or neglect them in the Summer months when you're busy. They don't require daily walks or to be fed, they're a distance from your home, not living in the house with you. You might see lots of bees flying in and out of the front entrance and everything from the outside looks fine. But inside, there...