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Where to Put Bees When You Have No Yard

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...

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Why Beekeeping is the Ultimate Hobby in Self Sufficiency

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!

Uses for Honey

Cooking with Honey

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...

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The Boxes on a Langstroth Hive Explained

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

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...

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Why Every Beginner Should Start with a Langstroth Hive

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 are the reasons why you should start beekeeping with a Langstroth style beehive:

  • Most beekeeping books YouTube videos and blogs are for people using a Langstroth hive. It's harder to find information for other style hives. This may not seem like a big deal now, but when you have an obscure problem you need to solve, 2 months into having bees, you will wish you had a Langstroth hive.
  • Most beekeepers use a Langstroth hive, so when looking for help from your bee association or bee forums, there will be a lot more people to help you if you have a Langstroth beehive.
  • It's easy to find...
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U.S. Beekeeping Associations According to State

Here's a list of state bee clubs as well as local beekeeping associations according to state.

If you can't find a local club in our list below, here are some additional ways you can find a local bee association:
  • Search on google for "[your county] bee association" as well as other nicknames and descriptions for your area. Some associations are named after their county, town, city or area of the state (like the Northern Jersey Bee Association). 
  • Search facebook for your local bee association. A lot of associations are moving to facebook instead of having a website.
  • Go to beesource.com, Women in Beekeeping facebook group or other Facebook groups with a lot of members and ask if anyone in your county knows of a local bee club. The Women in Beekeeping Facebook group is very active and has over 20,000 members. 
  • Ask the person at the honey table at your local farmer's market if they know of a local bee association.
  • In the list below, I have also...
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Overcoming Your First Hurdle - Getting Stung

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.

Watch Our YouTube video About Getting Stung

 

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...

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How to Get Started Keeping Bees

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.

 

How to Get Started Keeping Bees

Step 1 - Know What to Expect

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...

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