Beekeeping for Beginners -- Hive Set Up
How to Work With Bees
Working with bees is the responsibility of every beekeeper. A beekeeper may work with his or her bees to feed them, medicate them, or to remove the honey for the year. Beehives also need to be prepared for the changing seasons, re-queened, or protected from bacterial or insect infestations. Learning how to work with bees successfully and adhering to specific beekeeping techniques involves accomplishing the task at hand with the least number of stings and without disturbing the colony too much.
Wear beekeeping apparel to protect yourself from stings.This could include a commercial bee suit, but at the very least it should include a hat with a veil and bee gloves. Wear thick, long clothes, tuck your pants into thick socks, and wear sturdy shoes. You may want to put rubber bands around your ankles to prevent bees from crawling up your pants.
- Bees are more aggressive to dark colors. Wear light-colored clothing when working with bees.
Choose a sunny day around mid-day to work the bees.More bees will be away from the hive working during this time. Cloudy, rainy days should be avoided. Many bees will be at the hive, and they seem to be more apt to sting on these days.
Obtain a 5 gallon (18.9 L) bucket to place your bee working tools in.This will allow you to keep everything together and transport them easily when going out to work bees. Place in the bucket a smoker, a hive tool, burning material, matches or a lighter, and any feed or medication needed for the bees at the time you work them.
Fill your smoker with your chosen burning material.Common choices are burlap, pine needles, corncobs, wood pellets, dried grass, or mulch. Smoking bees calms them by causing them to gorge on honey. The smoke masks the alarm signal from the guard bees.
Light the smoker just before you reach the hive.
Approach the hive from the back, out of the landing path of the heavily laden bees.Come around to the front, and blow a few puffs of smoke into the entrance of the hive. Move away, and wait 3 minutes.
Open the top of the hive, and blow smoke into the inner cover.Use the hive tool, if needed, to remove the inner cover and blow smoke between the frames as you remove and inspect them. The hive tool is useful for breaking the propolis, which is the resin-like material bees use to glue areas of their hive. Give the bees plenty of time to eat.
Pull out the frame closest to the side of the bee box, and lay it on the ground.Move the other frames into that place after you have inspected them. Gently lift the frames up, and allow the bees to let go and move out of the way.
Move downward into the brood box.Look for the queen and sealed brood, and make sure that you have ample frames for the colony to work with. Check on any abnormalities and pests, such as mites or moths.
Remove honey-loaded supers, and replace with a fresh super and frames.If you're preparing the bees for winter, reduce the entrance to the hive and remove any extra supers. This will force the bees down into the brood boxes to store honey for the winter.
If you choose to do so, feed and/or medicate the bees as needed.
Replace all hive components, and quietly leave the area.
Clean all hive tools with disinfectant.
QuestionHow do I start this business?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGet all the reading material you can and read it. Join a local Bee club. Find a Beekeeper who will teach you. The best way is to buy some hives buy some bees and jump in and learn as you go.Thanks!
- Keep a bee sting kit on hand that includes an epinephrine shot.
- Do not wear perfume or deodorants around the bees, as they can become aggressive.
- Bees are sensitive to vibration. Take care not to bump the hive hard.
- Do not squeeze the smoker hard. Doing this may cause you to blow flames instead of smoke into the hive.
Video: Working With Some Very Angry Bees
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