Bee Cool: Learn How to Be a Beekeeper

Beekeeping experts share their insider tips.
Related To:
bees build on honeycomb pattern 2

bees build on honeycomb pattern 2

Being able to produce your own honey from backyard beehives is a wonderful idea but there are many things you need to know before you plunge into this new hobby. Bee experts Kurt Vollmer and Bill Owens offer some helpful suggestions for beginners.

Do Your Own Research

There are numerous books, websites and videos on the subject. You should also consider taking classes or seminars on beekeeping. Check with your local cooperative extension servicestate and national organizations on educational programs and resources in your area.

Visit a Local Beekeeper

Discover whether this hobby is what you expect before you make an investment of time and money. There are websites that list beekeepers in your area such as Bee Culture.

Restrictions and Licenses

This changes from state to state so some areas may not require any registration or licenses for beekeeping while others may actually prohibit it in your area. Check with your local city government. 

Fall is the Perfect Time to Begin

The first year your goal should be to establish the hive so you can start harvesting honey the second year. If you set up your hives before the winter, everything will be in place when the spring season arrives.

Chose Your Equipment

There are countless beekeeping supply companies listed on the Internet and most people purchase their equipment. But you can build your own bee hives.  If you do, make sure your follow instructions for creating the standard Langstroth design so that you can easily access the honeycomb. This is one of the reasons this prototype is so effective and used worldwide. 

Chose Your Location

An ideal location for your beehive is in an easily accessible area that is partially shaded, protected from the wind, close to a water source and well drained.

What are the advantages of having your own hives? Locally grown honey is good for you. It's an immunity booster and having bees will help pollinate all the blooming plants and flowers in the spring that produce vegetation and food for us. You can expect to harvest 50 to 200 pounds of honey from each hive a year!

Another advantage of having your own hives with local bees is that the bees will be less susceptible to the type of problems that threaten commercial bee operations. Chemicals and pesticides are responsible for causing a reduction in bee populations but local bees, raised without chemicals, are more stable because they are not traveling more than three miles from your location. 

The work involved in maintaining a beehive is fairly minimal once the hives are established. During the spring and summer seasons, you should check the hives weekly if you are harvesting the honey, which usually takes about ten minutes per hive to remove. During the fall season, you only need to check the hives once a month. In wintertime, you don't need to do anything at all. The bees will take care of themselves. 

If you are interested in knowing more about beekeeping, visit the Birds and Blooms website

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Remove Wallpaper

How do you remove the wallpaper without damaging the wall – or yourself? Use these tips to help you decide which option will work best.

How to Distress Furniture

What's old is chic again. Follow these step-by-instructions for achieving a distressed look on furniture.

How to Freeze Spinach

Freeze fresh spinach leaves—homegrown or store-bought—to create your own dark leafy green to flavor hot dishes and smoothies.

How to Kill Mold

Killing mold is a dirty job, but the right tools can help you wipe it out for good. Check out these tips for using the best cleaners to solve your fungus problem.

How to Freeze Broccoli

Garden-fresh broccoli tastes amazing—nothing like its supermarket cousin. Freeze this cool-weather crop in season to savor later.

How to Remove Black Mold

Learn how to remove black mold safely and effectively.

How to Build a Retractable Canopy

Control the shade by making your own retractable canopy. Open it up to create a shady retreat or close it to let the sun in.

How to Install French Drains

Divert groundwater from the basement or foundation with the help of gravel and fabric.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.