This chapter describes the most common types of hives, options for protective clothing, the most commonly used tools, and selecting a location for the apiary. An example of a bee log or journal is also discussed along with the importance of recording information about each hive.
This chapter includes a brief history of the honey bee in the United States; information on honey bee breeds and strains; when to order; local suppliers; different ways of acquiring a colony; the three castes of bees (workers, drones, queen) and their roles in the colony; and basic honey bee anatomy.
The importance of providing supplemental feed at certain times is one of the topics that a beginning beekeeper has the most questions about. Since one of the times when supplemental feed is necessary is when package bees arrive in the early spring, the beginning beekeeper needs to be ready to feed their bees. This chapter discusses what kinds of feeders are available to use, what kind of feed to supply when to provide supplemental feed, and how to know if supplemental feed is necessary.
This chapter discusses the actual method(s) of transferring bees as they arrive from your supplier into the hives that you have set up ready for them.
This chapter includes what to look for on the outside of the hive, what to look for inside the hive; when to look inside the hive, and when to add more space.
This chapter discusses the conditions leading to a swarm and what to do to catch a swarm. Introduction: A swarm is a group of bees that leaves the hive with the original queen to start a new colony. It is the honey bee’s natural method of reproduction. Most people are amazed when they see and hear a swarm, and most beekeepers are very happy to catch a swarm and sad to see one leave their apiary.
This chapter covers the topic of honey flow and discusses food sources that are needed for the bees during their foraging season. Beekeepers often ask, “How do I know when the honey flow is on?” and more often ask, “How do I know when it stops?” Another topic that your local bee association and experienced beekeepers in your area will be able to advise you is knowing what flowers bloom in your area, when, and how much nectar they provide. Today we will address both of these concerns.
This chapter discusses how much honey a typical colony needs for itself to provide for a successful overwintering and how to decide if there is a surplus for the beekeeper to harvest.
This chapter discusses the steps necessary to prepare your colonies for overwintering including merging colonies, providing supplemental feed, and providing protection from winter weather. Some description is given about the winter cluster and it also discusses what you may see in the spring.
This chapter presents an overview of pests and diseases that are most common in our area of the country and provides some remediation and treatment options. This is meant as an introduction to problems that a beginning beekeeper may see in their first year of beekeeping and is not meant to be an in-depth review of all the issues that an experienced beekeeper may encounter. Having a mentor or participating in a local association is important to help you know what may be a real problem and what isn’t.