Honey Bees : Just the Basics

So, your interested in Honey bees? I assume if you are reading about honeybees you are either interested in keeping bees them or getting rid of bees.

If you need to get rid of bees that have made a nest in an unwanted location you need bee removal services.

If you are interested in learning what is involved in keeping bees and getting started, you are on the right page.

First things First: Bee keeping is a rewarding endeavor. You will have some expense even though it is not a large one, and begins to pay for itself in a relatively short time. Let's start by making a list of what you need to get and do step by step:

1. Purchase or Build a Hive

Most honey bees hive boxes are wooden. If you are good with woodworking you can build your own with our bee hive plans. Otherwise you will want to check out one of our suppliers and order an initial hive. I recommend starting out with a kit. I did. That way you get all you need to get started. It usually is actually a pretty good discount off of what you would pay for each of the pieces individually too. Then you can add additional supplies as you discover which aspects of bee keeping you enjoy. I love doing bee removal.

If you want more information on what to look for in a bee keeping kit click here for my how to get started bee keeping page.

2. Beehive Clothing

Bee Keeping Suit / Clothing. As is true with any hobby, there are all types and levels of quality of bee keepers clothing. I recommend you start with something simple and not too expensive unless you already know exactly what you want, know that you will stay with bee keeping, and are ready to plunk down the money.

You have lots of options. You can choose to wear a full body suit - that covers everything. You can wear gloves or not, and then there is the veil. I know some (but very few) that do not wear the veil. Crazy! Exactly what you wear for keeping bees will depend on what you are comfortable in, and that will change over time. If you want more information on the different options, go to our bee suit page and I will give you some great options.

3. Smoker

The all important smoker!!! I have come to learn the value and sing the praises of the stainless steel heat shielded smoker. It is an extremely valuable tool to the bee keeper and enables a much easier process of working with all our little friends. This tool is one of the least expensive and one of the most important. For more information about the smokers how to use them and which kind I recommend go to my page called the bee smoker

4. Hive Tool

This tool is the one you will use to pop open the top of your hives. The bees insulate and glue the hive shut with a really cool substance called propolis. The hive tool is inexpensive and a must have.

5. Put the Pieces Together

Now it is time to assemble your bee hive. If you want or need specific instructions click on how to build a bee hive to get the details.

6. Order package Bees & Put Honey Bees in the Hive

Now you will either order package bees, or find a local bee keeper that sells honey bees. Package bees usually come as a 3 lbs package of bees and a queen. The local beekeeper will usually sell what is called a nuc, which is usually about 4-5 frames of bees. Both methods of acquiring bees have advantages and disadvantages. Bees are hardy and travel fairly well. [I think it is more unnerving for the postman than the bees.] If you need more information on packaged bees and what to do once you receive them, go to our package bees for sale page to get the whole process laid out for you.

Set up a Bee Keeping Calendar

I use the bee keepers calendar form the Knox County Beekeepers Association

I have a copy of it and a link to their page here.

Harvesting Honey

We have always loved honey, but you never know how much you love it until your first honey harvest. Surprisingly it is not a difficult process at all. Our local bee keepers association has an extractor that can be checked out free of charge. So, be sure you check and see if you can get on your associations list if they offer that service. On average, 500 bees produce a pound of honey every two weeks.

I cover the entire process of collecting honey on our harvesting honey page. Check that out to plan when you will harvest and the how to and all the other details.

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Bee Removal Services

If you see bees going in and out of a structure, you may be in for a surprise as to what is behind the wall.