Title: How to Start a Honey Bee Farm
Publish On: 25-02-2019
File Name: How to Start a Honey Bee Farm
File Size: 80 KB
Requirment: Image Viewer
Publish Date: 23/11/2019
Web Link: Manymay.com
Ideal Location for Bee Farming
Bees are some of the most adaptable creatures belonging to the animal kingdom! They do not mind residing by your back door, on your terrace, on a rooftop, in a field, in fact, anywhere! There are no preferences regarding city or countryside, either! Nonetheless, you had better keep certain considerations in mind, when launching your bee farming business.
Ensure that the site is dry, with no dampness around it.
If the relative humidity (RH) level is high, it hampers bees from collecting honey. Note that they fly long distances.
Humidity also prevents the efficacious ripening of nectar.
Bees prefer cool and shady places with plenty of trees in the vicinity, wherein Mr. Wind will not disturb them too much!
Whether you provide a natural or artificial source of water, it must be clean and hygienic. If you want high-quality honey, provide high-quality water.
Place an old hive nearby, to make the bees realise that you are their ‘friend’. If you cannot obtain a natural hive, use wood to create an artificial one.
Although bees do not mind how far they fly, in order to collect pollen, you might like to help them save energy. Towards this end, therefore, make sure that pollen-yielding plants are present in the vicinity. The bees will be able to prepare high-quality honey all that much faster!
In case, you would like to move the hive, move it nearer to any yard, just at the beginning of the flowering season.
Ensure that your bees have sufficient places to store the pollen they collect, as well as, the prepared honey.
Build or Buy the Hive
When you purchase the hive or the component parts the wood is unfinished. You will need to stain or paint the wood in order to protect it from the winter. Ours is painted with exterior paint, to match my neighbor’s house since the hive is on her property and is shared between our two families. The choice is yours to make, but your hive will be out in the weather so the wood needs to be protected somehow.
Getting the Bees
Before we get into the types of hives and the location, let’s discuss the bees themselves. For our first hive, we chose to purchase a nuc (short for nuclear colony), from a local apiary. This is not the only way to get started. You can also purchase a package of bees and a separate queen, or you can capture a swarm if one happens to take up residence on your property. The advantages of buying a nuc when starting beekeeping is that the bees are already starting to produce comb and honey when you bring them home. You simply put on your bee protective clothing and transfer the ten frames from the cardboard box, into your hive. The colony has already accepted the queen, and they have mated with her so you have varying ages of brood ready to mature and take over as older bees die out.
Types of Bee Hives
Skep – Long ago, beekeepers used something called a skep to house bees. This is no longer used because it is hard to remove the honey from the skep and this type of hive is difficult to clean and can become unsanitary. Although they are no longer used, skeps can be a decorative addition to a collection of vintage farming equipment.
Top Bar – The Top Bar beehive looks similar to a trough used for animal feeding. The bees make their own comb by drawing it down from the wooden bar inside the top of the hive.
Langstroth – In many parts of the country, the Langstroth beehive is what you will commonly see. The Langstroth consists of wooden boxes called supers, stacked on top of each other. They are sitting on a base called the foundation board and topped with a lid or cover. Inside, the bees create their comb and fill the cells with honey on waxed frames that hang vertically inside the super. Langstroth is the type of hive we chose to use.
Warre – The Warre has been compared to a cross between a hollowed out tree and a top bar hive. The Warre Hives are smaller than the Top Bar and the Langstroth versions. I actually think I would like to try one of the Warre hives one day.
No matter which type of hive you start with, use cinder blocks, a table or stacked pallets to raise the hive up from ground level.
Location for the Hive
We chose a spot for the bee hive that received sun but was also in some shade to protect the colony from overheating. The growth near the hive would provide some nearby pollen and provide some protection from the elements. This seems to have worked out just fine for our bee hive. The bees will stay active as long as the sun is shining. Orient the door away from any traffic area near your house or barns. In other words, you don’t want to be walking through the flight path the bees use to get back to the door of the hive.
Additional Equipment Needed
Hive tool – Helps with lifting the frames from the supers
Honey extraction equipment
Entrance feeder for fall and winter
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