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Your Introduction to Becoming a Beekeeper




As a child, I remember my mother telling me that if you just leave a bee alone, it will not sting you. That is a concept that no kid will ever grasp as it is human nature to swat. I find myself telling this to adults now, as it only took me 30 years to comfortably grasp this concept. Sure, some types of bees just want to sting you but unless you are covered in sugar water, honey bees want nothing to do with you.

 

As a horticulturalist, I understand the importance of our beloved honey bee population and the threats that they face with dangerous insecticides and controversial genetically modified crops. As a person without an allergy to bees, my interest in beekeeping has grown throughout the years.

 

As the threat has grown for these pollinators and colony collapse is on the rise, so are the desires of people everywhere, to raise colonies. With the proper tools, raising a healthy colony is actually pretty easy to get started. The Home Depot has teamed up with Harvest Lane Honey to help provide you with everything you need to make your transition to becoming a beekeeper a successful one.


Let’s discuss the anatomy of a bee hive to grasp a better understanding of how it works.





  • 3X6 Smoker and Fuel
The smoker is an iconic tool in the beekeeping industry, used by beginners and professionals alike. When checking the hive, the smoker is used to settle the bees, by temporarily confusing them and altering their ability to communicate with each other, as to not sting you. Smoke the areas where you do not want the bees to be.

  • Hive Tool
Used to pry the parts of the hive apart, as bees can glue pieces together over time with wax and honey build up. It is used to pry inner cover off and to separate and loosen the frames inside.

  • Bee Brush
This soft brush is used to brush the bees off the frames to collect the honey.

  • Inner Cover and Flat Hive Top
Top board to the hive to contain bees and the waterproof roof to keep them dry. Bees can handle the cold but not being wet.

  • Solid Bottom Board and Entrance Reducer
This is where the bees enter the hive and the reducer helps keep other pests out of the hive.

  • Frames
This is where the bees congregate and make the comb and honey.

  • Hive body or Bee box


The bee box is what houses the frames and contains the hive. As your hive grows, you simply stack another box with frames to your existing box.


Each kit comes with 9 frames. Each box will house 10 frames but you will want to put the in hive bee feeder in the place of the 1 missing frame to start out your colony. Add a sugar water solution to this feeder. Your solution should be 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. This will be supplemental food in the winter and at the beginning until the colony gets its act together.


Where is the best place for your hive?


The best place for your hive is in a well ventilated area, away from people and livestock, close to a water source.The hive should be elevated on a stand or on cinder blocks. Put your hive facing southwest if possible.

Introduction of the queen

There are beekeeper societies in every state that can provide you with your worker bees and queen. Introducing your queen to the colony is actually pretty easy as long as you do it properly. When you order your bees they will come in a box with the worker bees separated from the queen, who will be in her own little box. You will put the queen and her box in the hive and then the other bees. The queens box has a hole in it with wax covering the hole. It will take a few days for the workers to free the queen from her box but by then they will have accepted her as the ruler of the hive.Once you have put the bees in the hive, do not open it or mess with it for 7 days otherwise they could kill the queen.

Benefits of Honey


  • What home remedy have you seen that does not include honey? Whether it is mixed with the whiskey of a hot toddy or tea to relieve that cough, honey is everywhere because of the benefits it brings to the table.
  • Honey is believed to help allergies by having small amounts of different pollen which when eaten will trigger a  immune response that will produce antibodies to lessen a allergic response. Local honey is recommended, as it has the same local pollen you breath to help build the proper antibodies.
  • Honey is loaded with antioxidants and is said to help prevent memory loss.
  • Honey is said to help aid in sleeping due to its ability to raise insulin, releasing serotonin which the body converts to melatonin which helps regulate sleep.

Of course, lets not forget the clothing for this adventure. Having the right clothes is a critical part of beekeeping. Coveralls, Canvas gloves with elastic armbands and a beekeeping veil or hat can all be found on Homedepot.com.

HARVEST LANE HONEY Medium Full Bee SuitHARVEST LANE HONEY Beekeeping Veil with Draw String


Other Related Articles:

How to Attract Bees to Your Garden

Killing Yellow Jackets

What are Digger Bees & How to Get Rid of Them

Beneficial Insects and Plants That Attract Them
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Posted 2016-04-03T17:32:22+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL
 
 

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