Becoming a beekeeper...
- Take a course
- Join a local association
- Get a mentor
- Get a good beekeeping book (I recommend The Beekeeper's Handbook http://www.amazon.com/Beekeepers-Handbook-Fourth-Diana-Sammataro/dp/0801476941
“Stay ahead of your bees....”
1. Are you going to start beekeeping in the spring?
NO – End.... It's best to start beekeeping in the spring and ordering bees (nucs) as early as possible. The earlier a nuc is ordered, the earlier it arrives in the spring allowing the colony to become established prior to the end of the main nectar flow in May.
YES – Order your bees in as early as possible for spring delivery.
2. Make sure you have a suitable location for your beehives.
Beehives should be located away from people and pets, in the sun facing east or south, on the north or west side of an open area. They need at least a half day sun preferably morning into early afternoon. Avoid low spots which could flood or be damp. Supers of honey are heavy, it is best if you can move them from the bee yard on some kind of vehicle.
3. How many hives will you start with?
The recommended number is two. A second hive allows you to fix some problems that may develop. One is OK; it just limits options for a weak hive.
4. Are you going to use 10 frame or 8 frame equipment?
10 frame - traditional size, heavier, more difficult to get the bees to build comb on outer frames. I use 10 frame equipment but may transition to 8 frame equipment at some point.
8 frame – Gaining in popularity, less weight, easier to get the bees to build comb on all the frames, same price as 10 frame equipment but will require more supers. Some indication the 8 frame equipment makes stronger colonies.
5. Order your woodenware - bottom board, supers, frames, foundation, feeder, inner cover, outer cover. Extra – nuc w/frames and foundation (a place to put a swarm)
Assemble, prime and paint your woodenware. (Outside only for prime and paint) All your equipment needs to be ready when your nuc(s) are ready to be picked up.
Wood is heavy, try to avoid shipping charges by driving to Buster’s Bees http://www.bustersbees.com/ or
Rossman Apiaries http://www.gabees.com/index.htm in Moultrie, GA.
Mann Lake offers free shipping with restrictions.
Brushy Mountain Bee Farm offers free shipping with restrictions
6. Order your equipment – this can be ordered with your woodenware.
Minimum – Veil, smoker, hive tool, bee brush.
Nice to have – Jacket or coveralls, gloves, frame grip, frame rest.
Beekeeping Supply Companies
Local: Buster’s Bees http://www.bustersbees.com/ Jonesboro, GA
Georgia: Rossman Apiaries http://www.gabees.com/ Moultrie, GA
North Carolina: Brushy Mountain Bee Farm http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/
North Carolina: Miller Bee Supply http://www.millerbeesupply.com/
Florida and Illinois: Dadant & Sons www.dadant.com/catalog /
Kentucky: Walter T. Kelly Co. https://kelleybees.com
Minnesota: Mann Lake Ltd. http://www.mannlakeltd.com/ free shipping on orders over $100