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Start Your Own Bee Hive

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Between insecticides and parasites bee populations are not what they once were.   But Bee Keepers say that one way to grow the bee population is by bringing in more Bee Keeper Hobbyists.  And then the honey will flow like, well, honey.  And if you're thinking of starting your own hive.  Getting to this takes a whole lot of work. I encourage people to get a bee hive.   Randy Fair  is a second generation Bee Keeper and has been winning awards on his honey since 2009.  But says there's more to being a bee keeper than just buying bees and a hive or two.

You need to get some education.  You need to read some books. Do some research on the internet. And get involved with a local bee club.  He suggests getting connected with local bee keepers to learn what they know and to pick their brains. Visit with them. Go in their bee yard. See what's involved.  The idea about educating yourself and asking questions first before jumping into buying a hive will save you lots of time, money, and possibly pain.

You may find out you like the honey but you don't like what happens when you're getting stung.  And consider these things as well.  Bees are much like any other animal.  They too can be infected with diseases or parasites.  This means that much like livestock, they have to be cared for when sickness or diseases arrive.  Also...You may see your investment die in front of you if the right conditions are not met.  And finally, have you ever seen money just fly away.  It can happen.  If your new bees don't like their new home they may literally fly the coup the moment you place them in their new hive.  

And once you're educated and considered all things bees, especially that stinging part, it's time to get your very own hive going.  One way to start your own bee hive is by ordering bees and the queen. Or you can do as Randy.  He actually catches his own swarms.  And if you've wondered what a swarm of bees looks like.  There's one right there.  
In fact this is one way to start your own hive.  By capturing a swarm.  And while  I was there, Randy did exactly that with a box on a pole.

You'll notice behind me here we have a swarm of bees in a box. Now this box was lifted up into a tree earlier where there was a swarm of bees. They were looking for a new home. Randy is hoping that these little guys are going to make one of his hives their new home.

But if you're like me and catching bees is not your thing....you also have some other ways to start your new hive.  First on the list is bees by the pound and they come with their own Queen.  You can purchase a three pound nuke. Which will come in a cage like this. Get'em through the mail.   Once that package arrives in the mail, you take that box of bees and place them into your own full size hive where they will live and thrive.   Or a nucleus hinucleus come in a box like this.  It'll have five frames of drawn cone. They'll be covered in bees. There will also be a mated queen in there. And each of the frames will be full of honey, bees, brude, larvae, and larvae

But please note, a nucleus hive is not a permanent residents for the bees.  They will outgrow it fast and have to be moved to a full size hive.  Which leads us to what might be the easiest way to start your own hive. You can take this full size hive to a bee supplier and what he will do is take your frame out and put one of his frames in... that's covered in bees and brude and what have you. Once your hive is in place and your busy little bees are making honey don't expect a bumper crop right away.  
One colony can make around ten gallons of honey a year, but remember this, bees need three to five gallons of honey just to survive the winter.  So don't take all their honey away with each crop.  Instead, take some and but be sure and leave some.  By taking all their honey at once can wipe out a hive.  Growing food for the family is gaining in popularity. 

And if this sounds up your alley, there are a few organizations right here in the ArkLaTex that ArkLaTex.  For more information... Go to Beebumbler.Com.  On Facebook just go to ArkLaTx Bee Keepers.  

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