Question: I would really like to start my own bee farm. Nothing big, just 1 beehive. I looked online, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Could someone make a list of steps that I could follow? I’ve never worked with bees before, and I don’t want to do it for industry, just a fun pastime. Are there any tools I need? Etc.? Thank you in advance.
Best Answer : Oh my! Beekeeping can be rewarding, but there is a LOT you will want to learn.
Equipment (and terms):
bee suit (all white)
helmet and veil
thick rubber gloves (sting proof)
smoker (special tool to blow smoke on the bees to calm them)
bee supers (wooden boxes for bee house)
frames (to put in the boxes and hold the honeycomb)
To get started, you can buy a colony, and then buy the queen separately, to put in a hive. (Government regulations prevent shipping the queen with a colony.) When you get the queen, put her WITH her little screened wooden box inside the hive. DO NOT take her out. Let the bees eat their way through the sugar cube to get inside to her and let her out. By the time they have done this, they will have become friends and will not kill her. Hive should have a minimum of two supers filled with frames, and the frames should either have the honeycomb, or have a foundation wax for starting the comb. For a startup hive, it’s much better if you can find at least one super with the honeycomb built already, so the queen can begin laying eggs for the brood.
Depending on your area, you might be able to “catch” a swarm. Sometimes bees naturally split, and a swarm will follow one or more queens to found a new colony in a suitable location. By presenting your hive to them, you can hope they’ll move in.
Bees make a mental map of their surroundings which can extend up to 5 or 10 miles radius. If you move the hive, you must move it at night, when all the bees are inside, and you must move it more than 5 miles away, or you will probably lose all of your worker bees, who will go back to the original site.