As mentioned in earlier articles, the population of bees are significantly down and considered an endangered specie. Bees are very important in our ecosystem, because they are responsible for pollinating crops. Many people are going above and beyond and actually putting beehives in their walls at home and even having their own backyard beehives! If you are interested in having your own beehive, here are some great tips:
1. Choose a hive and pick the basics, such as protective clothing, smoker, pellets, and feeding supplies. Starter books also will help guide you along.
2. Source your bees. Ask for advice on buying packaged bees in swarms or an already active hive.
3. Choose the best location. Bees like warm temperatures, but not hot! Keep them off the ground and face the hives south. Choose a spot that has protection from the wind, which can damage hives if the wind is too strong.
4. Keep freshwater close and change it daily for the bees.
5. Keep young bees well fed so they can support the queen. You can make your own nectar with sugar water, or you can buy store-bought food.
6. Provide privacy. Make sure the hives are 50 feet away from high traffic areas, as well as 50 feet away from pools and patios.
7. Use a smoker. Smoke is a trigger for the bees. They eat honey which causes them to become tired. This slows the activity and makes it more manageable to work with the bees when needed.
8. Harvest! Bees spend their first year building up their hives. So you can harvest usually by the next spring or early summer.
ALWAYS wear protective clothing when working with bees, such as a bee suit, bee helmet, veil, and protective clothes. You can also wear thick clothing, but make sure to close all arm and leg sleeves. This can be done using duct tape.