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    BEEKEEPING TIPS

    Beekeepers reap countless benefits from their hives.

    Beekeeping is a safe and rewarding hobby; safe for pets and families regardless of the size of your yard. With proper placement, all-in-one hive kits, and top quality equipment, anyone can take the sting out of keeping bees.

    Beekeepers reap countless benefits from their hives, including relaxation, garden support, self-reliance, as well as the wider environmental advantages of supporting endangered pollinators. And let's not forget the sweetest reward of all: fresh, organic, home-crafted honey!

    By purchasing a quality hive kit, you are ready to start reaping these benefits the minute you open the box.

     

    GET STARTED WITH BEEKEEPING

    The easiest way to establish a hive is to purchase an all-in-one backyard beekeeping kit. This should include everything you need to get started in making a comfortable home for bees. Additional expansion pieces and tools can be purchased as your experience and hive grow.

    The first step is to purchase high quality hives able to withstand weight and weather. Look for hive boxes and frames constructed from premium ¾" wood and protected with two coats of exterior paint. A pitched metal top will also improve the appearance and durability of your hive and save you money in the long run. A sliding screened bottom board will protect your colony from cold air in the winter.

    We also recommend having the tools of the trade. Frame grips, protective bee suits, a good smoker with pellets, and additional Honey Super boxes will make your beekeeping experience safe and seamless. Look for top quality tools recommended by experienced beekeepers. Stop by www.harvestlanehoney.com for a list of equipment to make establishing your hive easy and fun.

    You will also need to purchase bees and you may need to register your hives with your state. Go to www.harvestlanehoney.com to learn how to purchase healthy bees and to learn the regulations and registration processes for your state.

    Keeping bees can be very rewarding, and requires minimal effort. The most complicated aspect is the timing. If you know when to do each step you can easily keep your bee colony safe and happy. The following information will help you create your bee keeping schedule.

     
    BEEKEEPERS TIMELINE

    When

    What

    Day 1

    Purchase all-in-one hive kit and beekeeping equipment. Order bees. (Recommended seasonal window: November-April)

    When Bees Arrive

    Set up first brood box and install bees.

    Months 1-2

    Check hive and refill bee feed no more than once a week while the colony becomes established.

    Month 2

    Look for signs that the brood box is filled, and then add the second brood box.

    Month 3

    The second brood box should be filled. Add a queen excluder and the first Honey Super box.

    Month 3.5 Plus

    Add additional Honey Supers as frames fill with honey. A healthy hive can fill a Honey Super every two weeks throughout the season.

    Late Summer

    Before daytime temperatures drop below 80 degrees: Harvest/extract honey.

    ESTABLISH YOUR HIVE

    Once you have installed your bees in their brood box, they will start building a community. Your job is simple. Give them a comfortable home and give them some space. While they're getting settled, you don't want to check or feed them more than once a week. When you do inspect the hive and refill their feeder with high quality bee feed, be certain to use smoke to keep the bees calm and docile.

    Within two months your colony will be looking to expand. When you see half an inch of consistent wax built out across your combs and signs of brood growth on a majority of frames, it's time to expand.

    Add an additional brood box on top of the first at this point. This box will contain the honey stores the colony will need to make it through the winter. Remember to move the inside hive feeder to the second box to draw the bees up.

    BUILD YOUR HONEY SUPPLY

    When you notice white wax cappings on 9 of the 10 honeycombs in the second brood box, add a queen excluder to keep the queen at home. Then add your first Honey Super box. These medium sized boxes will hold your honey harvest. A healthy hive will start to fill the honey super in as little as two weeks! If you prefer to harvest more honey, simply add additional Supers as they fill.

    If you see built-out frames with white cappings when checking the honeycombs, this is a good indicator that it is time to extract the honey or add a new Honey Super to promote additional production. You can add Supers throughout the season, but in colder climates you will want to extract before the daytime temperatures drop below 80 degrees.

    EXTRACT YOUR HARVEST

    Before you begin the honey extraction, obtain the tools for the job.

    Using frame grips carefully remove the honeycombs and gently return the bees to the hive with a bee brush. You will want to move the combs away from the hive site and extract the honey in an enclosed area. The delicious scent of fresh honey will attract every bee in the neighborhood.

    Use an angle knife or scratcher to expose the honey within the cells. Then place the frames into an extractor to spin the honey out of the comb. Extractors aren't just easy; they are the fastest, easiest, and most efficient way to harvest the maximum amount of honey from the comb. As an added bonus, the comb remains intact and you can return it to the hive for the bees to refill without having to rebuild the wax cells to store it.

    Once the honey is extracted, it should pour through a metal sieve to ensure that it is free from impurities and into a special honey bucket with a gate that makes it simple to fill and seal bottles with minimal mess.

    It's just that easy to enjoy the rewards of fresh, organic, home-crafted honey!

     

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

     

    Is beekeeping safe for pets/kids?
    Yes. With proper placement of your hive, your family and your bees can co-exist perfectly. Pets and bees will know to leave each other alone. And, with education and safety gear, kids make great beekeeping companions.
    Is my yard big enough?
    Yes. Bees are kept in a wide variety of areas, even on balconies in the middle of big cities. If you are conscientious about placement, beekeeping is safe and simple in any setting.
    How do I avoid being stung?
    Purchase proper clothing to keep yourself safe. Stings may happen, but you can reduce them by suiting up and using a smoker to calm your bees every time you check your hive.
    How do I purchase bees and register my hives?
    Standards and regulations for beekeeping vary by state. Go to www.harvestlanehoney.com to learn where to purchase bees and how to register your boxes with the appropriate agencies.