For some people, being a beekeeper is about having the best beehive. One that looks completely original and is unlike any other beehive out there. A beehive that is not only unique but is also filled with a thriving colony of bees. Beehives can either be bought fully assembled, bought unassembled, or you can learn how to build a beehive from scratch.
There are many benefits to raising bees. Of course, honey production from the bees is a huge plus, since you can taste freshly harvested, sweet, and all-natural honey, or even give it to a friend to enjoy. Some mass-produced honey products sold in stores have fillers and other inorganic materials in them. If you have honey straight from the bee hive, you know exactly where it came from and that it is 100% natural.
Lots of beekeepers prefer to build their own custom hives instead of buying an assembled hive. This article will give tips on how to build a beehive from scratch.
Honey bees need a lot to have a happy life. Your beehive can be unique and different, but it needs to accommodate for all the necessities, just like a regular bee box would. You need to think about where the bee hive is going to be after you build it; the hive should be near a flower patch or other plants that the bees can use to pollinate and harvest nectar. Nectar is the substance that bees use to create honey.
Before You Start
First things first, if you plan on building a beehive from scratch in the your backyard, you need to go over what the beekeeping regulations are for your area. To find out this information you’ll have to search for your state apiary (another name for beekeeper) regulations online. Each state has its own website. Clickable links to some of the more popular states are below. Some states have many more regulations on beekeeping than others; this depends on how common beekeeping is in that state.
You can have bees anywhere, but states that are extremely cold aren’t best because bees, especially honey bees, prefer warm weather and stay indoors when it’s cold. Honey bees would struggle to survive in those temperatures. In those cold states, since there are very few beekeepers, there are fewer regulations and limits.
In addition to finding out about beekeeping laws in your state, you should also take safety precautions. Beekeeping can be a difficult hobby because of the chance of getting stung. Luckily, there are safety items and clothing that you can purchase and wear for extra protection against bee attacks. The most obvious safety item is a bee veil.
A bee veil is the head covering that has a screen that protects your face, neck, and head from the bees, you’ve probably seen one in movies or on tv. A bee veil is one of the most common symbols of beekeeping. Another item you should buy is a full-body protective suit, as well as a hive tool, which will allow you to remove the frames smoothly and gently without overly disturbing the bees.
Always take safety precautions before handling an occupied bee hive. Also, if you’re using a smoker for the first time, carefully read the operating instructions.
Apiary Laws by State
What to Include in the Beehive
Beehives build from scratch are usually made of assembled wood with a roof or top lid, a base board, and the main box filled with frames for the bees to fill with honey. Sometimes a stand is built as well to set under the bee hive for extra height. The entire bee hive can be big or small. The size is really up to you, as long as you make sure that on the inside it’s nice and snug for the bees. They need just enough space to move around in-between the frames, but honey bees don’t typically like big empty spaces.
Some types of bees do like the space, but then they would begin to make their own hive in the empty space rather than in the frame provided; it would thus be nearly impossible to remove the honey without completely damaging the hive and countless bees. Measurements and dimensions on the inside of the bee hive are extremely important for this reason.
Putting the Pieces Together
Building a beehive from scratch can become complicated with the customization and multiple levels of honey supers, it’s best to follow basic instructions and then to figure the rest out on your own. What you can do is follow construction plans online that have been premade and tested by other beekeepers. View this page full of plans for bee hive parts like frames, baseboards, stands, and more – click here.
Once you find a set of instructions that you think will work best for your personal beekeeping style, follow the dimensions given exactly, but feel free to make adjustments to the exterior to make it look more appealing and unique. Get creative with mounting as well if it’s not going to be on a stand.
Where to Find Bees for Sale
Live bees are easier to find than you think. If you do your research, you can even find the right ones in the wild and bring them back home to place in your bee hive. In order to make a new hive work, you need their queen. The queen is the foundation of the whole honey bee colony, and nothing will get done without her. You can buy live bees online if that’s what you would prefer to do; it’s the most convenient option. Another way to obtain bees is to visit a local bee farm if you have one.
Take Care of Your Beehive
After building your beehive from scratch, you need to take care of it. Keep your new beehive clean and free of excess debris. Cleanliness is good for the bees. It’s also crucial to watch out for signs of moisture that’s breached the seal on the bee hive.
Bees can be temperamental to temperature, humidity, and structural factors. It’s your job as the beekeeper to ensure the honey bees get what they need to survive, as well as keep their beehive in pristine condition. If you realize that your beehive is getting old and the wood is now warped, build a new one and move the honey bee queen and her worker bees into a house that’s up to par.