14 Backyard Beekeeping Tips
If you’ve been thinking about getting started in beekeeping, you’re in good company. The number of hobby beekeepers is growing in the United States, both in rural and city settings. Here are 14 backyard beekeeping tips to help you get started.
There are plenty of DIY beehive beekeeping plans available online. This standing beehive is made from plywood and can be customized when it comes to height. When completed, paint or stain it and place it in an area where you want bees, such as near a garden or flowerbed. See the plans here.
Photo: Courtesy of How to Build a Shed Soon
You can become a master at beekeeping by monitoring the health of your bees, including temperature and the humidity level of the hive. If you’re up for a tech project that uses Wi-Fi, read about it here.
After you build a beehive, check out the best flowers for bees, the help attract more bees to your landscape.
Photo: Courtesy of Makezine.com
DIY Beginner Hive
Said to be the best for beginner backyard beekeepers, this hive is inexpensive to make and portable. As the bee colony grows, you can add to the hive. Learn about the pros and cons of the beekeeping project at My Green Terra.
Photo: Courtesy of My Green Terra
This backyard beekeeper used concrete blocks and posts to help get these hives off the ground, which makes for easier maintenance. The beekeeper says he has had luck with the hives that are in the middle of an orchard. Read about the process here.
Photo: Courtesy of The White Cottage Farm
Photo: Courtesy of Gaia Bees
Lack of Frames
Backyard beekeepers will tell you they’ve made mistakes in their process. On the blog Overall Gardener, the beekeeper shows what happens when you skimp on equipment—specifically the frames bees build their wax onto. His beekeeping advice? Build plenty of frames to have at the ready.
Photo: Courtesy of Overall Gardener
These grease patties keep pests away from bees, most notably the tracheal mite, which is a microscopic internal mite of the honeybee’s respiratory system. The mite can infect the queen, drones and worker bees. Learn how grease patties keep these mites away and for the recipe for making them.
Photo: Courtesy of Boo Bee Honey
Photo: Courtesy of Kilted Craftworks
Outdoor Frame Storage
Depending on where you live, if you get into backyard beekeeping, you may need to take steps to safely winterize your bees. The Stark County Beekeepers Association offers information about how to safely store drawn frames outside during the winter months. (‘Drawn comb’ is comb that is ready for either honey/pollen storage or for a new brood of bees.)
Photo: Courtesy of Stark County Beekeepers Association
Photo: Courtesy of A. Goldsby on YouTube
Top Bar Hive
This type of backyard beekeeping hive is called a top bar hive, and it has an observation window on the side which allows you to watch the bees in action. This beekeeper estimates he has 1,000 bees in this hive. Learn about this type of hive here.
Beekeeping Protection Fence
Depending on the location of your hives, you may need to keep pests out. This beekeeper put up a metal fence in an attempt to keep bears at a safe distance. There are several backyard beekeeping setups on the Honeyflow Forum.
Photo: Courtesy of Honeyflow Forum