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 beehive stand plans here.
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.
Beekeeping for Beginners: 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.
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.
If you must remove a tree from your yard, consider using the wood for hives. The blog Gaia Bees has information about how logs can be used as a natural nest for honeybees.
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.
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.
This DIYer came up with a clever way to harvest honey from his hives. He created a drill-powered honey spinner with PVC pipe. Learn about the setup here.
DIY Hive Stand
This hive stand holds three hives and is made from scrap wood. A work bench would also work as a stand. Check out Riddlesden Bees for more photos and beehive stand plans.
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.)
If you’re looking for a woodworking project, this wood honey extractor is created with plywood and some 2x2s. Watch a video tutorial here.
DIY Follower Boards
You can make some follower boards for your hives, which many beekeepers say reduce swarming in the summer and help to insulate the hive during the winter months. See detailed plans here.
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.