After years of gardening and raising chickens the next step in the "home farm" is keeping bees. I have a friend that has had them for years and was became a mentor in how its done. Buying bees can only be done in the spring from a few sources and the timing was right when I preordered them because they are in a limited quantity and always sell out. They had a few varieties but I chose a local breed because they are better suited to our climate. They are sold by weight and the normal amount for a starter hive is three pounds and includes one queen. My friend gave me the bee boxes and the strong platform to keep it off the ground. A full mutilevel beehive can weigh hundreds of pounds, its almost soild honey.
The location is important, in a quiet spot facing the morning sun. They become active when it warms up. The whole point of the honey production is to make food to eat during the winter when flowers are not blooming. You allow the bees to fill two boxes for there own food and add a third box to take the honey for yourself. When they are starting out a feeder is attached to the hive to give them a food source until they figure out where the local area flowers are. The feeder is a 50/50 sugar and water solution and they eat about a quart of it or more a day.
|Two Level Hive with feeder|