These instructions for setting up bee hives are fairly simple and most anyone can do it. Keeping bees is an interesting hobby or it can be a money making business. These amazing little creatures fertilize plants which in turn produce our food, and in the process they manufacture delicious food from the necter of flowers.
Bee keeping is a joy to many householders. If you should decide to keep bee hives, start your colony in the spring so the bees can build up their hive before the honey flow begins. It’s best to start with two hives. The advantage is if one queen dies, the two colonies can be combined. Of the types of bees available, Italian bees are best for beginners. They are good foragers, gentle, and disease resistant.
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Bee supply specialists and major mail order houses have beginners kits with everything you need to set up your hives, including the bees, tools, protective gloves, veils, and hives. It’s a good idea to check with your county agent before ordering bees. He can tell you about any disease, parasites, pesticides, and regulations. Bees need plenty of water so be sure you have a stream, pond, or a container of fresh water with a wooden float for bees to land on. A dripping faucet will do in a pinch.
Bees are shipped in packages with screen sides, usually containing a mated queen, 2 1/2 pounds of bees (about 6,000 bees) and a can of syrup to feed them while en route. The queen will be in a small cage inside the package with several workers to care for her. The exit hole will be plugged with a piece of soft candy. The worker bees will gnaw through to release her. Check your bees on arrival to be sure they are all in good condition
1. The best time to set up your hive is late afternoon or evening. Bees will be quieter and less likely to fly off. Have your hive assembled beforehand. Wear protective clothing for safety. Place the package of bees near the hive. Light the smoker and have a jug of syrup handy
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