Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Starting with Bees
When it comes to Bee keeping, there is very little to do after you have set up for them. Check with your town laws about raising bees before purchasing anything. Then look around your property for a good place to set up. The best place to keep is discrete, sheltered from winds and partially shaded. Avoid low spots in a yard where cold, damp air accumulates in winter. Make sure you respect your neighbors and try to keep them in a place where they will not be leaving the hive and directly encountering people or other animals.
The basic equipment you will need is a super, smoker,
frames, gloves and veil.
And of course bees. Talk to your local extension office about local bee keeper. Unfortunately in Kansas that information isn't a readily obtained as one might think. Check craiglist for advertisers. You will want to buy at least two hives. This will help you quickly understand when something isn't right with one of the hives. You can also condense the hives if one of them is weaker then the other. When you receive your nuc boxes, take a look. The bees should be relatively passive, if not slowly walk away, without flinging your arms about, until the bees have stopped following.
There should be nine frames in a nuc box, and should be moved in the winter or evening times. Make sure that once you get where your going to open the entrance to the hive.
Make sure that you have a little bit of sugar water to help your bees build up before the winter their first year. You want the hives to be full of babies when going into a winter to ensure that you have enough. After the first year, you do not need to artificially feed them. Just make sure you have plenty of flowers in the area as well as standing water for them.
Periodically check your hives for any problems, such as mice damage, and bee disorders.
If done correctly, your new bees should give you about 50 pounds of honey the first year.
For more on bee keeping go to the ABF
and for equipment needs, Drapers is the closest we have in the State.