Annie Spratt | Unsplash Images
Feb 15, 2023

Starting Your Colony

A BEE-Ginners Guide

If you are looking to start a new backyard hobby, beekeeping makes a perfectly paired outdoor pastime. While a honeybee has a strong economic value due to their pollination, the honey crop is the driving force behind most backyard beekeepers. Before diving in, it’s important to know what running a successful first-time hive entails. Beehives require management and good stewardship, which take both time and knowledge.

What should I know before?
Before diving headfirst, though, know that there's a sharp learning curve when successfully running your first-time hives. For starters, you'll need beekeeping equipment and a protective beekeeper suit and hat.

Beekeeping is local- Bees are directly influenced by their environment and their behavior and success vary across climates. Familiarizing yourself with what beekeeping looks like for your climate.

Biology of a Bee- Understanding bee biology is imperative for all beginners. Within the community lives, the queen who lies upwards of 1500 eggs daily, worker bees who run the hive, and drones which are male bees who mate with queens from other colonies.

Take a beekeeping class:  An experienced, respected individual or organization to learn the basics of proper terminology, the equipment uses, and how to manage bees from season to season.

Books We Sell:

What equipment do I need?

Woodenware -This makes up the beehive itself and includes the hive bottom, hive body, and top cover.
Protective veil and gloves- beekeepers, should avoid stings at all costs by wearing protective clothing. Getting stung can be a distraction leading to a dropped frame.
Smoker- This helps calm and distract the bees while you're working within the hive.

Hive Tool- A must-have that allows you to easily access the hive and move frames around.
Bees- Pre-Order enough to fill your colonies. The most frequent route, and the one we offer at Shipton’s Big R,  is called a package—a small screen box with about 10,000 loose bees. The queen, which typically bears no kin to the other honeybees, stays separated in a cage.

More Shipton's Big R Posts

Bees on the entrance to their hive
Pets & Wildlife

Keep Your Bees Cozy this Winter

Read More