Useful Tips

Beekeeping for beginners


Large-scale industrial production of honey, which is common in almost all countries of the world, was preceded by amateur beekeeping. But even in our time, there are enough beekeepers who are engaged in breeding and keeping bees in an apiary.

For those who are taking their first steps in beekeeping, this article will help answer questions: where to start, what you need to start, how to do beekeeping?

Beekeeping Knowledge Acquisition

For a person unfamiliar with beekeeping, the following teaching methodology is recommended.

It is advisable to start training in the winter by reading cognitive literature, books and magazines covering a brief description of the life of bees and the composition of the bee family, the so-called basics.

Then you need to move on to the study of specialized literature on beekeeping, which reveals the basics and secrets of caring for bees.

Sign up for beekeeping courses, online lessons, watch a video, the benefit of the Internet provides such an opportunity.

After studying, with such theoretical knowledge, you can safely begin to practice in the apiary to apply your knowledge in practice. It is necessary for the next season, and it is better already in the spring to get a job with an experienced beekeeper in an apiary by a trainee in order to gain skills in this craft.

When applying for practice, you must choose one of the local profitable apiaries where the best methods of rational beekeeping are applied. Be sure to have a beekeeper’s work calendar.

The practical skills of the coming years will consolidate the knowledge gained by reading, and the mistakes that happen in any business will become an indispensable school.

How to choose a place for an apiary?

For rural residents, the presence of a personal plot makes it much easier to place an apiary. Urban residents will have to purchase this plot or use the plot provided by friends or relatives.

Choosing the right place for an apiary is a kind of care for bees.
We will deal with the advantages and requirements that a site must have in order to place apiaries on it.

  • Honey plants are friends of the apiary, the closer to them, the more pollen and nectar will bees bring to the hive.
  • Bees are not afraid of the cold, but they are afraid of the wind, especially of the north and north-east, therefore, we are protected from the wind, for example, by a two-meter fence or shrubbery. Direct sunlight is also not good.
  • The area under the apiary, we choose a flat, well, or with a slight slope, so that rainfall flows, well, and deaf thickets of bushes, we also do not need anything, if we clear it.
  • Damp in the apiary is the worst enemy, it lowers the temperature, causes mold in the hive, and these are damaged honeycombs in the hive and bee diseases.
  • Is there a river nearby or a lake? This is not an advantage, but the predictable excess and absurd death of bees in large quantities in these reservoirs.
  • An apiary should always be supervised by the beekeeper of the owner; accordingly, it is necessary to live nearby the apiary.
  • Neighborhood with other apiaries should be excluded if possible. Bees themselves start wars with neighbors, attack, plunder, etc.

Placing beehives in an apiary

If you are the owner of a large area under the apiary, place the hives in the cells previously broken square or staggered. Between the cells, the distance is about 4-5 meters. With this arrangement, the apiary should have landmarks for the bees, and it is advisable to paint the hive in different colors, which will prevent the bees from wandering.

With a smaller area under the apiary, the group placement of beehives is applied, 2-4 beehives in a group, orienting the holes in different directions, avoiding the north side.

Some rules for hives:

  • Warm up by the sun, but at noon are protected by the shade of trees,
  • The apiary paths are located behind the hives (do not interfere with the flight of bees),
  • The hives are installed strictly in level on stakes, boxes or stands with a slight inclination forward (the back is 1-2 cm higher than the front).

The acquisition of bees

There are several ways to purchase bees, here are the most basic:

  • Bee colonies in the hives,
  • Swarm
  • In bee packages with or without honeycombs.

If you are going to buy bees in the nearest apiary, make sure that it is famous for its good honey collection and is equipped with local bee breeds. Then make sure that the bees do not have contagious diseases and have no parasites.

And for the quality of bee packages gives a guarantee to the bee nursery.

Protect yourself from disappointment if one family dies.
The uterus will die in one hive, make a quiet change or replace the lost uterus or combine two families and get one reinforced, which can later be divided.

When to buy bees?

The answer is obvious. Buying bee colonies is best in spring. The season is cool, the bees in the hive and brood at this time are relatively small, which allows the hives and bees to move over long distances, without fear of steaming and breaking honeycombs.

When buying bees, pay attention to the intensity of the flight of bees, and the strength of the family. Give preference to bee families with young queens, with a quality brood on 3-4 frames and bee-filled streets (about 7-8 streets) between the frames.

Sowing with a queen bee should be without gaps, and a sealed brood, light, even and without tubercles, which indicates the quality of the uterus.

At the bottom there should not be any death (dead bees). Carefully inspect the bees and the uterus for infection with varroatosis. If the bees are clean, then such families can be bought.

What breed to buy?

It is recommended to buy a local breed of bees, they use bribes better and tolerate wintering more easily than imported ones, they simply adapted for centuries to their living conditions.

For example, in the European part of Russia, as well as in Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, these breeds are mainly bred:

  • Central Russian dark forest breed,
  • Carpathian breed,
  • Krajina breed or karnik,
  • Italian breed,
  • Ukrainian steppe breed,
  • Prioksky breed type of Central Russian breed.

In the Caucasus, the local breed is the gray mountain Caucasian breed. In the Urals, Altai, and Bashkiria, the Urals, Altai, and Bashkir bees, respectively. The Far East bee population lives in the Far East.
It all depends on what area you live in, and choose one.

Which hives to choose?

Before the beginning beekeeper many questions arise, one of them: how to choose a bee hive?

Experienced beekeepers advise beginners to start breeding bees in the hives of sunbeds on 20 frames.

By its design, the lounger is convenient in that sense, which facilitates the care of bees. The advantage is maintenance from above, without having to do heavy work with the hulls.

By the way, the hive lounger can be made at home according to the drawings, but for a start it is better to purchase it.

When examining a hive like a lounger, it is enough to remove the ceilings that are inserted into the folds of the front and rear walls. Put the lid on the ground next to the hive. On the lid put a portable box, designed for 6 frames, in which during the inspection you can put the frames removed from the hive.

In addition, the design of the hive is such that it allows using a blank partition to make two equivalent hives. In each half, there are two slots: at the top and bottom on the front wall of the hive, which contributes to good ventilation of each half.

In summer, one half of the hive can be used as the main family, and the other as the uterus helper.

To increase the strength of the family, you can take brood at the exit from the assistant's uterus and rearrange the frames in the nest of the main family. This will allow to increase the number of working bees by the beginning of the honey collection and fully use the main family to collect nectar.

You can use the second half of the hive as a nucleus with a spare uterus.

In winter, two small bee colonies, separated by a thin plywood partition, tolerate wintering well. It is easier for them to warm themselves, less feed is consumed, which positively affects the wintering of families.

Beekeeping equipment

All work in the apiary for the care of bees cannot be carried out qualitatively without special beekeeping equipment. From the abundance of inventory offered in stores and at various exhibitions, a novice beekeeper needs to choose what he really needs.

Beekeeping equipment for beginners:

  • protective net
  • smoker
  • apiary chisel,
  • the brush or feathers of a large bird,
  • spray gun with water
  • scraper.

Now about everything in more detail.

Safety net - a hat with a protective net from bee stings on the face.

Dymar is an imitating fire tool. Bees collect honey in the goiter, the bee’s abdomen is filled, the bee is not able to sting, as the abdomen does not bend. With the help of a smoker, inspection of the bee's nest is facilitated.

The chisel of a special form is moved apart and separated during the inspection, clean the bottom, walls of the hive, and ceilings.

Brush or goose feather for sweeping bees from frames.

There must be a sprayer to generate water dust with which you can quickly calm the bees and prevent them from taking off.

A scraper is needed to remove dead bees and litter from the hive.

Later, the beekeeper will need the following equipment and devices:

  • Honey extractor with manual or electric drive. Three, four or six frame with a strainer for filtering honey.
  • Special knives for removing wax caps (zabrus).
  • Special mesh caps for isolating the uterus or replanting non-fetal queens into dysfunctional families.
  • Feeders of various types for feeding bees in the spring. In the fall, ceiling feeders are used to replenish supplies for the winter.
  • Letkovye chokes from mice set in the fall on the upper and lower notches.
  • A board is used for grafting artificial wax - a pattern for the size of the frame for knocking together the frames and waxing (attaching) the wax to the wire using a special spur tool.
  • Awl for making holes in the side strips of the frame for pulling tinned wire through them.
  • To obtain wax and further transfer or exchange for artificial wax, it is necessary to have a solar wax refinery to obtain wax from wax scraps or sushi.
  • If possible, you can have a control scale on which the control hive is installed.

We hope our material was useful to you, and you are already building a business plan for breeding and keeping bees.

Learning the basics from A to Z

As soon as bee colonies are acquired, the first thing that needs to be done is to place them in permanent places. A garden with trees is best for an apiary.

Important! After settling families, moving the hives is strictly prohibited. If this is done, the insects will not be able to find their home. This, in turn, indicates that the layout of the hives should be thought out carefully and well in advance.

A garden with trees is best for an apiary.

There are a number of subtleties that must be considered:

  • it’s better to turn the doors of the houses towards the south or east,
  • installation of beehives should be carried out on special supports in such a way that the distance from the surface of the earth to the house varied from 30 to 40 centimeters,
  • the grass from the apiary must be completely mowed, the nests of ants should be completely destroyed,
  • a bee drinker should be installed in advance,
  • should acquire large weights, on which to install one of the hives (as a control), it will be hung up, and the results will make it possible to judge the development of the family and the number of bribes,
  • on the first day after placing the insects in a new place they should not be disturbed,
  • To organize proper care for bees, it is worthwhile to create a special journal of the beekeeper, in which the results of the inspection of bees are entered.

It is recommended to protect the apiary both from the sun and from the winds. To this end, it will be useful to plant shrubs around the perimeter, for example, hawthorn or acacia. They will create a reliable hedge.

Important! You can’t place hives in lowlands, on highlands, in open areas and in places where other bee colonies migrate.

Hives need to be painted in various colors. This will allow insects to accurately get into their home. A great way to arrange houses is a checkerboard pattern. In addition, they can be placed in the barn or in the attic. Using this method of indoor placement of hives will create additional protection for the family. In addition, the described approach will save the local area.

Hives need to be painted in various colors.

In the theoretical study of information on a topic such as beekeeping for beginners, you should delve into the following topics:

  • functional differences of insects and their interaction with each other,
  • the specific behavior of bees at different times of the year,
  • collecting nests and preparing for wintering,
  • uterine excretion,
  • layering
  • anti-war methods
  • Correct hive structure
  • features of wax processing,
  • main bee diseases,
  • harmful parasites.

For someone who is just beginning to learn the basics of how to become a beekeeper from scratch, it is important to be able to distinguish drones from working individuals, as well as to isolate the uterus. It is equally important to get skills to distinguish brood age.

Of the tools when working with bees, the following materials and tools will be required:

  • framework,
  • wax
  • barriers for flyers,
  • padding polyester cushions,
  • headboards for houses,
  • boxes for carrying frames,
  • leather or rubber gloves,
  • honey extractor
  • brush,
  • chisel,
  • smoker
  • protective mask for the head,
  • protective suit for the body.

Body Protective Suit

All of the above is the basis without which no modern beekeeper can do.