hi I’m an organic gardener I grow organically for healthy and safe food supply. for a clean and sustainable environment for an enjoyable and rewarding experience. increase the yields from your fruit trees and your vegetable garden and reap the sweet reward of honey by setting up a beehive in your own backyard
Today we’re going to review what equipment you need and how to set up your hives. first we need to select a dry level location that we can access year-round. ideally you’ll face the hive entrance towards the southern exposure the bees will fly straight out of the entrance. so make sure it’s not facing directly into a sidewalk the neighbor’s yard or your own family or pets play area. you can set up your hive to face a hedge or fence and the bees will quickly learn to fly up and over the barrier keeping them out of your hair literally be aware of any pests in your neighborhood and plan accordingly for example.
if you have bears in the area install an electric fence preemptively to keep them from getting a taste of the honey because once they get one taste they may just charge through an electric fence in the future. if you have skunks in the area build a stand for your hive to sit on that’s at least 18 inches tall what happens is the skunk’s at night will rile up the bees and then wait for them to fly out of the hive and eat them like candy. you can set up your hives either directly on the ground or on a flat surface like this pallet.
this redwood hive stand will resist rot this is a solid bottom board it helps keep the bottom of the hive secure there are also screened bottom boards that can help with monitoring pests such as mites. this entrance reducer fits snugly into the bottom board and is useful while the colony establishes itself and does the trick for keeping my sout of the hive once you see an increasing amount of beat traffic you can rotate the entrance reducer to the larger entrance or remove it all together depending on the weather and the availability of pollen when you get your new bees you may want to install a feeder this will encourage the new colony to draw comb quickly so the Queen can lay eggs and the workers can store pollen.
if you want to use the entrance reducer and the feeder at the same time you’re going to need to cut your entrance reducer to size the entrance feeder is great because you can add the sugar syrup without having to open the hive and the sugar syrup is just a combination of one-to-one ratio of organic sugar and hot water let it cool before feeding the bees next up are the two brood chambers these nine and five eighths inch boxes are going to be the core of your bees home within these two boxes the Queen will lay eggs which will turn into larvae pupae and immature bees. all of which are referred to as brood hence the name brood chambers or brood box these two brood boxes are where the bees will store their food to survive the winter a beekeeper will inspect the chambers to be sure that they’re healthy but you don’t want to steal the honey from these bottom two chambers if you want your bees to survive the winter once the bees have filled up these boxes to about 85% with brood and honey and that will take about 6 to 12 months then you can add an addition in order to keep the Queen in the brood chambers lay a queen excluder on top of the brood chambers.
the queen is much larger than the worker bees therefore she cannot fit through these narrow gaps but the workers can not for the sweet part these are the honey supers and these are 6 and 5/8 inch pine boxes that you’re going to add to the top of your chambers add one of these additions at a time to your bee hive
once your super is about 50% full of honey you can add another one you’ll notice that I’m setting up an eighth frame hive today this means that there’s eight of these wooden frames that the bees will draw their honeycomb onto in each box commercial apiaries will generally use a 10 frame super but those can be very heavy up to about 60 pounds and for the home beekeeper you want it a little bit more manageable when you take your super inside the house to harvest the honey the inner
cover is set on top of the last super it has a hole for ventilation and provides insulation from extreme heat and cold and at last the cover which will provide protection from rain and snow and in this case it’ll add a decorative feature to the garden optionally you can secure your hive with tie-downs or straps thispine hive is beautiful and if you want it to retain its function and appearance
it’s important to paint it before the bees arrive I’m going to paint mine with this natural non-toxic poly way clear varnish but you can use latex on the outside I’m starting with two hives and to make painting easier I’ve stacked all
the boxes one of the best tips for beginners is to start with two beehives like I’m doing today so that you can compare and contrast them over time helping you to better understand what
normal looks like since bees can differentiate between colors have some fun and paint your hives different colors if you wish and you’ll help your new bees better find their way home now that everything is dry my hives are ready for the bees I’m using the Redwood base the solid bottom board the entrance reducer to brood boxes the inner cover and the roof I’m going to store the two supers and the queen excluder until I need them so be a beekeeper and grow organic for life you