Beekeeping FAQ


Photo: Dan Wyns

Photo: Dan Wyns

So you want to be a beekeeper? Beekeeping is an amazing, even transcendental, experience for a lot of people. However, it can also be heartbreaking, expensive, and very time consuming. Before you invest in bees, invest in becoming a beekeeper. Spend your time and money on taking classes and workshops, reading books and trade magazines, and heading to conferences and bee schools before you swarm in to the bee world.

Once you do take up the hive tool, you’ll need bees, equipment, and always more community and knowledge.

WHERE DO I FIND THE BEES?

Southern Oregon & Northern California Resources

Not in Southern Oregon or Northern California?

Click here to find a beekeepers association near you to help you find bees.

WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?

- Main hive (where the colony of bees live, not where you take honey): usually two deep boxes per hive, or one deep and two medium supers.

- For honey for you: Any combination of mediums, shallows, or comb supers (start with two per hive, and don’t add until the main hive is completely full of bees and drawn comb).

- Bottom board

- Telescoping lid

- Inner cover with a hole in the center of the lid

- Frames for all (10 or 8 per box – note that nucs come with 4-5 frames)

- Veil and helmet

- Gloves

- Suit or jacket

- Smoker

- Smoker fuel (phone book paper and animal bedding wood shavings work fine)

- Hive tool (I prefer the j-hook)

- Small metal trash can with a lid for hot smoker embers

- Hose, fire extinguisher, or other water source near by incase of smoker accident

- Sting kit: Claritin, Allegra, lavender essential oil, sting relief gel, cortisone (consult doctor about an epi pen).

Here’s a good link that will tell you what the heck we’re talking about (yes, beekeeping is a foreign language).

NOW, HOW DO I DO THIS?

Bee Girl Beekeeping Classes

The Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association

Oregon Master Beekeepers Program

University of Montana Online Beekeeping Certificate Program

Click Here to Find Mentorship Near You

Reading and Research

Randy Oliver's scientificbeekeeping.com

First Lessons in Beekeeping, by Keith S. Delaplane

Storey’s Guide to Keeping Honey Bees, by Malcolm Sanford

The Hive and the Honey Bee

Natural Beekeeping, by Ross Conrad

Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, by Dewey Caron

Honey Bee Democracy, by Tom Seeley

American Bee Journal & Bee Culture Magazines

Beginning Beekeeping Resources

Comparison of TBH VS. Langstroth Hives

Spikenard Farm Healing Tea for Honey Bees ~ Feeding Instructions

Purchase Spikenard Bee Tea

Winter candy boards here and here