Sunday, November 18, 2018

Starting Backyard Beekeeping


Turkish version of this blog post: Ariciliga Baslamak.

I've got many questions about how to start backyard beekeeping. Here, I would like to compile some information and share.

All you need is a small space (4  in your garden, ideally out of sight, un-used space. It is strongly advised to start with 2 hives at least.

Sprint(end of March - April) is the time to place the bees into their new homes. With this target, we can come up with a schedule:

 - December-January: Educate yourself. Books and Youtube.
 - January: Order bee packages.
 - February: Order hives and beekeeping tools.
 - March: Place the hives to their final place.
 - end of March - April: Place the bees into the hives.

Here is the shopping list to start beekeeping with two hives. Grand total is about $1000.

2 Packages of Bees

 Option-1) 2x$150 Bee Kind
 Option-2) 2x$120 Beekeepers’ Guild of San Mateo County 

2 Hives

Option-1) Sub-Total $540 Kelley Bees
 10x$26 10-Frame Medium (Illinois) Super - Select Grade Pine, Assembled, Painted
 100x$1.75 Medium Frame - F Style, Assembled
 2x$16 10-Frame Solid Bottom Board
 2x$26 10-Frame Outer Cover - Wood and Metal, Painted
 2x$11 10-Frame Wooden Inner Cover

Option-2)  Sub-Total $500 Mann Lake (Boxes unassemabled)
 2x$77 Medium(6 5/8") 10-frame Select Grade Box - Case of 5
 5x$51 Medium(6 1/4") Assembled Frames - With Natural Waxed Rite-Cell - Case of 20
 2x$35 10 Frame Telescoping Cover With Inner Cover
 2x$16 10 Frame Bottom Board/Reducer

Beekeeping Tools

Sub-Total: $160 Mann Lake
 $100 Vented Jacket with Veil
 $40 Smoker - With Guard - Wood Bellow
 $12 Wood Pellet Smoker Fuel
 $10 Hive tool

Reading list

Earlier post with a reading list.

Top-Bar Beekeeping: Go natural all the way to the Top-Bar hives.
- Book: Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health. Les Crowder, Heather Harrell.
- Video: Les Crowder Top Bar Beekeeping.

Natural beekeeping with Langstroth hives.
- Book: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping, Dean Stiglitz, Laurie Herboldsheimer.

The books above are proponent of treatment-free beekeeping, and I am following this practice.

I also took some courses from Randy Oliver, who supports treatments and chemicals for beekeeping and works scientifically: First year beekeeping.

Michael Bush's website has also tons of information: Personal Beekeeping Philosophy.

A must have reference book.
- Book: The Beekeeper's Handbook, Diana Sammataro, Alphonse Avitabile.

Youtube videos: Backyard beekeeping for beginners.

Ariciliga Baslamak


English version of this blog post: Starting Backyard Beekeeping.

Ariciliga baslamak isteyenler oldu. Bana sorduklarini derleyip herkes ile paylasmak istedim burada.

Bahcenizde 2 m^2 gibi kucuk bir alan, ideal olarak gozden uzak ayak alti olmayan bir yer yeterli olacaktir. Mutlaka ve mutlaka iki kovan ile baslamaniz tavsiye edilir.

Arilari, kovanlarina yerlestirme zamani ilkbahar(Mart sonu-Nisan) gibi. Buna gore soyle bir plan yapilabilir:

- Aralik-Ocak: Kendinizi egitme. Kitap ve Youtube.
- Ocak: Ari siparisi verme.
- Subat: Kovan siparisi verme. Aricilik malzemeleri siparisi verme.
- Mart: Kovanlari bahceye yerlestirme.
- Mart sonu - Nisan ortasi: Arilari kovanlara yerlestirme.

Alisveris listesi olarak sunu onerebilirim. Iki kovan ari icin toplam $1000.


2 Kutu Ari

 Secenek-1) 2x$150 Bee Kind
 Secenek-2) 2x$120 Beekeepers’ Guild of San Mateo County 

2 Kovan

Secenek-1) Ara-Toplam $540 Kelley Bees
 10x$26 10-Frame Medium (Illinois) Super - Select Grade Pine, Assembled, Painted
 100x$1.75 Medium Frame - F Style, Assembled
 2x$16 10-Frame Solid Bottom Board
 2x$26 10-Frame Outer Cover - Wood and Metal, Painted
 2x$11 10-Frame Wooden Inner Cover

Secenek-2)  Ara-Toplam $500 Mann Lake (Boxes unassemabled)
 2x$77 Medium(6 5/8") 10-frame Select Grade Box - Case of 5
 5x$51 Medium(6 1/4") Assembled Frames - With Natural Waxed Rite-Cell - Case of 20
 2x$35 10 Frame Telescoping Cover With Inner Cover
 2x$16 10 Frame Bottom Board/Reducer

Beekeeping Tools

Ara-Toplam: $160 Mann Lake
 $100 Vented Jacket with Veil
 $40 Smoker - With Guard - Wood Bellow
 $12 Wood Pellet Smoker Fuel
 $10 Hive tool

Okuma Listesi

Onceki blog yazisi.

Kara Kovan ile aricilik: En dogal hali.
- Kitap: Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health. Les Crowder, Heather Harrell.
- Video: Les Crowder Top Bar Beekeeping.

Modern kovanlar ile dogal aricilik.
- Kitap: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping, Dean Stiglitz, Laurie Herboldsheimer.

Yukaridaki iki kitap ilacsiz aricilik felsefesi dogrultusunda yazilmis, ve ben de bunlari takip ediyorum.

Ilac kullanma taraftari olup da bilimsel calisan Randy Oliver var. Ben ondan da ders almistim: First year beekeeping.

Michael Bush'un internet sayfasinda bi ton bilgi var: Personal Beekeeping Philosophy.

Referans kitabi: The Beekeeper's Handbook, Diana Sammataro, Alphonse Avitabile.

Youtube videolari: Backyard beekeeping for beginners.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pointers for Starting Backyard Beekeeping



I have found very nice articles for starting backyard beekeeping:


Please read these articles and watch some YouTube videos about backyard beekeeping.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why honey at supermarkets don't taste good?



One of local beekeeper has nicely explained:
"This is why our honey tastes so good to people used to buying grocery store junk!"
Nation's Biggest Honey Packer Admits 'Laundering' Chinese Honey:
"Two big honey packers admitted buying millions of dollars worth of honey that was falsely labeled. The goal of this mislabeling was to acquire cheap honey from China."
Read further: Dan Charles' report.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Another category of beekeeping practice: "Do nothing"



Looks like there is another category of beekeeping practice: Do nothing.

I am fourth year beekeeper, and I do "do nothing":

No hard/soft chemicals, no drugs, no organic acids, no herbs, no sugar powder, no feeding, no plastic/beewax foundation, no cut drones brood out...

Basically, I don't care about the mites, as long as I provide my bees a cozy home that they would find in the wild, I am done. The only thing that goes into my hives is wood.

It works for me, I only lost couple of hives out of 18 hives last winter, I harvested more than 500 lb of honey last year, more than I can eat/distribute/donate...

My bees are happy with me doing nothing...


Friday, January 15, 2016

Starting Beekeeping with Top Bar Hives



Decide whether "To treat or not to treat." This is the single most important question to answer for a beekeeper, and it may take a long time to reach a conclusion, but learn both schools of thought, read books, watch YouTube videos, talk to experienced beekeepers.

Next, decide what equipment to use:

  • If you decide you are going to treat, then I suggest modern Langstroth hives. You can still treat with TBHs, but it is easier and more convenient with Langstroth hives.
  • If you decide not to treat, then you are fine with both Langstroth hives and TBHs.
  • If you are good at woodworking, then I strongly suggest to go with TBHs. In the long run, your equipment expenses will be minimal. Beside, being able to build all the necessary equipments on your own feels so ensuring.
  • For the Langstroth hives, use only medium boxes and medium frames. Mixing up with deeps and shallows will bring nothing but trouble at the end.

Here are few pointers to help you understand further details:



At this point, if you decide "Not to treat" and use TBH, then learn more about Les Crowder, who is a strong proponent of no-treatment beekeeping and TBHs.


I have built my own THBs according to Les' plan. If you are interested in pre-built assembled (Les Crowder's) THBs, check with me, I try to have few extra THBs ready and available all the time.

If you want to buy TBHs on internet, here are few options:


Monday, August 17, 2015

Dog Detecting American Foulbrood


American foulbrood is a bacterial disease, highly contagious and very destructive to honey bee colonies.

Here is Klinker, a dog detecting American foulbrood just by sniffing the hive outside. She is the only certified dog in the United States that can detect this disease.

Read further: This special dog is saving our bees. She's the only one that can.