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.

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