Presentation on theme: "Beginner Beekeeping – Week 1 Getting ready to start."— Presentation transcript:
Beginner Beekeeping – Week 1 Getting ready to start
Spring What do I need? Where do I get it? How do I start? And what’s it all about?
Bees build comb from wax
The use the comb for storage of brood (babies) and food
The Challenge of Spring Like many animals in the spring the hive wants to make a new hive They make queen cells and prepare for swarming. Allowing them to do this tends to freak out the neighbors!
A more controlled method: A package is an imitation swarm 3 pounds of bees and a caged queen A nucleus colony (“nuc”) is a miniature hive 4 or 5 frames with brood, resources, and a laying queen
Summer Inspections for queen and brood health, pest management, always thinking about winter What am I doing here? How often should I get in? What can go wrong? Am I going to get stung? Am I going to get any honey?
Fall Pulling honey supers Treating for Varroa mites* Preparing for winter *If you learn only one thing from this class, learn about Varroa mites!
For the coming spring Learning... and waiting... Winter When the cycle begins again
Equipment – Necessary and nice [here is where you need to make some choices] Necessary Parts Bottom board ◦ Use a screened one ◦ With an entrance reducer Hive Bodies ◦ 2 Deeps vs. 3 Mediums Honey Supers ◦ medium, or shallow Inner Cover ◦ Two sided, with a dado Telescoping Outer Cover ◦ “English Garden” Style, or galvanized Frames ◦ 8 vs. 10 Foundation ◦ Beeswax vs. Plastic Recommended Parts Hive stand with landing board ◦ with legs, or other support Slatted Bottom Board ◦ Helps with swarm prevention and overwintering Some kind of feeder * We strongly recommend you start with two hives
Tools – Necessary and nice Necessary Tools Smoker ◦ And fuel Hive Tool ◦ Good, better, or best Protective Gear ◦ Veil (with or without jacket) ◦ Gloves ◦ Leg Straps ◦ Or a full suit (not really necessary) Spray bottle (for packages, or swarms) Recommended Tools Smoker box ◦ Ammo box from the Army store Queen Catcher ◦ Metal vs. plastic Bee Brush Reading Glasses Queen marking kit Wintergreen Alcohol (a really good idea)
Sources of Supply Local vs. catalog ◦ The Honey Exchange ◦ Brown’s Bee Farm ◦ Humble Abodes ◦ Bee Pride ◦ Brushy Mountain ◦ Betterbee We’re not fans of all- inclusive “Beginner Kits” ◦ Bees Packages vs Nucleus Buzz Cooper Swan’s Merrimack (978) Bob Egan Check out the Maine State Beekeeper’s website
Join the Club! Register with the state June 1 st ◦ Bookmark Tony Jadczak, save his Maine State Beekeepers Association ◦ The best $15 you can spend The Bee Line Cumberland County (or York Co.) Beekeepers Association ◦ The best $4 you can spend ◦ Get a mentor
Neighbor Management Like it or not, you will become a Bee Ambassador Camouflage, vs. visibility ◦ Put your name and number on your hives Site selection ◦ Flyway barriers ◦ Water source Read the South Portland Beekeeping Ordinance, even if you don’t live in South Portland