Below is a guide I put together for those that would ask how to start their own beehive.
I’m a beginner myself. There is a wealth of learning in beekeeping, and it’s almost never ending. I watched tons of hours of videos on Youtube before I got my hive, and I still didn’t realize what I didn’t know. If you are interested in beekeeping, I recommend you start watching to familiarize yourself, and build a love for it as well. I just love staring at bees doing their thing.
(Btw, you may want to check with your local ordinances to see if they allow bees.)
Here are some topics you should know just when starting out. Google search and YouTube are your friends here.
- Single Brood Box vs Double Brood Box (I do single)
- Stages of a bee’s life
- Smoking, and inspecting a hive
- How to open a hive
Other great topics you may need to know later:
- Queen mating cycle, how it works
- Enemies of bees
- Winterizing your hive
I would start with the UoG video channel (below). They seem to have the best educational method imho.
Much of the below is often sold in a set pre-assembled, unless you want to assemble things yourself, or want more custom setup and wax foundation.
- 10 Frame Brood Box (aka Deep)
- 10 Deep Frames
- Foundation - Plastic or Wax… your preference
- Inner and Outer Cover
- Bottom Board
- Optional: Screened Bottom Board
- Queen Excluder
- 1 x Super Box
- 10 Super Frames with Wax Foundation
Things to consider (preference):
- Do you want to paint/weatherproof the box yourself?
- Do you want to assemble the box and/or frames yourself?
- Do you care about plastic foundation vs wax foundation?
- If you want to build a box, you need to figure out how to make box joints.. well.
- Little Giant 10-Frame Deluxe Beginner Hive Kit Premium Beekeeping Starter Kit for Beginners (Item No. HIVE10KIT)
Working Equipment / Accessories
- Hive Tool, Brush, Smoker, etc
- Beekeeping Suit or Top, Gloves
Kind of hard to have a beehive without bees 😀. The time when you will be able to buy and start a beehive is March/April. You’ll want to find someone local and get a NUC or you can order package bees and a queen online.
- Craigslist Search: “Queen Bee”, “Queen Bees”, “NUC”, “NUCs”
You want to find a location that gets morning sun, typically in a South or South-East location. Once you pick a location, you will not be able to move the beehive more than 2ft!
Excellent YouTube Channels:
University of Guelph (UoG) Honeybee Research:
Frederick Dunn - Calming Voice and great close-ups:
Misc Beekeeping Notes
Reference websites with useful information for the backyard beekeeper.
Randy Oliver: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/
Feeding Methods & Overwintering: