Have you ever thought of ways you can become more self-sufficient? Well, if you have not done it, then you definitely should. There are several ways to do this and many of them focus on making or raising your own food. For some, this means having your own farm with livestock and animals, but that is not the only way you can raise your own food.
Another is learning how to breed bees, which can provide honey and beeswax. These products are healthy and have several uses. Even more, it can help with pollination around, so it’s helping the whole community.
Starting with bees means that you need to create your own colony. This means making sure you create the right habitats for your bees so they can survive and create a complete colony. After all, you’re only going to start relatively small. It will depend on your bees to make the colony take off and make sure that they are going to build on what you have created in something that provides them enough for them and for you at the same time.
Starting the colony
First, you need to make sure you have your hives. In the wild, you’ve probably seen bees hives that look like giant or cinnamon balls with small holes on all sides for bees to enter. But, of course, you’re not going to build something like that. Instead, you will want a structure that facilitates the entry and exit of bees, but it will also make it easier for you to get honey when it is ready. A traditional hive does not make it easy and you would have to break the hive to enter.
You have the option to buy an already complete hive that can save you a lot of time in the long run, but it will cost you much more money just to get started. These precompiled hives will be ready so you only have to find a place to place them and install your bees.
So if you are a little pressed for time, it will help you. Just make sure you know how the hive works and how to extract the honey before putting the bees. You do not want to find yourself pulling the hive just because you wanted to get something out.
If you decide to build your own hive, you will have to invest a good amount of time in it. The benefit is that it will have a lower cost and you will also know everything there is to know about your hive before putting bees into it. This is great because when you try to extract wax and honey, you can do it faster and that means less chance of being stung or hurting your bees.
The construction process
The first part of your hive is the supers. These are the boxes that the bees are going to build inside. Do you know the structures that you see outside? That will still be where the bees live, but inside the box instead of hanging from a tree or on the roof. You must make sure you have about 1 or 2 of these supers and each one will contain between 8 and 10 frames so that the bees build the rest of their hive to contain all the honey.
The boxes must not have an upper or lower part because the bees need to be able to cross them and build them. Remember that the hive should not be completely square. You want to build it in a rectangular shape and make sure you use one end of slot and slot to connect all the joints.
Of course, these hikes are only part of the hive. You will also need additional supers that are called honey supers. This is where the honey is really going to settle and that’s important so you can easily get it out.
Their hikes of honey are going to be shallow to medium, much shorter than the deep hikes we have already discussed. You want to put everything above the depths, but with an exclusive queen in the middle (of which we will talk shortly). The honey supers will allow your bees to accumulate their wax and honey and that will be a great thing because you will want a lot of honey from your colony. It will definitely help them build things too.
So now he wants to assemble the pieces and that will require a bit of waterproof wood glue to help them latch. Use a clamp to keep the pieces together until the glue dries. Once you are all together, you will be ready to install the lower table. This is going to be an easy piece because it’s just a small piece of shielded wood that has slightly raised edges.
You probably want two of these pieces or you can make a reversible one, which means that you have the same distance between the screen and the two raised edges. Having two can be difficult because you have to keep the second, but with a reversible piece you can flip it when you need it.
Make sure you create a door that is about? one inch wide and that can be reduced to around 0.38 inches when it’s cold. You do not want your bees to get too cold in the winter and that will definitely happen if your door is too wide. Anything larger will also allow the entry of rodents and that will be detrimental to your hive and the bees you are trying to grow. So be sure to keep the door small enough to prevent unwanted pests from entering.
Next, you’ll need the queen excluder we talked about earlier. The exclusionary is extremely important and extremely complex as well. That means you need to buy one instead of trying to buy it. The excluder fits between the different types of supers and ensures that the queen stays in the deep deep supers instead of getting into the super of honey. You do not want her to get in the way while the workers are doing their job, after all. Therefore, having an adequate excluder will be important to achieve that goal.
Once you have everything ready, you will need covers and frames. These are easy to buy and quite cheap, so you must pick them up to match correctly. The inner cover fits inside the box and includes a hole for the bees to enter. The cover that goes over it is going to be made of metal, so when the weather is bad, you can cover it and help keep your bees safer. . It needs to fit in the top of the box and on the sides so that it stays comfortable no matter what happens.
The frames are made of wire and wood and can be difficult to do correctly. So buying them is usually the easiest option. Once you’re ready to put it together, you’ll want to have around 8-10 for each of your 2 deep supers and a 6-8 for your honey super. Next, prepare your stand and start putting the pieces together. You want the hive to stay off the ground because otherwise it is easy for the animals to enter or terrorize their bees. You can even set it up on a table if you want.
Place the support where you want. Place the lower table and then the deep supers followed by the queen’s excluder. Now you are ready to add the honey hikes and finish with the cover. It will be a little more work to get your bees in there and make sure they are going to start adapting well to their new hive, but it will not take as long as you think. It will also not take long before he is ready to do things with his hive and is bringing honey for the family.
Getting your bees
Actually, it’s pretty easy to get bees for your hive. In fact, you can buy bees through a mail order system where you will get approximately 3 pounds of bees and that will include a queen. You need a queen for your bees because they are the ones that keep workers moving.
They are also the ones that bees and worker drones will follow, so if your queen leaves, the rest of your bees will go with her. She is the one you need to be happy while running the hive.
The key when you have your bees is to make sure to place the queen inside the box first and then insert the bees still in their box inside the hive. They will go out and then release their queen. Once this happens, you can take the boxes out of the hive and set them up properly and you will be on the right track to run your own hive.
The queen will remain in the hive at all times and while there, workers and drones will continue to do what they are supposed to do to keep her happy. That means they will build the hive the way they want with the honeycombs to store the honey they produce and produce a lot.
Caring for your bees
The best thing you can do is let your bees do almost everything on their own. They are created for this type of work. They carry out all the tasks they must do to create honey simply because it is an intrinsic part of who they are. You do not need to do much about it and really all you have to do is take out the honey when it’s ready and make sure there are flowers or other crops nearby so that the bees do not have to travel far when they’re looking for food. Work is easier and your reward is much better at the same time.
If it looks like your bees are running out of honey, make sure you feed them. Make sure you use the honey that came from your own hive or the honey that came from another hive and not from the store (yes, we know it also comes from a hive, but it has been treated and processed from the moment you left the hive and the time it was sold to you in that store).
Your bees do not want and can not process that kind of honey. Instead, make sure you fill a plate with honey (do not try to put it in your hive) and leave it near them so they can get it easily. This will help them stay whole during the season.
Harvesting your honey
To make a harvest, you must make sure to use a smoker. This is a small can that burns branches or hay and produces smoke in the puffs. That smoke prevents you from being attacked, which is important when you try to harvest the honey. Make sure to just spray a couple of puffs on the entire hive to slow down and sedate the bees. Too much smoke could hurt them and that’s definitely not what you’re looking for.
You should have a couple of extra supers in which you can slide the frames and some additional frames to replace the ones you are going to take out. You may even want to put a cloth on your frames so you do not end up with insects crawling through your honey when you try to take it.
Once you have everything ready, you can open the lid of the hive just a little and smoke. Open slowly and you will see that the bees buzz calmly around the bottom or even that they are lying near the bottom. Remember to just inflate a little smoke and then let them go for a minute. They will calm down fast.
Take one box at a time and observe the combs there. You will see some that are sealed and others that are not. If they are sealed, that means you have honey. If not, you have nectar and those frames are not yet ready to be removed. Slide these frames into the envelopes that you have set aside and then inspect what you have left. Get rid of any beehives that are being built outside the frames and clean up any excess debris.
Now you want to place the new frames and close the hive so that everything is ready for when your bees return to what they have been doing (and on the slightly sleepy haze in which you have placed them). You are ready to harvest the honey and they will return to work. Make sure you never get all the honey out of the hive because your bees also need some of that. You want to leave something for them and want to make sure that you are leaving any frame that contains the baby (eggs laid by the queen) instead of honey too.
If you have an extractor, it will help you more with your honey. All you need to do is lightly press a hot knife over the honey caps and make sure to do it very quickly. This helps loosen the lids so you can remove them and then the frame goes directly to the extractor. Once you’ve done that, you can close it and let it go. The extractor sucks up all the honey and allows you to disperse it through a colander with a small nozzle, as in the refrigerators that most people use in picnics.
Place it through the strainer or sieve to get rid of the wax or anything else you do not want in the honey you are going to eat and place it in a bucket. Now you are ready to sit around 12 hours so you can settle and then pour it into jars to store until you are ready to use it.
Setting up your own hive and managing a colony will not be for everyone, but it is something you can definitely do if you are interested in working. The bees will provide you with honey and wax that can be used for different purposes and they will also help you to pollinate the flowers and the crops so that you can obtain a bigger harvest and everything comes from learning how to raise honey bees.
DO IT YOURSELF