Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bee Keeping 101 (Part 4)

This little guy kept waving his leg at me as I took his picture :)

Have you read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 yet?

Equipment Needed for Hive

Sugar Water Feeder- This attaches to the entrance to the hive and is needed when starting a new hive and also if there is a stretch of rainy/cold weather as bees do not forage in the rain. If used in the spring/summer make a 1:1 mixture and for the fall a 2:1 as they need a higher sugar content to prepare the hive for winter. (They need 40-80 lbs. of honey to get them through the winter!)

Smoker- This is an essential tool to calm the bees before working the hive. Start a fire inside with pine needles, grass, tree bark, etc. and give the bees a few puffs before going into the hive.

Hive Tool- This is useful in prying apart the honey supers (as the bees will “caulk” the cracks shut with propolis in the fall) and can also be used for pulling the frames out of the honey supers.

Safety Equipment

Full-body suit for around $80 including a hat and veil that attach to the suit. You do not need to buy the full suit as they can be hot in the summer. If not using the full suit, wear a hat/veil/jacket and long heavy jeans that are tight at ankle (use Velcro or tape).

Jacket with hat and veil for around $50-60

Gloves $16-20 (you can use dishwashing gloves or latex gloves)

Other Note: When working the hive wear light colors or white. Dark colors can agitate the bees.

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