There aren’t many projects on our homestead that bring us as much satisfaction as our bee hives do. For a small start-up investment in beekeeping supplies, and the initial hives, this addition to our farm has really paid off. We have two hives and on average we collect about four to six gallons of honey each year. That is plenty to supply our needs along with allowing us to give some away as gifts at Christmas time.
Bees need only minimal attention and a little feeding during the winter to keep them going strong. We have an abundant supply of wild flowers, fruit blossoms, shrubs, trees and even weeds that they use as sources for nectar. We keep them happy and in return they pollinate our garden each and every year.
Some of their favorite blossoms are:
- Fruit Trees
When we got started keeping bees we purchased the bare minimum and continued to build our supplies as the years went on. We set up our first hive in early spring so they had plenty of time to build their hive before the honey started to flow. We started with two hives of Italian bees. Over the years we have added extra supers and frames. We have a stream that runs on the back of our property, but we also make sure we supply them with clean fresh water closer to the hive.
Here is a beginner beekeeping supply list that we started out with:
Most likely you will need to wait a year for your first honey harvest, but when you do you will wonder what took you so long to get starting with beekeeping!
There are great resources online to purchase bees, but we found we had the most luck when we purchased our bees from local bee apiaries. This prevents the bees from coming into a climate they are not used to and they won’t have to overcome the stress that shipping can cause.
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