Hive Management Basics


You've prepared and waited to get your Bee Hive going. You've painted and prepped your hive boxes on the outside. Your suit is hanging and ready to wear.  You have your tools in your bucket waiting to work that beautiful first hive. Your Bees have arrived ...... Now what?

You may have ordered a package of Bees, or purchased a Nucleus (Nuc).  Your standing in front of your new hive ready to get started. You have already installed a sugar syrup feeder to get them started until they find their nectar flow while foraging. It's time.

If you ordered a package you are going to open the hive, lift the inner cover and shake the bees inside. If you have a Nuc you will be replacing five of your frames with the frames from the Nuc. You basically have installed a fully functioning mini hive ready to grow into a larger space.  ALWAYS wear protective gear. You will get stung, guaranteed so minimize the amount of stings by wearing your suit.

Once your Bees are placed in the hive and your frames are spaced evenly, you're going to close up your hive and let the Bees settle in. Place a level on top of the hive and make sure your hive is level. If you don't, you will have a very sticky mess on your hands once the nectar flow hits, and they are rapidly producing honey. Frames stuck together are no fun.  Shim your hive if you need to, but make sure it's level. The frames will need an inspection in about seven days to monitor their progress.  After the initial inspection, I inspect every 14 days. Do not over inspect. Your Bees may panic and abscond, leaving all Brood behind.

The first week in your hive's life is always an antsy time because your excited to manage your Bees. This is a great time to decide what management style you will be using. Short of neglect there is no wrong style. We all have Bees for different reasons. Just be consistent and always remember to put the Bees first.  The goal here is to perpetuate the species through proper management. This is a great time to connect with a local Beekeeping organization. Facebook also offers some great groups. They offer a lot of good feedback, occasional civil discourse, and great photos to use for reference. Bear in mind you're a newbie; you can customize the information to your local experience.

It is important to remember a few key points..
1. Not all Queens are created or Creating equally.
2. Inspection is the only way to keep your hive strong and healthy.
3. Be protected
4. Use the proper tools.
5. Parasite management is a must!
6. Educate your neighbors to prevent misunderstanding and false assumptions.

Awareness is critical.  As a Beekeeper you are in a position to make a positive impact in your local area, both in pollination and education. Take every opportunity to properly educate your neighbors and friends. People are starting to realize how important our pollinators are. Take advantage of it and grow.

Remember, every hive itself is different. Genetics do matter and will determine the level of aggression in your hive.  Respect other management styles, and ask lots of questions from seasoned Beekeepers. Enjoy your Bees!

Be a Beekeeper and not a Bee-Haver! Good Beekeepers continue to learn and grow. Expect to sweat, it's always worth it.

I will be expanding on these topics in the upcoming podcast so tune in and shoot me some questions. That's why Honey Bee My Teacher is here. For YOU!




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