Beekeeping is a hobby and a trade loved by many. But it is also still widely misunderstood by many, especially the communities in more urban areas. With a rising trend in environmental awareness over the past few decades, the general education about the essential role bees have as a part of our planet has increased. Their presence, or lack thereof, affects not just the ecosystem, but our everyday lives.
You’re thinking about becoming a beekeeper. Beekeeping is a rewarding hobby, but it’s incredibly essential to educate yourself thoroughly on being a responsible beekeeper.
Understand there must be a shift in your mindset when thinking about becoming a beekeeper. It is a HUGE responsibility. You cannot simply just “have bees” and expect them to flourish. A responsible beekeeper, no matter the purpose of their hives, keeps up with the maintenance and care of their bees.
Beekeepers need to be fully committed to their work. Not only is there a commitment to the initial investment of getting started—the necessary equipment, the cost of the bees, the structure for the hives, but there is also the commitment to time, energy, and continual education of being a beekeeper.
The first and main thing you need to do is do your research. You are not going to know every bit of knowledge about keeping bees in one internet search. It takes time to educate yourself.
We recommend that anyone interested in becoming a beekeeper join a local beekeeping club. Whether you know it or not, almost every state has a beekeepers’ association and many, many communities have beekeeping clubs and offer classes on the ins and outs of keeping bees.
Before you Start
When working with bees, your number one priority needs to be safety. No one really wants to get stung if it can be avoided, therefore your first and most important piece of equipment needed will be a suit and gloves. Although some beekeepers may choose to go without protective gear, they will have it on hand in case they are needed. Bees are wild. Even the most docile of hives can have a bad day and become a serious danger. If you haven’t spent a lot of time around an active hive, you may feel a little intimidated by your new hobby and protective gear can ease that tension. The next pieces of equipment needed will be your tools. This will consist of a hive tool and a smoker. The hive tool is your number one tool as it is used in breaking seals on your lids and arranging and inspecting your frames in the hive. The second and last tool is the smoker. Although not necessary, is used to create smoke to calm unruly and aggravated bees for their safety and yours.
Finding a suitable location for your hives will be extremely important for the success of your bees. You want an open location with little to no shade preferably facing east, the sooner the sun comes up on them the sooner they are up and heading to work. They should be in a location with plenty of access to water without being too close to any flooding areas. Also, for safety reasons, be sure your hives are at a safe distance from neighbors and livestock.
Housing is going to be your most important piece of equipment when it comes to your bees. I mean, they need a home, right? To start, you will need what is called a deep-brood box with 10 frames with foundation, a bottom and a lid. Another form of housing is called a nuc or nucleous colony.
Nuc (Nucleus Colonies)
Nucs are made from larger honey bee colonies. They contain only 5 frames of foundation. They are great for starting new hives after a split. We use nucs to split off of our larger hives to create the new hives that we sale. Once the bees have completely filled the nuc boxes with brood, eggs, honey and pollen they are ready for their permanent homes in the deep-brood boxes.
As said above we do sell nucs, or nucleus colonies. Each nuc we sell comes with 5 frames of worker bees, a new queen, eggs, larvae, pollen and honey. Unfortunately, we do not sell the actual nuc boxes but we do have temporary nucs boxes for sale to transfers your bees in.
Since nucs are pick-up only here are a few options we have for you:
For local buyers, you can drop off your 5/8/10 frame box at any time. Make sure to leave your name and phone number under the lid. You will also need to be certain you come with top, bottom, and strap to hold everything together along with a closure for the entrance. We will call you when filled.
You can purchase one of our temporary boxes for $25 to transport your bee’s home.
You also have the option to bring your own box on pickup day and we can transfer the bees into your box at no additional charge.
Nucs will be held on site for pick up in Aliceville, Alabama.
You can call us anytime for more information or to order one of our nucs.
Click here to purchase a nuc(s)
Bringing Home Your Nuc
When you get home with your 5 Frame Nucs, place them next to your prepared box. Remove all frames from your prepared box. Gently remove each frame of bees and place them in the center of your ten frame box. You will then add five of your remaining frames to each side of the box. (ex. two frames on one side and three frames on the other side).
As your new hive buzzes with life, you will want to do frequent checks on the health of the bees and the queen.
And be active! Connect with other beekeepers in your area or online. Not everyone understands the life of a beekeeper, but the ones who do can offer some great insight and camaraderie in the shared art of beekeeping.
Do you need help with Bee Keeping? Fill out this form to get in touch.
12830 Hilda Drive
McCalla, AL 35111
9:00am – 4:30pm
12830 Hilda Drive,McCalla, AL 3511