Spring will be here before you know it, and whether you’re a master beekeeper or just starting to explore your newfound love for bees, here are some helpful tips for spring preparation.
For the beginning beekeeper:
- Join a local beekeepers association to become connected in the community, and gain invaluable insight from seasoned keepers.
- Once you know the basics of beekeeping, you’ll need to decide what type of hive is right for you.
- Get your bees! You can pre-order bee packages from us (pick up at our Portland brick and mortar location only), or find a treatment-free apiary near you!
- After you’ve purchased your bees, it’s wise to invest in a beekeeping starter kit . Our kit includes a hat and veil, gloves, a brush, a stainless steel smoker and an Ultimate Top Bar Hive Tool. Just about everything you need to start a successful hive!
- Another, arguably better approach to procuring bees is to bait a swarm using lemongrass oil , which contains many of the same compounds found in the pheromone that scout bees release when they’ve found a suitable hive. Putting it at the entrance of your hive, or in a nuc box , increases the chance that a swarm will choose to make it their new home! More information about baiting and trapping swarms can be found in the book “ Swarm Traps and Bait Hives ”.
Now, if you’re saying “All this is great, but I’m a veteran”...
First and foremost, reinforce your hive with tung oil. Tung oil is a natural, chemical-free way of increasing the longevity of your hive. Ours is 100% pure with no chemical additives, unlike many tung oils on the market.
It’s always a great time to invest in some new harvesting equipment as well. We recommend the crush-and-strain system, and our bucket strainer system does the job well for harvesting honey from natural comb. Or, if you want to eat your honey straight out of the comb, use a comb cutter to prepare it!
- Interested in using your wax? Harness the power of the sun and melt it down with our Solar Wax Melter to fulfill any of your wax crafting needs.
- Now that you know your stuff and have an established routine with your hive, why not do it in style? Straight out of Germany, the Rauchboy Smoker is one of the highest quality smokers out there--and did we mention how beautiful it is?
- This time of year is also great for reflecting on your experiences with your hive, and appreciating all the highs and lows. Winged: New Writing on Bees is a great way to prompt this appreciation, as it’s poetry reflects beautifully on the timeless relationship between bees and humanity.
- Need a new calendar for the start of 2016? How about one of our beautiful Lark Press honeycomb calendars
We at Bee Thinking are so grateful to be constantly surrounded by passionate and world-wise beekeepers like yourselves, and we are truly looking forward to waggling through 2016 with you!