It’s time to think about bees

It’s the middle of winter and many people might not be thinking about honey bees, but I am, and if you are interested in getting started, you should be too. Now’s the time to find a source of bees, whether it be ordering a package or two, or hooking up with someone who will be selling nucs. I drove up to Betterbee on friday and picked up a box of a hundred deep frames and two boxes of mediums.

It used to be that you could get your bees ordered by sometime in  January or February, then think about equipment as spring came. There has been a surge in the number of people getting into bees in the last five or so years, and some of the suppliers still haven’t caught on and been ready for the demand. I’d advise you to order equipment now too. It will give you time to assemble and paint, and become familiar with the many hive components. There are so many choices to make and none are really wrong as long as you match things up properly, and the catalogs are a wealth of information, as is calling a supplier and asking questions.

You can also look right here in this blog for answers to some of your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask.

I’ve also been busy working on a book for Storey Publishing about building your own hives and bee equipment. Writing a book about something is actually much harder than just doing it. You have to explain in words and pictures how to do something with your hands and machinery. After I had much of the writing done on different components, and had many items built, it was still a daunting task to figure out how to organize it all, draw sketches and take photographs. Once I found my groove, everything is falling into place. I have a deadline of the end of February and I imagine their end of the process will take months as well. Hopefully, the first printing will be out toward the end of this year or early next year. All of my hard work will pay off for fellow beekeepers, since they will be able to reap the benefits of my trials and errors. So far it has been very satisfying work.

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About Beekeeping in the Berkshires

Here at Berkshire Farms Apiary we've been keeping bees and making honey since 2005, with hives in most of the surrounding towns. We also make pure beeswax candles, lip balm, and hand salve, as well as give presentations. As secretary of the Northern Berkshire Beekeepers Association, I am very active in the local beekeeping community.
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