Helpful Education Tools
Honey Producers. Bee Suppliers. Bee Clubs . Beginning Equipment .
Hive Inspections. Checklist for Inspection. Recommended Texts. What to Plant for Bees. Brood Development. Mite Counts.
Link to Bee Pollinators of Oregon
Link to: Oregon Apiary Registration
Link to: Residential Beekeeping Rules in Oregon
About those Swarms...
Oregon and Northern California Honey Producers and Bee Suppliers
Bee-Licious Honey: Portland, Oregon (honey producer): www.beelicioushoney.com
Bella Beek. Women's Beekeeping and Protective Clothing. www.bellabeek.com
Davitt Apiaries: Klamath Falls, Oregon (Klamath Basin Beekeepers Ass'n): www.davitt.com
Fonta Molyneaux. Wild Everlasting Farm. 541.592.9433. www.wildeverlasting.com
Diggin' Livin': Cave Junction, Oregon (honey, jun, instruction): www.digginlivinnaturalfoodsfarmdeli.com
Franz Honeybees: Gold Hill, Oregon. https://www.facebook.com/franz-honeybees
Mike Miller Bee Supplies, Grants Pass, Oregon (boxes, instruction, honey, bees)
Noah's Bees and Products: Grants Pass, Oregon (full service): https://www.facebook.com/noahsbees
Chico Honey Company (www.chicohoneyco.com) //
Olivarez Bees, (www.OHBEES.com) Orland, California - Queen Bees available year round : 877.865.0298
Wild Bee Honey Farm / The Oregon Bee Store, Eagle Point, Oregon (full service): www.oregonbeestore.com
Aragon Apiaries (local)
Site Selection & Equipment List for Beekeeping - Year 1
We teach using a Langstroth Hive although there are other types of hives. Some of the other types are:
The Land Around your Bees
It is imperative that you have adequate forage for your bees and enough water to keep the plants in bloom. Further these must be blooms that they (not you) like - in enough quantity and diversity that the bees will be adquately nourished. There must be lots of blooms in each season: Spring, Summer and Fall (click here to go to Xerces Society's excellent plant list for your bioregion). Click Here to go to additional resources. Bees will forage in a 2 to 5 mile range which means that if you are in range of agrochemicals, the Bees and Honey will likely be affected in some way. Look for lands that are not tilled and avoid those "protected" with agrochemicals, if possible.
If you don't already have information about pesticides, fungucides, herbicides, and their effects, you will need to read up so that you can be proactive in advocating for your bees. If you have neighbors using pesticides it may be helpful to find out what they are using and what time of the day and date they use it. You may need to keep your bees confined for a period of time providing that they have adequate air flow and are not likely to overheat.
Soil, Farming, Restoration:
Some Farmers are returning to Regenerative Farming Practices which advocate principles that minimize pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers, overuse and loss of water resources through destructive tilling in favor of Composting, Soil Health through Biomimicry, Beneficial Insects (including beneficial Nematodes), Companion Planting, Strip-Till, No-Till Methods, Cover Cropping and Dry Farming. There is obviously much to be gained by such practices. Additionally, there is much to be gained from planting organic, non-neonicotinoid, non-CRISPR (Genome Edited) altered seeds and plants.
Equipment for Langstroth Users:
You must have some sort of protective equipment that covers at least your face and head (this minimal approach is for the very hardy! We recommend a full bee suit with gloves). You will also need a hive tool, smoker, and a Langstroth Deep hive box with all its component frames, bottom board (preferably a screened bottom board with insert to close it up in winter), an inner cover, telescoping lid, a couple of bricks to keep the lid down, some strapping to secure it to the base and a base of some sort. We recommend using six cinder blocks so it is really up off the ground. Do not underestimate the need for strapping. It will keep you from worrying about your bees during high winds.
You are best off with two hives so that in case one fails, you may be able to rescue the failing hive with stores from the other (if doing so does not put the stronger hive at risk). Hence, the supplies (which reflect the needs for hives which are growing and maturing) would include the following:
8 (8 frame style) Langstroth boxes, two of which are “deeps” and 6 of which are “westerns”
16 “deep” frames
48 “western” style frames
2 exterior telescoping covers
2 or more inner covers
2 (8 frame style) bottom boards, preferably screened with plastic inserts and “removable doors”
at either end.2 size adaptors if the bottom board is larger than the boxes.
2 feeder frames or feeders (more on this later)
12 concrete cinderblocks
6 bricks or something else that is heavy to keep lids secured
2 entrance reducers
2 long ratchet straps
Beekeeper protective suit (s)
Beekeeper style gloves
TOOLS AND GEAR
Smoker fuel (burlap and unprocessed cotton)
Long nosed lighter
Fire extinguisher (preferred)
Water hose connected to water supply
Quart jar fitted with #8 gauge screen
A white plate
Powdered sugar (do not feed this to bees)
4 "Sticky Boards"
IF USING MITICIDE: 8 doses of apiguard miticide or appropriate doses of other miticide (you may also need other supplies to cope with Small Hive Beetle if it is an issue in your area).
50lbs sugar (use REFINED WHITE, NOT brown, NOT unrefined, NOT powdered)
30 lbs drivert sugar
CONTROLING PREDATION BY WASPS:
Commercial wasp traps or homemade wasp traps can be purchased or made.
An extra swarm box: Catching a Swarm -Bee Built
Swarmcatching with Mandy Shaw - National Geographic
(Do NOT attempt Cut-Outs until you have much more experience)
NOW YOU HAVE THEM: HOW TO GET BEES INTO A HIVE
Bee Math and Brood Chambers - Devan Rawn
Frame Building and Wax Foundation Installation - Fat Bee Man
Varroa Management Tools - Honey Bee Health Coalition
Inspection: Simulated Swarming for Mite Management - Sam Comfort
Abnormal Conditions Part I CHALKBROOD- David Stotesbury, University of Guelph
Abnormal Conditions Part II WAX MOTH- David Stotesbury, University of Guelph
Abnormal Conditions Part III LAYING WORKERS AND SACBROOD- David Stotesbury, University of Guelph
Cleaning Up a Dead Hive (no apparent disease) - The Honey Company
SPLITTING A HIVE:
Splitting Hives by Finding the Queen and Other Methods - Paul Kelly, University of Guelph
Three Methods - video Paul Kelly, University of Guelph
Candy Boards - Weller Bee Supply
BEES NEED WATER! WATER IS LIFE:
You need to have some sort of water feature for the bees available in the very near vicinity FOR THEIR USE, (15 to 20 feet away from the hives is preferred).
You should most certainly also have access to a hose, fire extinguisher or buckets of water to prevent fire in the unlikely case that a spark should fly out of your smoker.
Fire Safety: Beekeeping Best Management Practices (UC Cooperative Education - San Diego)
SETTING UP A HIVE:
Beehives generally should be facing south, east or south east. However, Commercial Beekeepers may orient them in other directions when they are in the Pollination Fields. As a Backyard Beekeeper, once your hives are placed they should not be moved. If you must move them, you will only be able to move them a few inches at a time or the bees will become disoriented. Alternatively, they can be moved over 2 miles away (as the bee flies) and kept at that location during the next generation of bees. Any less that that distance or time, they will return to their former site looking for their hive. The point here is that one must be sure of the placement site ahead of time. "Measure twice and cut once" is a good axiom to keep in mind!
LOCAL LAWS AND CONSIDERATION FOR YOUR BEES AND NEIGHBORS:
Honeybees are a valuable part of our agricultural landscape and pollination supports our food network but the general public often does not know what to make of them. It’s advisable to make a sign indicating to the public that they must not poke at the bees or otherwise antagonize them, although generally, honeybees do not seek to harm humans any more than do spiders or flies. Bees swarm if they outgrow their space or if queen pheromone is weak and possibly to control disease naturally so prevention of swarming may be a double edge sword in which the bees may also be prevented from normal activities that would otherwise help them. The beekeeper may use Swarm Control Methods however depending upon how they intend to manage the Bees' Hive. You may find that you have a queen which is producing aggressive bees and for the safety of your neighbors you may have to relocate the hive to a more isolated area or replace the queen altogether. Finally, if you live in a city or town, over and above the Oregon Guidelines, there may be local laws which you must follow and you should check with your local government about this.
Preparing for a (Langstroth) Hive Inspection- Courtesy of PerfectBee
Colony Inspection (Langstroth) - University of Guelph, Paul Kelly (video)
Hive Inspection Checklist - Eastern Missouri Beekeepers Association
Recommended and Additional Texts:
Keeping Bees With a Smile by Fedor Lazutin
Pollinator Protection: A Bee & Pesticide Handbook -
C.A. Johansen, D.F. Mayer. Wicwas Press. ISBN 978-1-878075-31-4
What to Plant for Bees:
Check THIS LIST from the Xerces Society to plant for your area/season
-Remember to use native plants whenever possible!
-Avoid Neonicotinoid treated plants or seeds (and other persistent pesticides)!
Example of Brood Development
(Queen Bee, Eggs, Larvae, Capped Larvae and...Bees!)
Click on Each Image to Read the Description of Image