What do I need to get started?
What kind of Queen should I get?
When should I order my bees, and what size package do I need?
How do I order bees?
Download the form below to get started.
How do I sign up for Bee Class?
Download the form below to sign up for the class.
How much will it cost to get started?
Beekeeping is one of the few hobbies that can pay for itself. The hive components (often called woodenware), if properly cared for, can last for decades. Here are a few tips –
You can buy used equipment off Craigslist or the want-ads but, PLEASE have a knowledgeable beekeeper inspect for signs of disease and compatibility. If you are handy with tools (as in Norm Abrams - New Yankee Workshop) and want to spend the time you can build your own equipment. Or, bring cash or a checkbook and buy the stuff right out of my inventory (assembled or unassembled). Email me for the most current price list.
In the spring before the willow and early spring plants are blooming you’ll most likely need to feed a simple sugar solution (about 1 gallon of1:1 sugar; one part sugar to one part water) so plan on buying a 10-lb bag of white granulated sugar. DO NOT FEED store-bought honey to your bees it most likely contains spores of the disease American Foulbrood; harmless to humans but deadly to bees.
You may also opt for a pollen substitute patty to provide protein until the bees are coming in with full loads of willow pollen.
Some folks use medications – something I’m steering away from. Many bee books advocate the routine feeding of antibiotics; not a good idea in my book.
In the fall you’ll probably rent an extractor ($25/day) rather than buy one ($350 + shipping), then don’t forget the cost of jars and labels for your honey.
Currently I’m charging $150 for the beginning bee class- highly recommended.
How much honey will I get?
This question is frequently asked in conjunction with “How much does Alaskan honey sell for?” (About $1/ounce). If I could predict how much honey you can produce I’d be in commodities futures instead of beekeeping.
That said, the average yield per colony is about 55-60 pounds; at least that has been mine over 25 years. There are many factors which control honey yields –