How To Set Up A Beehive (The Right Way!) | Beekeeping Insider (2024)

If you are new to beekeeping and have just acquired all your beekeeping gear, setting up your first beehive is the next step in becoming a beekeeper.

And there are some essential considerations when assembling, locating, and populating your beehive,

This article will help you get started.

Setting Up A Beehive

To set up a beehive:

How To Set Up A Beehive (The Right Way!) | Beekeeping Insider (1)
  1. Place the baseboard on a beehive stand.
  2. Place the deep super or brood chamber on top of the baseboard.
  3. Fit 10 deep frames in the deep super.
  4. The honey super or medium deep super with 10 honey frames fits on top of the brood chamber,
  5. This is followed by the inner and top lids.

Setting up a beehive is a part of beekeeping that newcomers enjoy most! Putting up your first hive and populating it with bees is a very satisfying accomplishment.

Still, some things need considering to help make the process successful.

Understanding bees, their behavior, and their life cycle will help you understand why certain things are important in a beehive setup.

Best Time To Setup A Beehive

Bee colonies aremost active in the spring and summer seasonsin most regions and generally downsize and become less productive during the winter.

Consequently, thebest time of yearto set up a beehive is in theearly spring, once all chance of frost has disappeared and air temperatures are above 65°F or 18°C.

This will provide the correct temperatures for the new bees to forage and become active as the spring flowers blossom.

The besttime of dayto install bees in a new beehive isin the eveningto allow them to settle into their new home in the dark night hours.

Choosing A Location For Your Beehive

Before you set up your beehive, you mustfind a location for your hivethat is ideal for the bees and does not pose a public risk to people in the area.

Bees must maintain a specific temperature range in the hive to ensure survival. As a beekeeper, you can help your bees by positioning the hive to avoid severe temperature fluctuations.

The ideal position for a beehive is where the colony will get morning sunshine, shade during the day’s heat, and evening sunshine.

Placing the hive in the shade of a tree can provide these conditions, as can erecting a roof above the hive.

Ideally, the tree under which you locate the hive should bedeciduousand lose its leaves in the winter so it can receive warmth from the winter sun.

The hive should also be protected from the prevailing winds, especially winter winds, which can drastically reduce the hive’s internal temperature, causing the bees to work harder to heat the beehive.

Your selected location must have sufficient access towater and forageso your bees can build their resources and make honey for you.

Ahive standis helpful to keep the beehive off the ground toreduce moisture, keep pests away, elevate the hive so it iseasier to work on, andkeep vegetation away from the hive entrance. The hive stand can be a custom stand, such as cinder blocks or a commercial beehive stand.

Locate the beehive away from pet, livestock, and human trafficto avoid the bees becoming a problem and stinging anything that comes near the hive. Many municipalities have bylaws that prescribe the distances from property lines and pathways where beehives may be positioned.

Assembling The Beehive

How To Set Up A Beehive (The Right Way!) | Beekeeping Insider (2)

If you have bought a beehive in a flat-pack, you must assemble the components before you assemble the hive.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to build the hive before assembly. Thelarge chamberis called thebrood chamber or deep super, where the queen will live, lay eggs and produce new bees (the nest). Some worker bees will live in this area to attend to the queen and the larvae.

This brood box is typically deeper (taller) than the honey supers.

Place thebaseboard on your hive standand thenposition the brood chamber on the baseboard.

Next,hang 10 deep frames with a wax foundation in the brood chamber. This is where the bees will build their breeding comb.

A honey super typically rests on top of the brood chamber, and the bees will store honey in this structure. Most beekeepers put aqueen excluderbetweenthe brood box and the honey super toprevent the queen from accessing the honey super and laying eggs in the honeystorage comb.

Honey frames are not as deep as brood chamber frames.Hang 10 super frames with wax foundation in the honey super. Typically you needtwo supers for each beehive.(You will harvest honey from the top super and leave honey in the bottom one for the bees to consume).

Aninner cover and a top coverwill goon top of the final superin the stack to complete the assembly of the beehive.

It is only necessary to place the supers on the hive once the bees have been installed and settled in it for at least 3 to 4 weeks.

Installing Bees In The Beehive

Installing bees in the hive should be done on a warm, dry day, preferably in thelate afternoon or evening.

You should wear your bee suit and gloves to install bees in the hive; the bees may be agitated after confinement in the transport box.

  • Open the deep super, or brood chamber, and remove 3 frames from the center of the hive.
  • Empty the bees into the center of the beehive, using your bee brush to brush as many as you can into the hive.
  • Replace the removed frames from the hive, taking care not to squash any bees in the process!
  • Position the queen’s cage between two frames in the center of the hive.
  • Place an inner board with a feeding bottle on the top of the frames.
  • Place a second, empty deep, super to protect the feeding bottle and prevent robbing from other bees.
  • Fit the hive lid on top of the stack.
  • Place an entrance reducer on the hive to limit the number of bees that can enter and exit the beehive and prevent the queen from leaving once she has been released from her cage.
  • Leave the empty bee package near the hive entrance so that bees remaining in the packaging can find their way into the hive.

Do not disturbthe hive for at least3 to 5 days.

After that, you shouldcheck that the queen has been released from her cage.

Continue to feed the bees until they begin to forage, and you can see pollen being brought into the hive by the foraging bees.

At this stage, you can remove the feeding chamber and place a honey super on top of the brood chamber.

Conclusion

Setting up a beehive is relatively easy, but following the recommended procedure will help you optimize the chances for success with your first hive.

However, even after taking these precautions, bees are not guaranteed to stay in the beehive!

It’s all part of the risk of beekeeping 🙂

If you need help with how to set up your beehive correctly and install the bees,ask your local beekeeping associationfor some advice and assistance or a more experienced beekeeper in your area to guide you.

Wanna be a beekeeper but not sure where to start?

How To Set Up A Beehive (The Right Way!) | Beekeeping Insider (3)
How To Set Up A Beehive (The Right Way!) | Beekeeping Insider (2024)

FAQs

What direction should a bee hive face? ›

To get the most productive beehive, beekeeping experts, among many things, say you should face your hives to the southeast. The first reason is the sun rises from the east and for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, it specifically rises from the southeast.

How to set up a beehive in Minecraft? ›

To make a Beehive in a Crafting Table, place any wooden planks along the top and bottom rows, and fill the middle row with 3 Honeycomb (see below for an example).

What is the 7/10 rule in beekeeping? ›

This rule says that the proper time to add a super to a beehive is when the bees have already covered 7 of the 10 frames in the existing box or boxes.

How high should a bee hive be off the ground? ›

Utilize a hive stand or cinder blocks to elevate the hive 12 to 18 inches off of the ground to keep it safe from skunks and other animals which may want to disturb the hive. Place a large rock on top or strap down your hive to keep it safe from raccoons, wind, etc.

Should beehives be in sun or shade? ›

Generally, lots of full sun is ideal to keep the hives warm and dry, with some shade in the hottest hours of the afternoon. In areas with very hot summers, however, a shadier spot will be better. Wind chill is another environmental factor to consider.

Where should you not put a beehive? ›

The beehive should never be placed in a windy spot, but there are times when the weather deteriorates enough that no place is sheltered from the wind. In these cases, cover the hive and weight down the cover with cinderblocks or bricks. Straps can also be used in extreme weather to prevent damage to the hive.

How far away should a beehive be from a house? ›

But just how close to your house can you put your hive? The general rule is there should be a minimum of 4-feet behind and on either side of the hive, with a minimum of 25-feet of clearance at the entrance – but there's really no cut-and-dry answer for this.

How to attract bees to a hive? ›

Bees are especially attracted by beeswax so plenty of beeswax should be used to bait the hives. Using a fresh starter strip of beeswax on the top-bars of a movable comb hive will act as a swarm attractant.

Do productive bees need sunlight? ›

Bees need to get the inner hive to about 95 degrees before the worker bees are released from their heating duties. This is why all beekeepers agree that bees receiving the morning sun is very important to hive productivity.

How to get a bee nest without silk touch? ›

Bee nests in Minecraft can only be moved if you have the Silk Touch Enchantment on your tools. Without it, breaking a bee nest will only anger the bees inside, making them attack you and it won't drop the bee nest. If you don't have the enchantment, you can build your bees a replacement home to lead them to.

Which way do beehives face in Minecraft? ›

Naturally generated bee nests generate with 3 bees in them. The bee nests always face south.

How do you position a beehive? ›

Set up your bee hives near a natural windbreak, like a hedgerow, to keep cold winds from stressing the colony. If none exists, create a windbreak with a hedge or fence. Elevate your hives at least 12 inches to discourage skunks, and defend your hive equipment from moisture . Use a hive stand to give them a lift.

What is an entrance reducer? ›

Entrance Reducers are designed to narrow the entry point of the hive. This can be useful for protecting your hive against predators or robbing colonies, as this allows the guard bees to more effectively control who enters the hive.

How many beehives should a beginner start with? ›

If you are just starting out, most reputable beekeeping sources will recommend starting with two hives. Having two hives for your first few years will help you to learn the art and science of beekeeping, while providing you with the proper amount of experience and resources needed to successfully keep healthy bees.

What is an easy beehive for beginners? ›

Top Bar Hive Plans

Not only are they the easiest to build, but they are also the easiest to maintain for new beekeepers. These hives allow bees to build their own comb, taking a more organic approach to beekeeping. This type of beehive is a great choice if you're looking to start a small-scale beekeeping endeavor.

How do you attract bees to a beehive? ›

Simply rub the oiled cotton bud or pastry bush around the entrance to your hive. Lemongrass essential oil is believed to mimic the pheromone released from the abdominal gland of the scout bees which they use to entice the swarm into an empty hive.

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