© 2017-19, ZBees Apiary, Waynesville, NC. Buzz the Apiary
Every honeybee apiary is different, either in location, size, availability of nectar and pollen, or in the management style of how the beekeeper preserves their colonies. However, certain standards must exist for the apiary to remain healthy and grow. First, keep updated about beekeeping as you possibly can be. Second, use your beekeeping experience to teach those who wish to learn about honeybees. Third, beekeeping is a “science” that needs constant nurturing to mature into a well-managed apiary. My brother termed it best when he stated, “There are beekeepers and there are people who just keep bees” (Mike Zachary, Sept. 2016). The “beekeeper” manages their apiary regularly to ensure the bees are thriving for the good of the hive, environment, and the beekeeper. The “person who just keeps bees,” typically; fails to plan for any apiary expansion. Sustainable Hive Management (SPM). Integrated Pest Management (IPM) should compel beekeepers to practice proper hive management and inspections of the apiary.
The first year as a “beekeeper” teaches us some valuable lessons in managing honeybees, because the primary concern is nurturing these pollinators and honey producers who help the environment and our economy. Keep watch over your bees and the number of hives will grow exponentially as the health of the whole colony improves because, a good producing queen controls the hive expansion. Thus, a properly managed apiary can reduce stress on the bees and the beekeeper alike. When questions arise, experienced beekeepers can help with many issues so, quiz them and learn.
For this beekeeper, it started in September 2016 at my brother’s place in Brooklyn, Michigan. As I listened to Michael talk about his bees and the honey they were producing, I became hooked on the idea of setting up an apiary after tasting some of his raw honey. I was proud of his achievements as a self-taught beekeeper, knowing he built two top bar hives and then he added three Langstroth hives kits during later years. Mike began showing me all that he had learned about honeybees and how he built his Stolen Nectar Apiary from nothing. His excitement sparked an interest in me about building an apiary in Waynesville, North Carolina.
New beekeepers often ask how to construct an apiary. This is the setup that I used in April 2017 for each 10-frame Langstroth hive: (2) deeps for brood, (1) medium honey super, (1) screened bottom board, (1) inner cover (1) roof- gable design, (20) deep-frames, (10) medium-frames. Bees need room to expand so, start with more than one hive the first year. Each hive shown entered the 2017 winter season with over 60-pounds of honey and 55,000+ honeybees.
Choosing a morning sun location
Bee a good neighbor…
May your new apiary bee-blessed with as much good fortune as I have received and always, Bee Safe, Bee Happy, and Bee Thankful!
Honeybee on buckwheat - July 2018
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