Starting a colony for the first time may be stressful and confusing, but Mann Lake is here to help you get started and assist you along the way so that you can have a successful beekeeping experience! Read our guide for everything that you need to know on how to start a colony.
Determine The Location Of Your Apiary
Choosing the location of your beehive is an important step into setting your hive up for success! When deciding on where to put your hive, try to pick a location that has the following:
- Easy access
- Protection from the elements
- Plenty of sunlight
- Level ground
- Access to resources
Determine How Many Colonies And Order The Bees
The most important part of beekeeping is the bees! It is recommended to start with a minimum of two colonies. Having two hives provides a helpful comparison and gives you access to resources should one colony be stronger than the other. Make sure that you pre-order your honey bees early! If you’re not sure what breed is the best fit for your apiary, read more about the common varieties of honey bees.
Order Equipment Ahead Of Time
Make sure that you order any equipment that you need at least a month prior to the bees' arrival. This allows you to ensure that you’re ready for when your bees arrive!
Supplies Needed To Start A Colony
- Hive tool
- Smoker and smoker fuel
- Protective clothing
- Hive components, like: hive stand, bottom board, hive bodies (use only one, until colony is established), honey supers, frames, inner cover, outer cover, queen excluder
- Liquid feed, like Pro-Sweet
- Pollen substitute, like Ultra Bee or Bee Pro
Note: If you plan on preparing your own sugar water mix, we recommend adding a stimulant such as Pro-Health that will help prevent the fermentation process.
Setup Hive(s) In The Apiary Prior To Arrival Of Bees
After your bees and equipment are ordered, get ready to set up your hives in your apiary! It’s important to make sure that the hives are set up prior to the bees’ arrival.
Once you’ve completed all of these steps, you’re ready for your bees! We wish you the best of luck for the season!