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Basics Of Bee Keeping 17 June 2010

Bees really are a gardeners friend. Not only do they make free food in honey, but without their help in pollination there would not be much left growing in your garden. It is quite possible to keep a hive of bees with absolutely no garden at all. They are just as adept at collecting pollen and nectar in urban areas as they are in the countryside.

Lots of people may be put off keeping bees due to the fact that all worker bees have a sting which they are not scared to use even though this will cause their death. Having kept bees for the last two years I have been stung, but this is more down to my own idiocy, rather than any malice on part of my bees.


A hive - most modern hives are made from wood and contain removable frames on which the honey is deposited by the bees. The frames each have a wax sheet on them, with the hexagonal pattern of honeycomb printed on it. Here is my first bee hive which I bought for 40 Euro's

My First Bee Hive

And here is one I made for 2!

Homemade Hive

Between the brood chamber and the 2nd floor, I have a "Queen excluder" which prevents the queen from laying eggs in the frames that I am going to steal honey out of. This is basically a wire mesh with gaps big enough for the workers to pass through, but not the queen.

Protective clothing really is essential, although my friend whom I got my bees from has over 30 hives and has never worn any protective clothing in over 40 years of bee keeping (he is slightly mad though!)

My removable frames with wax sheets!

Smoke machine - in which you burn cardboard or wood, to simulate the smelll of a forest fire which tricks the bees in to preparing to flee the hive and so fill up on honey ready to make their escape. When a bee is full of honey they find it very difficult to sting. Don't use to much smoke though or they might really flee the fire!

My Smoker!

Honey Extractor - When your frames are filled with honey you want to be able to get it out, an extractor work as a centrifuge and spins the honey out leaving the frame intact to be re-inserted into the hive and filled once again.

Bees - After you have kitted yourself out you will need some bees, which you can buy off a beekeeper, or hive a swarm if you can find one. I have done both here is me hiving a swarm

For a comprhensive guide on all bee maters you can do no better than the collins beekeeper's bible. It covers absolutely everything.

Next up in the beekeeping series. Where to keep your hives here.


Welcome to the 'Gud' Life, the home of self Reliant living on the internet. If you are interested in becoming more self reliant, or thinking of selling up and doing it for real you will find all you need to know right here. Written by someone who has done just that. Learn from my many mistakes

  A Quick Note On The Info Given On This Site

Dear All, the information on this website is given as is, I am not a solicitor, and believe the world would be a better place without them. If you follow the advice on this site, and use your common sense you will not come to any harm. I cannot and will not guarantee any of the information here, it is just based on my experience, and I am always willing to learn. Life after all is a learning experience. If you know of better or improved techniques please share them and I will update the site as neccessary. Enjoy and be happy. TGL 

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