Top Tips for Starting Beehives – KLRU Austin Public Television with Central Texas Gardener
Bee-fore you jump into beekeeping, Master Beekeeper Tanya Phillips sweetens the deal with top tips for starting beehives.
Owner of Bee Friendly Austin and founder of the Travis County Beekeepers Association, she’s got the buzz from set-up to honeycomb harvest.
http://www.klru.org/episode/program-tax/sweet-tips-for-starting-beehives/ – Click here to watch!
Now that Spring is here, everyone is asking questions about how to get started in beekeeping! Top tips are here!
My Recommended 10 Steps to Becoming a Beekeeper in Central Texas:
1. Make sure you can keep bees – know the laws and ordinances in your home area and
neighborhood or HOA. ‐ http://traviscountybeekeepers.org/resources/beekeeping-laws/
2. Get Quality Beekeeping Education – take classes, read books, check out online trainings.
Education is key to avoiding disasters. Look for .edu sites or classes recommended by local bee
3. Choose the type of beehive you will have and know how many colonies you want to start with?
Langstroth or Top Bar (I recommend starting with 2‐3 colonies.)
4. Order your bees in Fall/Winter, appropriate to type of hive you plan to have. (package, nuc, or
full strength hive) www.BeeWeaver.com is a local treatment-free Texas Queen Breeder.
5. Join a beekeeping group, attend regular meetings, and continue your education.
www.TravisCountyBeekeepers.org ‐ Meetings are First Mondays of each month –
Zilker Botanical Garden meeting room, 7pm.
6. Get hands‐on experience if possible. I offer hands‐on classes monthly when temperatures are
over 70 degrees outside: www.BeeFriendlyAustin.com
7. Prepare your bee yard. Full sun is best, but can have partial shade late afternoon. Hive
entrances should face South, East, or SE if possible. Some shelter from the North is great if
possible. MUST have fresh water near the area, but not closer than 10 feet from hive entrances.
8. Construct/purchase hive bodies and set them up in your bee yard. If you are choosing
Langstroth style hives (square boxes), decide if you want 8‐frame or 10‐frame hive bodies, then
decide if you plan to use Deep boxes or Medium boxes or both, then choose the type of frames
and foundation you want. (I recommend wooden frames with real wax foundation that has wires in
it or heavily waxed plastic foundation.) – We sell 8‐frame Langstroth hive boxes and top bar hives
made from cedar. BeeWeaver sells 10‐frame Langstroth hives made from Cypress.
9. Buy your Bee Suit or Bee Jacket with veil, leather gloves, a hive tool and a bee brush.
Buy a smoker w/guard, ‐ I prefer the 4×7 smoker w/shield from Dadant. (Hint: Burlap bags make
great smoker fuel, cut into small strips.)
10. Bees arrive in Spring, typically April June. They earlier you order them in the fall, the sooner you
will get them in the Spring. Early dates sell out quickly. After you pick up your bees, you need to
put them into their hives as soon as possible, during daylight hours.
Buy local to support local beekeepers and suppliers or shop online.
Beekeeping Supply Companies