Chances are if you’re reading this you’re either considering ordering bees or you already have. Before you receive your bees, you need to have the hive set up and ready to go. Failure to transport the bees into the hive within 24 hours can be damaging. But don’t worry — setting up a hive is simple and easy! Keep reading for instructions on how to start your own hive.
Location, Location, Location!
First off, find a good spot for your hive. Bees will be happier in sunlight, so don’t stick the hive in the shade. Some beekeepers advise you to place you hive facing south or southeast. You’ll also need to provide a water source for the bees. They prefer shallow standing water with objects they can land on like rocks or logs. If you don’t have a natural body of water nearby, use a birdbath, barrel, or dripping faucet. Have the water close enough that the bees don’t go to your neighbor’s house for a drink, but don’t put it too close. About 20 feet away is a good distance. If you live in an area prone to wind gusts, place the hive against bushes, a shed, wall, etc. to protect it from toppling over.
Assembling Your Hive
A hive stand will protect the bottom of the hive body from weeds and water as well as provide ventilation. You don’t necessarily have to buy one, though. Cinder blocks, wooden boards, or pallets will suffice.
Place the bottom board on the hive stand. Using a screen bottom board provides more ventilation and creates a healthier habitat for your bees. Set your hive body box on top of the bottom board. Place the frames inside the body box. Place the inner cover on top of the body box. The hole in the middle of the inner cover provides insulation and also gives the beekeeper a window to check on his hive. Next, put the top cover on your inner cover. This protects your bees from bad weather. Place the entrance reducer on the opening of the body box to help protect your bees.
For more information on each piece of equipment, check out “Everything You Need to Start Beekeeping“.
Check out this video and article for more information!