Beekeeping: Everything You Need to Know to Start your First Beehive

Beekeeping: Everything You Need to Know to Start your First Beehive

by Joachim Petterson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681881546
Publisher: Weldon Owen
Publication date: 10/04/2016
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 803,419
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Joachim Petterson is an art director, writer, and professor at Stockholm University. Seven years ago he was a complete novice beekeeper, but when he learned that his family had a traditional interest in the topic, he decided to put up his first hives in his garden in a suburb of Stockholm. He now has six happy, healthy backyard hives.

Read an Excerpt


Equipment for honey processing: As a beginner, you don’t need everything I’ve listed here, but you cannot manage without an uncapping fork and sieves.
• Uncapping fork, roller, or knife
• Uncapping tray (or roasting pan)
• Honey sieves; one with coarse mesh and one with fine mesh
• Stirrer
• Large honey vessel (110 lb / 5 kg) with tap
• Honey vessel (66 lb /30 kg)
• Jars with lids
• Honey extractor
If you don’t have time to extract the honey immediately after harvesting, you can temporarily store it for up to a week, depending on honey type and the room temperature. Store the honey frames in a space where bees cannot get in, such as a shed. Honey frames should never be stored in cold and damp places, such as a basement. Most importantly, the room in which you extract the honey should be easy to keep clean and dust free, and the bees have to be kept outside. If you use the kitchen, don’t cook at the same time. If you’re planning to sell the honey and not just use it for yourself, make sure that you find out what rules apply to commercial food handling and hygiene. You can buy the most necessary equipment in a bee supply store.
Over time, you’ll discover what you need to simplify some steps in the process. I think the experience of honey as a natural product is intensified when you scrape it directly from the honeycomb or if you cut a piece of honeycomb in an empty glass jar that will then slowly fill up with fresh honey. I have a strong childhood memory of when I visited my older sister during summer break: I always got cut a piece of honeycomb to dip into the evening tea. The honey melted and I chewed on the wax for a long time, pretending it was chewing gum. As a beginner beekeeper, I stood in the kitchen using a juicer and
honey strainers to extract the honey. I still use our kitchen for the uncapping, extracting, straining, and filling, with messy consequences that aren’t always so popular with the rest of the family. Despite this, everyone gets involved in honey processing and it has become one of the highlights of the summer.
My average honey harvest usually end up being 77 to 88 pounds (35–40 kg) per colony. One year, I got a significantly smaller harvest because of a swarm and two divisions, which in turn yielded a bumper crop the following season, when I ended up harvesting 175 pounds (79.4 kg) of honey from one colony.

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