Start with a friend that has experience.,
Check on your bees.,
Inspect their honey making progress.,
Harvest your honey.,
Treat bee stings.
It’s important that you learn the proper way to behave around a bee hive from someone with experience. An experienced beekeeper can provide you with wisdom and guidance that may be difficult to find online.
A seasoned beekeeper’s poise will show you how to remain calm if you get nervous around the hive.
Having support can make the situation less frightening until you are accustomed to working with bees.
, You will need to check on the status of your hives more often than you will be harvesting honey. When checking on your hive, simply wearing a hat with a veil is often considered enough protection, but you may also choose to wear a jacket.
Visit the bees on a sunny day when flowers are in bloom so the majority of the bees will be out and working.
Wash any clothing bees may have stung previously when visiting, the residual pheromones could incite another attack.
Use a smoker to fill the hive with smoke and keep the bees docile when opening it to inspect.
, Once you have approached the hive, you’ll need to open it and remove some of the interior framing to check on your bees progress in developing the hive and making honey. Remember to liberally use your smoker throughout this process to pacify the remaining bees.
Use your hive tool (a small crowbar) to pry up the corner of one of the interior frame walls, then slide it up slowly.
In different frames you slide out you will find honey or even frames filled with the queen’s larvae.
Frames that are capped in beeswax are full of honey and ready to be harvested.
, It’s finally time to reap the reward of beekeeping, a harvest of fresh honey! You may choose to wear your full beekeeping suit to protect yourself during this process, though if you’re careful, it may not be necessary.
You can purchase a “bee escape” which is a bee trap that allows the bees to enter a container but not leave. As you smoke the hive, most bees will enter the bee escape, allowing you to harvest the honey safely with most bees temporarily displaced.
Use a pocket knife or small blade to cut the honey combs out of the frames. The beeswax honey making up the hexagons is also edible.
A centrifuge specially designed to separate the honey from the honey combs can also be purchased at specialty stores if you would prefer only the pure honey.
, It’s inevitable that you will get stung at some point while working with bees. Most experienced beekeepers have been stung many times, but eventually learn to avoid most situations that may result in getting stung. If you are stung, treating a bee sting is fairly easy:
Remove the stinger as quickly as you can and wash the area with soap and water.
Apply a cold compress and keep an eye out for signs of an allergic reaction.
If signs of a moderate allergic reaction arise, take an antihistamine and apply a cortisone cream to the site of the sting.
If a more severe reaction seems evident, use an epinephrine pen if available and seek medical treatment immediately.